By Our Correspondent
BANGALORE : In quick move on June 20 the Karnataka state assembly unanimously
passed the National Law School of India (Amendment) Bill 2017 which
seeks to reserve 50 per cent seats in the coveted National Law
School of India University (NLSIU) for Karnataka residents.
The bill is yet to be approved by the upper house but it has rattled the
entire law education authorities because NLSIU being an institution of
national importance would trigger off a chain reaction and have a cascading
effect on other law schools.
NLSIU is established by a Karnataka state act called the National Law
School of India Act, 1986 (Karnataka Act 22 of 1986) and the Chief
Justice of India happens to be the Chancellor of the University. The
state assembly is, therefore, fully competent to bring in an amendment
NLSIU vice-chancellor R Venkata Rao and registrar O V Nandimath were
found to be beyond reach for their comments but some faculty members on
condition of anonymity did murmur reservations about the move.
"We have to understand that NLSIU is a leading member of the fraternity
of some of the best law schools in the country. The university has
entered into an agreement with other universities to admit students
through the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). The new law will have a
negative effect on this," said a faculty member who refused to be named.
Further, the university is yet to understand the reservation formula.
"We already have 18% reservation for various categories. We don't know
whether 50% reservation will come in addition to that or as a
sub-quota," he added.
He said that the university should be allowed to function without
compromising on its quality. "If more students from Karnataka join us
through the same channel (CLAT), it is a good development. But
reservation will upset a lot of rules that are part of a large system,"
The bill was moved by the State's higher education minister Basavaraj
Rayaraddi in the house on behalf of the law minister in the assembly.
“This year out of 80 students, only two are from the state,” Rayaraddi
said, while adding that the institution must reserve at least 50% for
students from the state. Although the bill
originally demanded a 30% reservation, the minister revised the number
to 50% on the insistence of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators who
form the main opposition on the floor of the house.
The minister said that the reservation was necessitated by the fact that
other states such as Andhra Pradesh and Telangana had deployed similar
measures to protect the interests of their resident students.
The Bill seeks to amend Section 4 of the NLSIU Act so as to reserve not
less than fifty per cent seats for "resident students of Karnataka."
The term “resident student of Karnataka” means:
(i) A student who or either of whose parents has resided in the state of
Karnataka for a period of not less than ten years preceding the
qualifying examination; and
(ii) A student who has studied in any one of the recognized educational
institutions in the State for a period of not less than seven years
preceding the qualifying examination.
K.G.Bopaiah, BJP legislator from Kodagu, said the criteria was of short
tenure and insisted on students who were born in the state. Rayaraddi
said discriminating on the basis of birth place would be against
After much deliberation, Rayaraddi changed the five-year term to seven
on the lines of the common entrance test (CET)- an exam conducted by the
government of Karnataka determining the eligibility for professional
courses like engineering and medicine among other science based
As pointed out earlier, NLSIU was one of the few remaining CLAT law
schools to have no state domicile reservation. If the Bill gets passed,
only NLU Jodhpur and NLU Odisha will have that distinction.