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30 Law Colleges derecognized by Bar Council of India

In a first-ever crackdown, the Bar Council of India (BCI) has derecognised 30 law colleges and issued show-cause notices to 20 others across the country for failing to meet minimum "academic standards". The Legal Education Committee of the BCI, the regulator for legal profession and education in the country, took the decision on the basis of reports submitted by its inspection teams. It has appealed to students that there is no cause for alarm, since the existing courses will not be disturbed and around 5,000 students pursuing law courses in these institutes will be allowed to complete their degrees.

"BCI will ensure that students once enrolled in law courses get to complete their education. If need be, we will ask concerned universities to adjust students in other recognised institutes" said Mr. Subramanium, adding that around 5,000 students "appeared" to be studying at the 50 colleges on the BCI's radar.

Confirming the decision, BCI chairperson Gopal Subramaniam said, "This is for the first time in the history of BCI that such a decision has been taken. It was done through a democratic process and after proper discussion."

The BCI has not yet published the full list of colleges that will be derecognised or the minutes of its meetings, despite having intended to do so this week, according to two BCI sources.

It is reported that Maharashtra and Karnataka each faced the closure of 10 colleges each, followed by three in Andhra Pradesh, two in Uttar Pradesh and one each in Assam, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu.

BCI sources said, "The idea is to bring down the number of law colleges from 900 to 175. We do not want to replicate Medical Council of India. We want to bring together seven-eight colleges in an area and get them affiliated to one university. It will be easier to manage. Questionnaire was sent to 900 colleges about infrastructure and faculty and only 600 replied. We do not know if the remaining 300 exist or not."


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