State govt. cuts grants for NLSIU by 75%

The State government has reduced grants to the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) by 75% for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Over the last three years, the government had been allocating ₹2 crore to the university as maintenance grants for each academic year, but for 2020-21, it has allocated only ₹50 lakh. This comes at a time when the State government has reserved 25 seats in NLSIU for local students for the 2020-21 academic year.

The total budget outlay for the university is ₹30 crore and the largest revenue source of the university is student fees. Currently, the student intake for their flagship BA LLB honours programme is 80 and 50 for their LLM programmes. Since its inception, NLSIU has received ₹16 crore funding from the State government.

Vignesh R., president, Student Bar Association of NLSIU, said that the university was in the process of revamping the infrastructure and expanding to accommodate more students.

“At such a juncture we need a steady source of revenue and it will help in ensuring that the funding from the State government does not reduce,” he said.

Fee hike

In fact, NLSIU had hiked its fees by more than 27% across the board for the 2019-2020 academic year which was met with opposition from students, who warned that the premier legal research institute will eventually exclude aspirants from socio-economically backward sections. The management had argued that the hike was necessary to meet a rise in costs and payment of salaries.

The cut in grants has come as a huge disappointment to students and faculty members.

NLSIU is ranked number 1 across the country in the National Institutional Ranking Framework rankings under the law category.

Kanishka Singh, vice-president of the SBA, said this decision may impact financial aid to students. “While we seek to ensure that we are inclusive in our policies at the university and no one is prevented from studying at the university due to financial constraints, any cut in funding might end up having an adverse impact on the scholarships or financial support that is extended to the students,” he said.

According to NLSIU sources, the government’s decision will have a “drastic impact on the functioning of the university”.

“The university will have to tap into its alumni network and reach out to private philanthropists as well as find new dynamic programmes,” said a source.

When contacted, Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister J.C. Madhuswamy told The Hindu that he would ensure that no funding was cut to the university. He said that this would be rectified.

The university does not receive any funding from the Cente ral government but does receive grants from the State as it was established under a State government legislation.

According to the National Law School of India (Amendment) Act 2020, 25% of the seats have been reserved for students from the State. Any student who has studied in Karnataka for 10 years will be eligible for the reservation.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2022 1:57:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/state-govt-cuts-grants-for-nlsiu-by-75/article31769182.ece

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