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Protest in front of NLSIU demanding reservation for Karnataka students

January 21, 2023 09:57 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:03 am IST - Bengaluru

Various outfits staged a protest outside the National Law School of India University in Bengaluru on Saturday.

Various outfits staged a protest outside the National Law School of India University in Bengaluru on Saturday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Members of various organisations, including Dalit, farmer, and advocates associations, protested in front of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru, on Saturday against the manner in which the varsity has implemented the 25% reservation for Karnataka students.

The protesters raised slogans against NLSIU and demanded immediate implementation of the Karnataka students reservation policy at the university.

In their memorandum to the Chief Justice of India, A.P. Ranganatha, former president, Advocates’ Association Bengaluru, and A.N. Gangadharaiah, former general secretary, said: “By adopting a compartmentalised horizontal reservation, NLSIU has defeated the very purpose of introducing domicile reservation for students hailing from Karnataka in NLSIU. Instead of providing domicile reservation to the tune of 25%, in exclusion of students hailing from Karnataka who qualify under the all India quota, NLSIU has rather deceptively merged students who qualify under the all India quota and those who gain admission under the domicile reservation category, and restricted the percentage of students from Karnataka who may gain admission into NLSIU to a maximum of 25%.”

They also alleged that NLSIU has opted to make a marked departure from the scheme of domicile reservation followed by other national universities and this has deprived students of Karnataka from gaining admission to NLSIU. “The counselling process for admissions into national law schools for the academic year 2023-24 is under way. However, classes are scheduled to commence only from July 2023. We request you to ensure that the domicile reservation policy followed by NLSIU is in sync with the domicile reservation policies followed by other national law schools across India from this academic year itself, and also ensure that the proportion of students from Karnataka being admitted to NLSIU is not artificially restricted to 25%,” the memorandum added.

NLSIU Vice-Chancellor Sudhir Krishnaswamy met the gathering and received their memorandum. “The university fully complies with the applicable law and decisions of its governing bodies, and we will continue to do so. The memorandum will be placed before the governing body for their consideration,” an NLSIU statement later said.

The university also released a set of FAQs on its website regarding the issue. “NLSIU reserves 25% of seats for Karnataka students on a horizontal basis. Since the year 2021, the university voluntarily adopted the 25% compartmentalised horizontal reservation for Karnataka students under the NLSIU Inclusion and Expansion Plan 2021-25. Prior to this, no Karnataka student reservation policy was in place at NLSIU between 1988 and 2020,” it said.

“From the academic year 2024-25, 135 Karnataka students will be admitted per year to NLSIU, in keeping with an increase to overall student intake. By academic year 2026-27, under the University’s Inclusion and Expansion Plan, we aim to ensure that the minimum number of Karnataka students studying law programmes at the University will increase to around 500 students,” the FAQ further stated.   

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