The NLU Delhi admission row took an ugly turn when students started protesting after the change in the number of seats. The examination for the NLU Master of Laws (LL.M.) course was conducted on May 6th for the result was declared on July 2nd, 2018. Six days before the formal declaration of the result, the National Law University-Delhi (NLU-D) has drawn ire by its decision to double the seats. This raised brows of many people. The students suspect that this has been done to take admission from the back door. Earlier the decided seats were 40 but now it has been increased to 80.
As per the sources, Lawyer Mohit Gupta, who has filed an RTI query asking for the minutes of the meetings that led to the decision to hike the number of seats, felt this may have been done to benefit only a few students."What will be its (university's) course of action if it is approached by a large number of students in the next academic year demanding an increase," he stated.
A circular was release on the official website of NLU-D which stated, "It is notified that the University has decided to increase the number of seats for admission to LL.M. programme for the academic session 2018-19... The seats will be filled strictly on the merit of AILET-2018 in the sport counselling scheduled to be held on July 13, 2018. The seats under Foreign National category will be filled up on the academic merit of qualifying examination.”
The students have been seen complaining about this ever since they came to know about the news. They think that this after-the-fact decision as detrimental to many potential applicants who could have gone for entrance exam but were deterred by the high entrance fees and the narrow chance of making it to the top 40.
"I didn't apply for the entrance exam thinking it would be tough to crack into the top 40. Had they announced the increase in seats, I would have applied, since NLU was anyway my first choice. The other two contenders -- IP University and Jindal School of Law -- are very expensive," a student, who graduated from Delhi University's Faculty of Law told the sources.
Another law graduate supported this, claiming if the NLU doesn't go back to original number of seats next year, he will consider applying there for his masters and that it was unfair of the university to increase the seats after the entrance exam. The students' contention of getting deterred by low number of seats advertised does not seem frivolous when one considers the fact that one has to shell out Rs. 3,050 to qualify to sit for the entrance exam.
This measure has also raised questions on why the seats were going vacant for last two years and even after observing that the seats are going vacant, why the university has raised the number of seats. The NLU-D had admitted 40 students in 2016 against 50 seats advertised, while in 2017, it could fill only 23 of the 40 seats advertised.
The University has claim that they have taken this drastic step accomplish "wider reach of legal education to society" and that the decision was in "conformity with the Admission Announcement" where it was said that the "number of seats may vary".
"It may be noted that the increase in seats is not at all unfair on the part of the University. Rather it is a step to encourage the study of law so that more teachers and researchers are available in this field. Moreover, the action taken by the University to increase the number of seats was also approved by the Academic Council and Executive Council," NLU-D Registrar G.S. Bajpai stated.