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NLSIU to double intake from 2012

In what will be its biggest expansion since inception, the iconic National Law School of India University (NLSIU) Bangalore will double its intake from 2012.

The premier L-school, which now admits 80 students, including five foreign nationals for its five-year BA-LLB programme, will open its doors to 160 candidates from next year.

"The law school has built an image for itself. Being a fully residential school, we need to have adequate infrastructure in place and quality faculty to maintain high standards. If focus is not on them, it would be like putting the cart before the horse. Our new classrooms should be ready this year and we also plan to hire more faculty so that the intake could be doubled from next year," NLSIU vice-chancellor R Venkata Rao said.

Limited intake has been a long pending issue, with even the Chief Justice of India-appointed school review commission saying that the L-school was not justified in restricting the enrolment to 80 for long. Doubling intake, the commission said, would not only see more students joining the legal profession, but substantially cut down the cost per student. NLSIU currently charges an annual fee of around Rs 1.72 lakh for general category students.

In addition to its two existing two-year LLM programmes in human rights law and business laws, the L-school proposed to launch a new dedicated master's programme in teaching law. "We want to identify undergraduate students with an aptitude for teaching and encourage them to take up this course (LLM-Teaching). There are a number of alumni who also want to come back and teach at the law school. This will help us overcome the shortage of faculty across law schools in India," Rao said.

On the contentious issue of providing caste-based reservation to locals, the V-C said: "Local aspirations have to be respected. I believe in equitable justice. There is a meeting of the executive council later this month and I am sure a judicious decision will be taken. I believe that we can evolve a model whereby local aspirations are met and the national character of the institute is also maintained."

More National Law Schools coming

Soon, every state will have a national law university. To usher in the second-generation reforms in legal education, the Union law and justice minister has convened a meeting of vice-chancellors of leading national law universities on June 13 to discuss the proposed National Law Schools Bill that aims to set up world-class law schools.

India now has 14 national schools. The Centre also proposes to set up autonomous, well-networked centres for advancement of legal studies and research in each region. They will serve as a think tank for advising the government in national and international fora. One such centre is likely to be set up at NLSIU, Bangalore.

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