Thursday, April 12, 2012

Alarming Situation of Legal Education in Few States in India

As per the results of the AIBE (All India Bar Examination) conducted in January 2012, the pass percentage of the candidates are reflecting the poor condition of the legal education in few states. The pass percentage of the three most backward states in legal education are as follows.
1.       Chhattisgarh (39.53%).
2.    Andhra Pradesh (41.38%)
3.    Gujarat (45.7 %,) came third from the bottom.
This is due to the mushrooming of Law Colleges, no bar at the entry level, inadequate number of law teachers and outdated curriculum and teaching methods. In the exam held in January 2011, Gujarat was second last among rest of the states with a pass percentage of 40%.  There are lot many colleges in theses states. In most of these colleges even attendance is not compulsory. As for exams, more or less the same questions are repeated every year and so students just mug up some of these questions.  AIBE (All India Bar Examination) is entirely a different ball game for them as it thoroughly tests the legal knowledge of a student. Most of the students from these states are used to an examination system that does not challenge their knowledge; they find the AIBE exams a tough call. As in the three-and-half hour exam, a candidate needs to score a minimum of 45 marks out of 100 to clear it.
The Bar Council of India should take it very seriously and must take serious measures to upgrade the standards of legal education especially in those states which are backward in legal education. The concerned Govts should also take it very seriously and provide basic supports to the colleges which are lacking the basic infrastructure facilities, like library, faculty, modern class rooms, moot court facilities, computers, internet, online journal etc.
As per the current BCI norms of Part IV of the Rules of Legal Education and Inspection Manual December, 2010, now opening a new law college is very very difficult. Because the startup law colleges are required to full fill the new norms which are benchmarked with global standards. That is really something great done by the BCI. We must be thankful to all the members of the “Legal Education Committee” of the Bar council of India and specially Prof. N.L. Mitra for this great job.
However the question is that how the BCI will upgrade the said poor law colleges which do not satisfy the current BCI norms and still enjoys the BCI accreditation and approval. Now they have to seriously think about these colleges and find out effective measure to regulate them. BCI should ask them either to satisfy the new norms or shut down. Then only we will be able to upgrade the standards of legal education in India in the real sense and can face the challenges of Globalization and satisfy the obligation to allow the opening of our legal service market for the member countries of WTO.

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