Should CLAT be held in regional languages also? BCI sets up panel to examine

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, July 4

The Bar Council of India (BCI)–which regulates legal education in the country—has set up a seven-member committee to examine if Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) for admissions to national law universities can also be conducted in regional languages as well.

Currently, CLAT is held in English for admission to 22 of the 23 national law universities. National Law University, Delhi holds a separate admission test.

“The Council being the regulator of Legal Education and Legal Profession, prima facie is of the view that no deserving candidate should be deprived from giving the CLAT on account of his/her inability to be proficient in English”, BCI Secretary Srimanto Sen said in a letter dated June 30 to petitioners who had moved the Delhi High Court demanding CLAT to be held in regional languages. The High Court had asked BCI consider the demand.

“…the knowledge or lack of English language does not determine ones intelligence, ability, acumen, dedication, IQ etc., therefore, prima-facie the exam should be conducted in vernacular languages too. In fact the Bar Council of India conducts All India Bar Examination in 11 languages including English,” said BCI, which has set up a seven-member panel to examine the issue.

Headed by a former Chief Justice of a High Court, the panel included former and sitting vice-chancellors of national law universities, academics and two members of BCI.

Terming it a “multi-dimensional” issue, BCI said, “Another aspect that would be required to be considered is, as to in how many vernacular languages are semester exams being conducted in Law Universities across the Country, as on date. It is but obvious that after clearing CLAT, the next request could be to hold semester exams in regional languages too in National Law Universities.”

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