Interviews

IDIA UP Chapter scholars, Sumyya and Anmol Raj, qualified the Common Law Admission Test, 2021. Sumyya, who secured All India Rank 1215, will be joining RML National Law University, Lucknow. Anmol bagged All India Rank 91 (PWD), and will attend National Law University, Odisha.

They are interviewed by EBC-SCC Ambassador Vanaj Vidyan, who is a fourth-year student at RML National Law University.

Congratulations on successfully qualifying CLAT 2021.

 

  1. Before we get to the formal questions, let us begin by asking how you feel about the results? Were you expecting this phenomenal performance?

 

Sumyya:  It is absolutely surreal. I was never certain that I would actually score enough to get into a top NLU. There were always lingering doubts that sometimes would be so strong that it would make me want to give up. But because of my mother I kept pushing through. I kept working everyday to the best of my abilities and it makes me so happy to see them bear fruit.

 

Anmol: Not at all. It is a very nice but strange feeling because it is like something you were too scared to imagine, actually taking place. I will never forget the day when I got to know about my results. It is a very special day for me.

  1. Please introduce yourself to our readers. Was deciding to study law a conscious choice? What motivated you for that?

 

Sumyya: Hello everyone. I am Sumyya. I hail from Amroha, Uttar Pradesh. I love reading and writing diaries and letters. Moreover, I am also into coding and web designing. Studying law was not the first option I had in my mind. I have an active interest in politics and when I was young, I wanted to be the Prime Minister of India. As a teenager, I wanted to change the world by pursuing a bachelor’s degree in History from St. Stephens College and thereafter cracking civil services. But entry into St. Stephens and civil services both are not that easy, and one also cannot be so sure about it. It was only after opting for humanities in 12th that I realised I want to work at the grassroot level. So I need to be equipped with the right knowledge to be able to work for the betterment of society. That is when I thought of pursuing law and started searching all about the 5-year law degree.

 

Anmol: Hi, I am Anmol Raj from Sonbhadra, Uttar Pradesh. I live with my parents and my elder brother. I am visually impaired. I love to play online chess and I also have an interest in technology. Inspiration for choosing law came from various sources. One of my father’s friends, who is a lawyer, was the first source of inspiration. When I moved to Lucknow to continue my studies after a long gap of 5 years, one of my teacher’s family members was also in the legal field. She informed me about the possibilities of succeeding in this field despite being visually impaired. I thought about it and decided that I want to help those who fail to afford legal aid due to financial inability.

 

  1. Tell us a little about your educational background. Where did you complete your Class XII? Any memories you would like to share associated with your school life?

 

Sumyya: I did my schooling from Aligarh Muslim University Board and secured 93% in humanities in 12th standard. I stayed in the hostel there. Initially, I did not want to open up to people because I was too apprehensive of sharing my life experiences and struggles as I am a single child of a single mother. I am just 17 but I have gone through a lot. I was shy and reticent, but after being in the hostel, I learnt a lot from everyone. I realised that everybody suffers in one way or another. And now, I am a completely different person because of the people I met throughout the years.

 

Anmol: I have had blurred vision in my left eye since birth due to a defect. I completely lost my vision in both eyes just 2 months before the 10th board exams. Thereafter, I lost 5 years of my academic life in treatment. When I resumed my schooling in 2017, I had to start from Class 9th so again I was dragged back by 2 years. But when I started, I was motivated and I worked hard to make up for all the lost time. I was academically inclined and used to participate in debates, and all other activities within my reach. Once, I went for a rehabilitation course of three-and-a-half months in Mumbai; there I was trained in mobility, and computers as well. I was awarded 1st prize for scoring highest in academics, computers, and games (mental and physical). That was a defining moment for me after that long frustrating gap of 5 years during which I felt I was losing my skill sets. I felt great and since then I have not looked back and always tried to give my best in everything.

  1. Not everyone is privileged when it comes to higher education financially or otherwise. Family support usually plays a crucial role. Would you like to share something about how your family supported your preparations? How was their reaction on coming to know of your success?

 

Sumyya: My mother is an Anganwadi worker. She is my only family. She is everything to me. What she has done for me and is still doing, it is impossible for me to express. She stood beside me at every point of my life as the biggest support system. I was not so sure about cracking CLAT but she motivated me and made me believe in myself. I used to study at night, so she used to wake up to check upon me and to see if I needed something. When I had started my preparation, I was skipping mocks and had got a lot piled up in the last 3 months. I completed all the mocks because my mother made me conquer my fear of mocks and also made me accountable for them. And that I believe it made the difference. Along with my mother, my paternal uncle (chacha) was also there for me, emotionally and financially. He took out time from his busy schedule to help me study and motivate me. I will forever be grateful for that.

When I told them about my success, they were all happy and proud of me.

 

Anmol: My parents and my elder brother have always been supportive of me. After my vision loss, they took great care of me and motivated me a lot. It was only because of their strength and encouragement that I could resume my education.

When I told them about my results, they were very delighted and proud.

  1. Could you share something about your CLAT preparations? How did you get to know about IDIA?

 

Sumyya: This question reminds me of a quote from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

Likewise, until I stopped preparing for CLAT, I never loved it.

I started my CLAT preparations in 2021. Like every other student, I started with an aim to be at NLS but I am grateful for RMLNLU as well.

This year was no different from last year, with covid deaths, lockdowns, online classes, uncertainty over board exams, and much more. Some days I used to be highly motivated, and other days, my pessimistic self had adverse effects on my preparation. But I was fortunate enough to have my mother and IDIA by my side. My IDIA mentors helped me out a lot, from concept-related doubts to analysing my strategy, my mocks, and  pushing me to do more. Watching videos of the past year toppers helped me get through it too. It was only then I came across a video of one last year’s rank holder, therein I came across IDIA. After researching about it, I tried to contact through Instagram; within a few days IDIA UP Chapter contacted me.

 

Anmol: Initially, when I had decided that I wanted to pursue law, I did not know about CLAT and NLUs. It was only in September 2020 when a friend of mine provided me with a link saying that since you want to pursue law this webinar may help you. I joined it and it was IDIA’s sensitisation session. I got to know everything I needed to know about CLAT and other law entrance examinations, NLUs, and the diverse career options as well. I contacted the IDIA UP Chapter immediately through the contact info provided during the session. And I did not look back ever since. The study material provided and the regular interaction with my mentors really helped me. Not only it was useful in maintaining regularity in my schedule but was helpful in releasing the exam-related stress.

  1. What was the IDIA selection process? Once you got selected, how did IDIA help you?

Sumyya: I wrote INAT i.e. IDIA National Aptitude Test. After passing INAT, the background check was done. Then I was inducted as a trainee in the Chapter in December and started my CLAT preparation. Mentors from the IDIA team were allotted and study material was also provided. With the help of my mentors, I started going through the study material. I was so motivated and excited in the beginning that I completed the study material for English in just 2 days. I was enrolled in a coaching but since I had started late, I had a lot of pending classes. I started with the very first class but that made me to skip mocks. That was the biggest blunder I made. But thankfully with my mentors’ help I realised my mistake and I got back on the right track within a month. I was not so confident with current affairs but the weekly quizzes organised by IDIA team helped me prepare well. Logical reasoning classes conducted by IDIA volunteers were a definite plus.

 

Anmol: I wrote INAT and after the background check process was done, I was inducted as a trainee in the Chapter. IDIA guided me at every step of my preparation. The mentors made me familiar with the entrance exam pattern. Since I had to prepare for my 12th boards as well, my mentors planned my studies for me and I started with the IDIA’s study material which really helped me solidify the basics in each section. I depend on the screen reader for reading and the soft copy of the study material made it accessible for me which otherwise would not have been possible. I was enrolled in a coaching and tests started from January. I attempted the test, got to know about my mistakes and worked on them with the help of my mentors. The one-on-one sessions with the mentors, the logical reasoning classes, and the weekly current affairs quizzes helped me a lot and this direct interaction proved to be fruitful.

Being visually impaired, I needed a scribe to accompany me in the exam but I was not able to find one. It was only in one of the logical reasoning classes of IDIA that I met my scribe. In fact, he himself came forward to help me. He has really worked hard for me and I am extremely grateful to him for that.

  1. CLAT is often accused of being an examination for the elite, for excluding financially weak students with Rs 4000 fee, and excluding State board students with its English-exclusive nature. Do you concur with this statement? Do you think you would have prepared for CLAT if not for IDIA? And if yes, how would your circumstances be different?

 

Sumyya:  I wholeheartedly agree with this. I feel CLAT is getting further and further away from the general population of India and as you mentioned, becoming a poster child of the elite. I know many people who had to work extra hard for this test just because they did not have the privilege to be taught in english medium schools. I think it is very wrong to have made the language of the privileged few as the means to success in this exam. But IDIA has truly helped me a lot to overcome this barrier. The mentors and other seniors guiding us, despite being busy, would never shy away from lending an extra hand and solving our doubts. They would keep sending us important worksheets and PDFs to help strengthen our command of this language. Had it not been for them it would have been very difficult for us. Preparing for CLAT without IDIA’s help was out of the question for me. It would not have been possible at all to even think of sitting for the exam without their financial and academic help.

 

Anmol: Yes, I believe that the current CLAT pattern gives unfair advantage to a certain sect of students. I have heard of debates regarding English being the all means all of CLAT.Of course, I feel it is wrong. It gets restricted to a very small pool of people and prevents diversity in these premiere institutes which is quite detrimental. I hope the consortium works towards this. And for the exclusivity of students from financially weak backgrounds is concerned, I remember losing all hope when I learnt about how much it costs to take the test and the fee structure of the NLUs. We could not afford it. I was ready to compromise my dream. And then I got to know about IDIA which changed everything for me. Finally, it felt like there was some hope and maybe I could actually do what I have always wanted to do after all. So yes, IDIA has played a huge role in this. I would not be here if it were not for them.

  1. Did the online nature of the past year affect your CLAT preparations? What were some other hardships you faced? What motivated you to keep going through them?

Sumyya: Yes, it did affect my preparation a bit. I think the biggest drawback of online preparation is that the sense of competitiveness is missing in online classes. I am a really competitive person. Seeing others doing well, I get motivated to do better. Interaction among the co-aspirants and with the teacher also becomes tricky in the online mode. The IDIA mock score list helped me here to an extent. I used to compare the topper’s scores with mine and analyse what it is that I am lacking. My IDIA mentors were there to solve my doubts anytime and the weekly quizzes used to be interactive as well. So, there were some drawbacks and hardships but there were benefits too. Since I had started late, the online mode allowed me to catch up on all the classes I had missed which could not have been possible had it been the offline mode.

A lot was going on in the country throughout the year so, there were some days of motivation and some days of distress as well. But I kept in mind the sacrifices my mother has made and her faith in me kept me going. Her hard work made me work harder.

 

Anmol: Yes, the online nature of the preparation did affect me a bit. I used to have major network issues because I was at home in a rural area. I had to plan my day as per the network availability. But it was manageable. I had the benefit of watching the class videos multiple times which helped me in revising. It is true that the sense of competition is lacking in the online mode but I believe online mode has more benefits for me than disadvantages.

I have had some moments when I wished to give up, especially on not scoring good in mocks. But I always tried to focus my mind on why did I start, why do I want to do this, what do I want to achieve, what would be that happiness when I succeed? All these thoughts kept me motivated since I did not want my dream to remain a dream only.

  1. You will now garner five years of knowledge at a national law university. Do you plan to apply it for giving back to society?

 

Sumyya: Yes, definitely. In fact, this was my motivation to opt for law in the first place. I do not want to work in the corporate sector. I wish to go for judiciary or litigation so that I am able to fulfil my aspirations of working for the society.

 

Anmol: Yes, I want to use the knowledge I will acquire to help people like me, like IDIA does. I wish to become a criminal lawyer. That is what I have in mind for now, it may change after 5 years, but one thing is certain that I will work to the best of my capacity for the downtrodden people.

  1. There are millions of talented students who fail to access quality higher education in India. Your performance in CLAT serves as an example to all such students. What would be a message you would send to an underprivileged student, who harnesses the same dream as you?

Sumyya: The only message I have for all such students is: believe in yourself. It is true that people prepare for 2-3 years to get into a law school but if you work hard consistently without committing many mistakes, you can do it with a few months of preparation as well. Things may not go the way you have planned, but do not panic, just believe in yourself.

 

Anmol: My online advice would be: work hard to improve your weak areas, do not waste your precious time. If I can do it, anyone can.


The interviewer thanks IDIA UP Chapter for facilitating this interview.

IDIA needs your help to sponsor the education of these students. They have shown their mettle and money should not stand in their way of pursuing their education. If you want to contribute towards their education, please write to info@idialaw.org.

Read more about IDIA here: https://www.idialaw.org/

Get in touch with IDIA here: info@idialaw.org

Get in touch with IDIA UP Chapter here: rmlnluteam@idialaw.org

IDIA

CLAT results are out and IDIA students from diverse backgrounds have shown outstanding success despite many challenges posed by their circumstances. IDIA Charitable Trust (IDIA) is ready to welcome its new batch of Scholars in 2021 with at least 10 of its Trainees being eligible for admission to top law colleges in the first list. Around 10 more Trainees are expected to gain admission in the subsequent lists.

These students come from underprivileged backgrounds and have overcome many odds to crack one of the most competitive entrance examinations in the country. The pandemic posed new challenges with an ensuing digital divide that made online preparation and training a tough barrier for many of them to overcome. They have come from different parts across India, but are united in their goal to make a difference by contributing towards their communities and society through law.

Swabhiman Jayant Patil who was rigorously trained by IDIA has secured an AIR 42 in CLAT 2021 by scoring 106.75 marks out of 150. His father is a hard-working farmer and he hails from Kurdu, a small village in the Solapur district of Maharashtra. Understanding the importance of education, his family moved to Pune. Swabhiman came across IDIA through an awareness session conducted by IDIA volunteers in his college. He trained hard with IDIA by attempting mocks, attending lectures and revising continuously. His well-deserved success is an inspiration.

Another IDIA Trainee, Mayank Kumar who got AIR 97, hails from Khagaria district of Bihar. He is hardworking, goal oriented and a focused individual. His father is the sole bread earner and earns just around Rs. 15-20,000 through a small dairy business and farming. Mayank says that law is a tool which helps the society to prosper, and he would like to help his community through his legal training. The pandemic had forced his family to move to his village whereby it was very difficult for him to study due to lack of space and laptop, but his neighbours stepped in to support him. Now, he wants to give back to his community!

IDIA is a nationwide movement that selects and trains students from marginalized and underprivileged backgrounds to crack CLAT and other law entrance examinations. Once selected to top law colleges, IDIA gives them a holistic scholarship that includes financial assistance, trainings, mentorship etc. The aim is to create community leaders and change-makers who are CHAMPS (Creative, Holistic, Altruistic, Maverick/Moral, Problem Solvers). It is hoped that this will help empower communities by creating capacity from within. In the last ten years, 129 students from underprivileged backgrounds have been inducted as IDIA Scholars while more than 550 students have been trained by the organisation.

The success of these students is a result of the hard work of the student team members across law colleges in India who worked tirelessly to train them for the law entrance examinations. We are also thankful to our training partners that include some of the coaching institutes, trainers, and centers across India who helped us in training some of these students.


IDIA needs your help to sponsor the education of these students. They have shown their mettle and money should not stand in their way of pursuing their education! If you want to contribute towards their education, please write to info@idialaw.org.

Read more about IDIA here: https://www.idialaw.org/

Get in touch with them here: info@idialaw.org

IDIA

Soumya Manugonda comes from Penugonda village in Telangana. She is visually impaired by birth and has completed her schooling till 10th standard from the Devnar School for the Blind, Hyderabad. She completed the studies for the 11th and 12th standard from the Sai Junior College for Visually Challenged, Hyderabad. She is a very bright student and scored 8 CGPA in tenth standard and 82% in twelfth standard in Telangana State Board. She has had very humble beginnings – her parents are farmers and she has just one younger brother.

Soumya got to know about IDIA three years ago when she was in the eleventh standard, and since then she has been preparing for the law entrance exam under the guidance of IDIA Hyderabad team. Throughout the two years of her preparation she faced many hurdles ranging from family issues, economic challenges, network issues when she went back to her village, etc. However, Soumya never lost hope and finally emerged victorious.

There were weeks when she could not study due to lack of internet and other facilities but she made sure that whatever opportunities she got, she made good use of. This particular quote by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross would sum up what Soumya has endured during this journey-

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

Our volunteers have witnessed Soumya’s growth as a deeply compassionate human being full of positivity and hope. She never once gave up. Soumya is very motivated to make a career in law and aspires to be a successful corporate lawyer one day.

She credits her success to her family, especially her mother, the IDIA team for constant guidance and her lovely teachers at Devnar and Sai Junior who made sure that she had all the facilities to concentrate on her studies.


About IDIA:

IDIA is a pan-India movement to train underprivileged students and help transform them into leading lawyers and community advocates. IDIA is premised on the notion that access to premier legal education empowers marginalized communities and helps them help themselves. IDIA selects and trains students from underprivileged backgrounds (IDIA Trainees) to crack top law entrance examinations in India. Once they are admitted to top law colleges, it provides a scholarship to these students (IDIA Scholars) that comprises financial support, training and mentorship among other things.

Read more about IDIA here: https://www.idialaw.org/

Get in touch with them here: info@idialaw.org


SCC Online is now on Telegram and Instagram. Join our channel @scconline on Telegram and @scconline_ on Instagram and stay updated with the latest legal news from within and outside India


Read more such stories here:

IDIA Stories

IDIA

Udai Maurya is a student who exemplifies determination and focus. A student of acute knowledge, Udai has previously performed exceptionally well in both, academics and extracurricular activities. He secured an 8.4 CGPA in Class 10 and went on to achieve a stellar 80% in his Class 12 Board Exams.

While pursuing his school education, Udai was a member of various committees, and participated in diverse activities such as cricket, kabbadi, and quizzes not only at the school level but also at the district and state levels.

Udai’s father is a farmer, and he is the youngest son in a family of four. His dedication towards becoming a supporting pillar for his family is unparalleled. To pursue his passion of being a changemaker in society, Udai secured admission to study BA. (Law & Politics) at Ambedkar University, Delhi. He was elected to the Student-Faculty Committee therein. His zeal and ardor towards understanding law more closely prompted him to begin preparing for law entrance examinations.

Udai soon joined as a trainee with the IDIA Delhi Chapter, and displayed spectacular consistency in his preparation, even with his University studies. He scored a remarkable 121.25 in CLAT 2019. Highly motivated to get into one of the top NLUs, Udai jumped into preparation once again and studied diligently throughout the year. He was always regular to classes and mock analysis sessions.

His effort paid off sweetly, as he performed phenomenally in CLAT 2020. As of now, Udai has secured a spot at Ram Manohar Lohia National Law University, Lucknow. Udai’s teachers and mentors have always been extremely confident about his performance, not only in law entrances, but also in life ahead. All of us at IDIA are incredibly proud of Udai’s unmatched perseverance and sincerity, and wish him all the luck for the future!


About IDIA:

IDIA is a pan-India movement to train underprivileged students and help transform them into leading lawyers and community advocates. IDIA is premised on the notion that access to premier legal education empowers marginalized communities and helps them help themselves. IDIA selects and trains students from underprivileged backgrounds (IDIA Trainees) to crack top law entrance examinations in India. Once they are admitted to top law colleges, it provides a scholarship to these students (IDIA Scholars) that comprises financial support, training and mentorship among other things.

Read more about IDIA here: https://www.idialaw.org/

Get in touch with them here: info@idialaw.org


SCC Online is now on Telegram and Instagram. Join our channel @scconline on Telegram and @scconline_ on Instagram and stay updated with the latest legal news from within and outside India


Read more such stories here:

IDIA Stories

IDIA

Call for applications to be part of the Training & Materials Vertical of the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) Project, in the capacity of Members of the Vertical.

The IDIA Project was initiated by Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer to reach out to the marginalized and under-represented groups, sensitize them to law as a viable career option and help interested students acquire admission in law schools, which are otherwise increasingly elitist spaces. The hope is that increasing access to legal education would contribute immensely to empowerment of the marginalized and underprivileged students and the communities they represent. To know more about the project, visit www.idialaw.org

The Training and Materials Vertical (T&M Team) of IDIA is responsible for preparation of training-material for our trainees to practice with. The Team is inviting applications in the capacity of Members. The work will include preparing:

  1. Learning Material 

To adapt to the new CLAT pattern that is heavily analytical and comprehension based, we aim to create extensive material that our trainees can utilise to learn concepts and read faster. This will include creating short explanations in very simple language on the various legal, mathematical, english, logical and static general knowledge questions that frequent the new pattern. The subject matter will be as per the requirements of the trainees. The explanations can be in the nature of documents, video training, voice notes, or games.

Thus, this project shall enable you to implement unique learning methods in your material to help make the process both fun and informative. Moreover, the new pattern will require original thinking to create comprehension-based questions of 400-500 words per question. If you have a sound grasp of subject areas tested through law entrance examinations, and wish to disseminate this knowledge country-wide then please do apply!

  1. Mock Tests

We will be required to create mock tests in accordance with the new examination pattern. The work would entail:

  • Creating mock tests calibrated to different difficulty levels.
  • Proof-reading questions and answer keys in pre-existing Mock Tests.
  • Administering tests and analysing test results so as to give detailed, individualised feedback to test-takers.

Over the years, our trainees have greatly benefited from regular feedback on their performance. In addition to designing questions, you will have an opportunity to extensively engage with our new platform, code tests, and conduct data analysis using MS Excel. Once again, prior knowledge of these tools is NOT a prerequisite.

Position:

Members: Members will be taken for each of the subjects forming part of the CLAT/AILET pattern namely English, Maths, Logical Reasoning, Legal Reasoning and General Knowledge.

While you have the option of applying for more than one subject, it should be made clear that you will ultimately be selected only for one position.

Qualifications required:

The minimum qualifications for this post are the following:

  1. The T&M Vertical must be first priority for you. You should be able to spare at least 5-6 hours a week for this work.
  2. It is essential that you believe in and be committed to IDIA’s cause.
  3. Good communication skills along with leadership qualities are also a must.

Incentives:

The biggest incentive in working as part of IDIA is, of course, the satisfaction of having made a great contribution towards a great cause. However, if the promise of a social revolution and transforming someone’s life is not good enough for you, some material incentives which you could consider are:

  1. IDIA’s various supporters and donors (including some of the leading law firms) have agreed to grant internship opportunities to best performing IDIA volunteers. In the past, IDIA has nominated its best performing volunteers for internships at top law firms such as JSA, Trilegal, Luthra and Luthra, AZB etc. as well as companies like GE, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis etc.
  2. An exceptional IDIA team leader/deputy team leader could be nominated for a series of awards including a fellowship instituted by a leading lawyer (IDIA: Sagar Fellowships) that pays a good sum each month.
  3. A certificate highlighting your contribution to IDIA and providing an assessment of your work.

Application Process:

Those interested in applying may fill in this form and prepare a set of 10 questions( as per the new pattern) on their preferred choice of subject. The deadline to fill in the form and submit the assignment is 11:59 P.M. Saturday, 27th February 2021. The assignments should be uploaded on the above-mentioned google form and kindly name the files you upload as ‘<Your Name>_<Preferred subject>’ (e.g., Piyush Tiwari_Legal Reasoning.docx). Please also email your assignment(s) to trainingandmaterials@idialaw.org before the deadline.

Nature of Assignment:

This assignment will essentially entail preparation of 10 questions on your preferred choice of subject. The questions must be based on CLAT’s new pattern and adherence to the same will be the primary criteria of evaluation.

For submitting your assignment, prepare a word document containing the set of questions, along with a separate word document having answers accompanied by brief explanations. Each question must have 4 options, as per CLAT’s format, and must follow a uniform numbering format. Refrain from plagiarising questions from other sources. While the passages/excerpts may be the same, the questions have to be original.

Evaluation will be based on:

  • Adherence to the new pattern
  • Accuracy of questions
  • Originality of the submissions.
  • Formatting – Please make sure the questions fall in a uniform numbered list. It is imperative that all questions (as well as their options) under one heading be connected in a single, automatic numbered list.
  • Quality of answer explanations.
  • Explanations for GK may be based on elaborating facts, or providing context to the answer.

Applicants having past experience with similar projects are encouraged to apply, although that is not a strict requirement for selection. Members of regional teams are also encouraged to apply.

Note to the applicants: As the CLAT pattern has been changed this year and is heavily analytical and comprehension based. Hence, we suggest everyone to go through the guide to UG CLAT-2020 available here, before starting with the assignments. This will enable you to understand the pattern clearly. The word limit for questions is also given in the above-mentioned guide, conformity with the same is expected and will also be taken into account for evaluation. For illustration purposes, sample questions are available here and here.

Deadline:

All submissions must be completed by 11:59 PM, Saturday, 27th February 2021. Delays will not be condoned, failure to submit a task will lead to the rejection of your application.

Needless to say, each of these projects would require you to maintain a high level of professionalism and meet strict deadlines. In case of any doubt(s), please feel free to write to Piyush Tiwari (trainingandmaterials@idialaw.org), we would be happy to answer your queries or take up suggestions.

Law School NewsOthers

About the Organisation

Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education commonly abbreviated as IDIA is a non-profit organisation working in India, which was founded by late Dr. Shamnad Basheer. It aims to empower underprivileged children by giving them access to quality legal education. It is a student run movement to train underprivileged students and help them transform into leading lawyers and community advocates. For more information, (refer HERE).

About the Event

With an aim to promote legal research and scholarship, IDIA Uttar Pradesh Chapter feels delighted to announce the 2nd edition of National Essay Writing Competition, 2021 as a part of its fundraising initiative in collaboration with the Centre for Criminal Justice Administration (CCJA) of Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University.

The authors are encouraged to submit essays, concerned with Criminal Law. The theme mentioned herein is to be construed broadly to include Criminology, International Criminal Law, Comparative and Procedural Criminal Law as well as allied socio-legal disciplines.

Register at: HERE latest by March 05, 2021

Incentives:

  • The winner shall receive a cash prize of Rs.1000.
  • Top 10 entries shall receive an e-certificate of Merit
  • Top 3 entries shall receive an e-certificate of Excellence alongwith a publication of their essay on the CCJA website.
  • Every participant shall receive an e-certificate of participation.

To download the brochure and fetch elaborate details on the event, visit: HERE 

Last date of Submission: March 05, 2021

Minimum Contribution for Registration:

Single authorship: Rs. 150/-

Co-authorship: Rs. 200/-

For any kind of queries, please reach out to –

Saurav Kumar: +91-9546150571

Akanksha: +91-6396476980

or mail us at- idialucknowfr@gmail.com

IDIA

A glimpse of Anand Kumar’s Journey

Background

Anand Kumar hails from ‘Masaurhi’, a small town that is 30 kms away from Patna. He is a highly motivated and hardworking student. His father is a retired army personnel and their total monthly family income is around Rs. 19,000. He has two elder sisters, both of whom are preparing for competitive examinations, and his mother is a homemaker. Anand completed his tenth standard from the St. Mary’s School, Masaurhi (Patna), scoring a CGPA of 8 out of 10.

Since his father sought an early retirement from the army, Anand had to complete his twelfth standard from a Government school – Ram Naresh Senyai School, Kurtha where he scored 65% in his examinations. In his free time, he likes to play sports, especially cricket.

When did Anand decide that he wanted to attempt CLAT?

After his 12th standard, Anand initially started to prepare for NEET Examination due to family pressure, but after one failed attempt, he took some time off to figure out what actually suits him and that is when he came across law as a profession and decided to attempt CLAT.

Anand Kumar came to know about IDIA through one of his seniors in school who is currently studying in CNLU, Patna. He qualified among many students who gave the IDIA National Aptitude Test, and was selected as an IDIA Trainee.

According to him, law is the best subject he can study. He believes that law is an important aspect of everyone’s life and it plays an integral role in a nation’s growth and development. He is determined to study law and contribute towards the development of his community.

Anand has secured an impressive AIR 5 in CLAT 2020 with an outstanding score of 117 out of 150 and has been allotted NLSIU in the first CLAT list. The total cost of studying at NLSIU, Bangalore, inclusive of tuition, hostel and mess expenses, internship, and nominal living expenses is INR 5 lakhs for the first year. Please come forward and help Anand achieve his dream of becoming a lawyer!

For a detailed break up of Anand’s expenses, write to us at prateek@idialaw.org


About IDIA:

IDIA is a pan-India movement to train underprivileged students and help transform them into leading lawyers and community advocates. IDIA is premised on the notion that access to premier legal education empowers marginalized communities and helps them help themselves. IDIA selects and trains students from underprivileged backgrounds (IDIA Trainees) to crack top law entrance examinations in India. Once they are admitted to top law colleges, it provides a scholarship to these students (IDIA Scholars) that comprises financial support, training and mentorship among other things.

Read more about IDIA here: https://www.idialaw.org/

Get in touch with them here: info@idialaw.org


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IDIA

Bask into the Glory of this IDIA Scholar — Sheetal Kumari

Early Years

My name is Sheetal Kumari. I come from a tribal community and belong to a lower-middle-class family. I live in a small village in Kanke, Ranchi. I live with my mother and father and have 2 sisters. I passed my tenth exam from Cambrian Public School and my twelfth from Ursuline Intermediate College, Ranchi.

Background

I come from a community that is socially and economically backward. There is lack of awareness amongst the community members about the basic rights and duties of the citizens. This is the reason I wanted to pursue legal education so that I can work towards ensuring that all members can exercise their legal rights better by spreading awareness. There are very few girl children in my community who are getting a higher education and they are usually married at a very early age. I witnessed this kind of situation in my own village where girls are married at a very young age.

Legal Education

Thus, I want to get a legal education to fight for their rights. I know that our government provides many facilities for the betterment of our community but very few people get these benefits as they are not aware and also not very educated. So I want to spread awareness and make the people aware of their rights.

Preparation for CLAT

My father, Rajan Ram is a security guard in NUSRL, Ranchi and through the students of this college my father got to know about IDIA and he told me about this. Later I used to come to NUSRL as a trainee and many of the students helped me in preparing for CLAT. They used to give me the study material of CLAT free of cost through which I have gained a lot of knowledge about this exam. When exams were coming soon they also sent me to CLAT coaching without any fees which help me a lot in cracking CLAT.

Initially, I was very nervous on giving law entrance exam but because of the hard work of my teachers and IDIA trainees, they gave me the confidence to crack this. They taught me how to manage time and accuracy in the exam and by following their guidance, I cracked the exam and when I received the results of the exam I was very happy and satisfied. My parents were also happy with my results. All my relatives came to congratulate me and gave their blessings for my bright and better future. But I was worried about studying in a national law university where students come from high-class backgrounds. Through IDIA I got admission to NUSRL.

College Life

When I got admitted to the University I felt very lucky to get this opportunity to study in this college. The college campus is very good and the food is also very tasty. I have made 4-5 friends and they are very helpful in nature. My classmates are also very helpful. Faculty members are also very helpful and cooperative in nature. They help us in developing our overall personality. I am very enthusiastic about the coming five years and I want to get the best education and lots of good experience and opportunities in the coming years. This college has given me excellent facilities and an environment to study – exactly what I need to succeed in life.


About IDIA:

IDIA is a pan-India movement to train underprivileged students and help transform them into leading lawyers and community advocates. IDIA is premised on the notion that access to premier legal education empowers marginalized communities and helps them help themselves. IDIA selects and trains students from underprivileged backgrounds (IDIA Trainees) to crack top law entrance examinations in India. Once they are admitted to top law colleges, it provides a scholarship to these students (IDIA Scholars) that comprises financial support, training and mentorship among other things.

Read more about IDIA here: https://www.idialaw.org/

Get in touch with them here: info@idialaw.org


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IDIA

Here’s the story of Biswajit Shil, an IDIA Scholar:

Background

My name is Biswajit Shil and I am studying at the WB National University of Juridical Sciences. I did my schooling from Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys Academy. I belong to the South Dinajpur district of West Bengal. I belong to a middle-class Bengali family.

My father is a farmer and a small businessman and my mother is a housewife. We are three brothers and one sister. Two of us are visually challenged. From my childhood, I am fighting against my physical disability and because of this, I had to face various kinds of problems in my life. Due to my disability, I also felt sad at times. From the beginning of my educational life, I was in a boarding school. After leaving home, I learned, socializing, how to overcome my disability, how to adjust with the other people and how to present myself in front of the society.

I can recall that I was neglected by some people before starting my education but they also appreciate me at present. Now I feel proud of myself because I am more eligible than many people of the society in spite of being physically disabled.

Preparation for CLAT

I am fond of listening to and playing music. I learned to play the violin in my school. I am fond of reading stories and novels as well. The role of IDIA in my life is incomparable and it is like a blessing of God on me. A sensitization programme was conducted by IDIA in our school. I was impressed by law as a meaningful career option and therefore I attended INAT for becoming an IDIA trainee. I did not do well in the first attempt and I was disappointed. I appeared again the second time and I got selected as an IDIA trainee. For preparing for CLAT, IDIA provided me training through admission to a coaching center. The IDIA members of NUJS also guided me with great care. Then I appeared for CLAT and got admission to the WB National University of Juridical Sciences.

Law School & the Hurdles

After coming to law school, I faced many kinds of problems. For instance, I come from a Bengali medium school and as such, the English language is a big issue for me. I do not know English well. For being a good lawyer, writing skills must be good, but I feel that my writing skills are very poor. I am determined to improve the same. My communication skills are not so good, as a result, I feel difficult to participate in the class properly. I cannot complete my everyday lessons in time. I face difficulties in doing my projects work as well. Apart from this, I cannot access the online database independently because I have low knowledge of computers. So, I am unable to do research work properly. As I cannot use hard copy material, I have to take the help of technology. Therefore, I feel I must take computer training.

IDIA Volunteers

After the classes, if I feel any difficulties, IDIA volunteers are eager to help me as much as they can. After coming to law school my confidence level has increased a lot. I hope that I can improve myself and I will be able to reach my goals in life of becoming a good lawyer and most importantly, a good human being.


About IDIA:

IDIA is a pan-India movement to train underprivileged students and help transform them into leading lawyers and community advocates. IDIA is premised on the notion that access to premier legal education empowers marginalized communities and helps them help themselves. IDIA selects and trains students from underprivileged backgrounds (IDIA Trainees) to crack top law entrance examinations in India. Once they are admitted to top law colleges, it provides a scholarship to these students (IDIA Scholars) that comprises financial support, training and mentorship among other things.

Read more about IDIA here: https://www.idialaw.org/

Get in touch with them here: info@idialaw.org


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IDIA

IDIA Scholar Mukesh Tomar will be the first person in his family to pursue higher education. He is the only person in his village who is studying law.

Mukesh, currently studying at National Law Institute University, Bhopal, worked with Abhedya Education and Welfare Society, an organization that works in the tribal villages. They distributed essential items to different villages during the lockdown. They also took an initiative to resolve the drinking water shortage in Mukesh’s village. People in his village have to travel almost a kilometer to get drinking water. When Mukesh returned home during the lockdown, he started working with others to repair the old Bawdi (step well). It also provided work to people who were left unemployed due to the lockdown.

Mukesh Tomar hails from Kekadiya, a small village in Madhya Pradesh. His father is a daily wage labourer and his mother is a homemaker. Despite the adverse financial situation at home, Mukesh has always been a bright student.  Mukesh also secured a scholarship from the Madhya Pradesh Government for having performed well in board examinations. He is interested in social work and engages himself in numerous legal aid and related activities on campus. For instance, he has been a part of the IDIA Madhya Pradesh Chapter as well as the Legal Aid Clinic of his University. In his free time, he loves to play Kho Kho and badminton. He has also run in marathons.

About IDIA:

IDIA is a pan-India movement to train underprivileged students and help transform them into leading lawyers and community advocates. IDIA is premised on the notion that access to premier legal education empowers marginalized communities and helps them help themselves. IDIA selects and trains students from underprivileged backgrounds (IDIA Trainees) to crack top law entrance examinations in India. Once they are admitted to top law colleges, it provides a scholarship to these students (IDIA Scholars) that comprises financial support, training and mentorship among other things.

Read more about IDIA here: https://www.idialaw.org/


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ObituariesOP. ED.

In Memory of Shamnad Basheer

— by Ruma Pal

I have just returned from attending a memorial service to pay tribute to the memory of Dr Shamnad Basheer held in the offices of IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Awareness). The meeting was small but meaningful and attended not only by members of Shamnad’s family, but also IDIA scholars and others who were associated with Shamnad and IDIA including Shishira Rudrappa. Memories were exchanged and what I will write today is a brief personal account of my association with Shamnad.

When I was associated with NUJS in Kolkata, both as a member of the Executive Council as well as a Professor, Shamnad came from George Washington University in the US to teach Intellectual Property at NUJS. He looked like a student and spoke so well at a lecture that he delivered, that both Dr M.P. Singh, the then Vice-Chancellor and I were persuaded to offer him the post of Chair Professor of the Intellectual Property Department. A few months later he approached both Professor Singh and me with the idea of setting up IDIA as a registered trust. We both agreed. And so began the genesis of what has turned out to be a huge enterprise. That IDIA has grown exponentially is beyond dispute. Shamnad left NUJS and ultimately the office of IDIA was set up at Bangalore. Although he was visiting Professor in Nirma University in Ahmedabad and subsequently of the University of Pennsylvania in the US (UPenn), he chose Bangalore because he was an ex-student of the National Law School there and also because he joined the chambers of an advocate who in fact had an abiding influence on him. It was factors such as these that ultimately led him to form IDIA and also that he had himself struggled to make it through law school.

Because of his extraordinary commitment to his subject—something which led him to even appear as an Amicus Curiae in Novartis case[1] —coupled with his commitment to IDIA, I recommended his name for the Infosys prize—the considerable prize money of which was no doubt used to meet the various commitments he already had including IDIA. By all accounts his generosity was unmatched.

We met earlier this year at UPenn where an international conference on the judiciary was being held. I was no doubt invited by UPenn at the instance of Shamnad. The conference ended somewhat disastrously because of a misunderstanding between the organisers and the invitees. I have written about this in detail in an article in The Hindu. Shamnad as usual played the role of resolving the differences between the organisers and myself. Later that night he had dinner with me in an Italian restaurant and ate well and promptly fell ill. This brings me to two other aspects of his character. He loved eating despite his ill health, something which troubled him greatly. From a strapping young ponytailed man he became almost emaciated.

I remember him being invited to deliver the convocation address in Sikkim University. His talk was so mesmerising that not only the students but the staff and even the guest of honour Mr Pawan Chamling were spellbound. He came despite his ill health and spoke as far as I remember mainly on how one can convert this ill health into strength.

But the most profound aspect of Shamnad’s personality was his deep spirituality—a spirituality which rose above divisions of religion and in pursuit of which in the end he died on the way to Chikmagalur in Karnataka. While at UPenn I had been to the Ramakrishna Mission at New York and had spoken to the Swamiji there, Swami Sarvapriyananda, of him. I had described him as a highly spiritually evolved person to the Swamiji. Subsequently he had been to see the Swamiji and attended his lecture.

I will conclude with an entirely personal note written to me on a book he presented to me last December on the Ashtavakra Gita[2] translated by Thomas Byrom:

“My dearest Ma’am, I cannot even begin to tell you how much you have come to mean to me. I feel a very special bond with you. Almost akin to a part life connect. Given our common search for meaning and appreciation for the metaphysical, I thought you might like this. Much love, Shamnad Basheer.”

He was a multifaceted personality. I am sure the other speakers have their own accounts of their interactions with him. Thank you for this opportunity to speak about someone who I was very close to from our days in NUJS to the last day of his death. Thank you.


Shamnad: An Exceptional Scholar and Humanist

— by Mahendra Pal Singh††

Meeting, knowing, working with and sharing many ideas in one to one talks and discussions, private meetings at home or in office or in the assembly of friends, colleagues, students or in academic or semi-academic gatherings in general with Shamnad used to be not only interesting, pleasant and informative but also focussed on human concerns foremost of the students and among them too of those who suffered from natural or social disabilities.

We would have never come in touch with each other but for the fact that I was unexpectedly invited to take over as Vice-Chancellor of West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (NUJS) towards the end of 2006 after well over one year of my superannuation from the University of Delhi in 2005. After my joining NUJS towards the end of 2007, the Ministry of Human Resource Development instituted a Chair in Intellectual Property Law at the University. In view of my little acquaintance with IP law and its academic scholars, I sought the advice of Professor N.S. Gopalakrishnan, who happened to be a member of the Academic Council at NUJS and was initially IPR professor at National Law School, Bengaluru from where Shamnad earned his BA, LLB (Hons) degree and thus happened to be a student of Professor Gopalakrishnan. The professor readily suggested two names—Shamnad and James—along with their contact on email and location in Delhi. I contacted both for the Chair. While James expressed his inability to move from his existing position, Shamnad agreed to consider it after seeking some additional information from me. Accordingly, we agreed to meet in Delhi during my next official visit within the next few days. Even though we had never met before, Shamnad could recognise me without much difficulty in the crowded hall where we were expected to meet. His physical appearance and manners gave me the feeling of having known him since long. In a frank and intimate manner he asked me, if I did not have anything else to do in the hall, we could go to a nearby restaurant where we could talk over a cup of tea. We did so and started discussing the purpose of our meeting.

Even though it was our first meeting, without my having any idea of Shamnad’s international eminence as a scholar of IP law, we talked frankly as if we knew each other very well and for long. On my proposal for being considered for the MHRD Chair in IP law, he was quite modest in expressing his doubts whether he fulfilled the criteria for appointment to the Chair. On my assurance on leaving these technical aspects to the University subject to a presentation to the satisfaction of the faculty members, he agreed to make the presentation on a mutually convenient day on any topic of IP law of his choice. The meeting ended at that point. Shamnad arrived for the presentation on the date and time fixed for it. Incidentally, former Judge of the Supreme Court, Ms Justice Ruma Pal, who happened to be the Chair of Human Rights Centre at NUJS also decided to participate in Shamnad’s presentation. Demonstrating his special skills with PPTs and the span of his knowledge of the subject and mesmerising style of its presentation satisfied everyone present of his suitability for the Chair. Ms Justice Ruma Pal was so impressed that she expressed her doubt to me whether Shamnad would accept University’s offer of the Chair. Her statement strengthened my position to convince the Executive Council of the University in getting Shamnad appointed to the Chair without any questions or doubts raised by any member of the Council. It happened exactly that way and Shamnad became a faculty member as IPR Chair Professor at NUJS in November 2008.

As he was a well-known name in IP law through his popular blog “Spicy IP”, expert opinions, reports and other writings, the faculty colleagues as well as the students received him as the beginning of a new era in the life of the university. His overall charming personality, manners and behaviour, work culture and dealings with his colleagues, students, administration and anyone else connected with the University, instantly impressed everyone so much that within a few days of his arrival, he became the most likable and talked about person in the University. Along with his busy academic engagements, he became a centre of attraction for everyone for entertaining their concerns, especially of the weakest and the most disadvantaged ones, in or with the University or even otherwise. He demonstrated a remarkable ability to solve most of the problems of all types initially at his own level and, if required, in consultation with everyone concerned including above all the university administration.

While Shamnad’s popularity was constantly at an upward curve and everything was going on very well with him academically and otherwise, he decided to move out of the University campus accommodation, perhaps to avoid frequent and too much disturbance to his work schedule by his easy accessibility to everyone in the University. The change, however, did not suit him because quite soon he started showing the signs and telling about his ill health. The health issue continued to bother him even after shifting from one place to another until I left NUJS towards the end of 2011. But even during this adversity he did not change his work schedule and besides looking after all routine engagements and earning name as internationally recognised IP scholar for different achievements and award winning positions he also completed his PhD from Oxford University which was hanging in his mind for the last several years.[3]

Besides his remarkable intellectual and human qualities and achievements, Shamnad’s concern for the weak and downtrodden among the University workers and students was most intense and supreme, which I equally, if not more, shared with him and we often discussed it in our free moments to make it part of the University programmes and culture. Quite often we lamented students’ lack of interest in the problems of the common person as well as of those among them who suffered from natural disabilities or because of defective socio-economic set-up and arrangements. We used to think individually and discuss together the ways of focussing students’ attention on some such issues along with their career preferences. It is out of such thinking and discussions that Shamnad came up with the idea of starting a programme different from but side by side the existing programmes in which only students from the most advantageous socio-economic or educational background could participate. Sensitising and engaging socially oriented students to introduce people in disadvantaged sections of the society as well as in the remote areas where people were unaware of the new openings in carrier oriented education such as at the new law universities.

His popularity among the law students not only at NUJS but also in the two other prominent law universities i.e. NLS and Nalsar, attracted the imagination of many students who were looking for new options of meaningful engagement in the law universities. Starting with his own example of visiting remote areas in the north such as Sikkim and nearby backward areas in Sunderbans, giving the direction to students to undertake similar trips and engage themselves in similar awareness programmes initially at NUJS, which in the age of internet attracted the attention of other law universities too, including NLS and Nalsar. Even though NUJS students under Shamnad’s leadership had started this programme without any formal organisational structure, in view of its reception in other law universities, its structuring became imminent and appropriate. In the light of initial objectives and ultimate goals of the programme, Shamnad imaginatively coined its name: Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access: IDIA which expressed true essence and purpose of a well-recognised academic programme in US law schools too for their advancement, socially and academically.

The name with its acronym became a buzzword instantaneously almost in all National Law Universities (NLUs), which were not too many at that time. For the 2011 Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) designed for all the National Law Universities, candidates were given formal instructions and guidance only at NUJS. Out of these candidates, several cracked the admission test and all of them who came within the merit list of any of the NLUs could get admission with financial support and concessions by the admitting university or with the support of IDIA. While all of them came either from the backward areas or poor families, some of them also suffered from physical disabilities. It was of course a major step towards ensuring diversity in NLUs.

With this encouraging first step arose the need of giving IDIA a legal identity and sound structure to ensure its progressive continuity and nationwide expansion. After initial discussion between two of us, either to establish a society or a trust, we decided to establish a trust registered at Kolkata. As I was fast reaching the end of my tenure at NUJS, Shamnad in consultation with Ms Justice Pal and me prepared a trust deed with four trustees—Shamnad as executive trustee, Ms Justice Ruma Pal, me and Shishira as trustees and got it registered at Kolkata.

As on my return to Delhi beginning December 2011, I was appointed Chairperson, Delhi Judicial Academy, I could perform IDIA related functions only to the extent Shamnad assigned any to me while almost singlehandedly he carried all other responsibilities regarding the countrywide organisation and funding of the trust and selection and training of prospective IDIA candidates, admission of the selected IDIA candidates to different law universities, attending their problems during the course of their studies, organising annual gathering of all IDIA candidates in different law universities, and guiding and helping them in getting settled in legal profession or otherwise and much more along with his multiple academic engagements including the university job and “Spicy IP”. Thus, he carried enormous responsibility of running, spreading and strengthening IDIA programme in spite of his constantly decreasing health. But it is the result of such organisational ability and capacity to work hard that he could ensure countrywide success of IDIA programme within a very short span of time. These demands on his time and energy along with his health situation also compelled him not being able to meet all the demands of NUJS administration as IP Chair which forced him to give up that position also in 2014.

After leaving NUJS, Shamnad settled in Bangalore to carry on and expand IDIA related activities along with his numerous IP related activities including his famous blog, IP related major court matters such as his personal appearance in Novartis case[4] in the Supreme Court, Delhi University Copyright case[5] in the Delhi High Court, numerous reports and publications in journals and books, getting invalidated the constitution of Copyright Board, direct and indirect participation in a number of other court matters. For all these and many more activities and achievements he was also awarded prestigious Infosys Prize in 2015. Few months before his demise he also added to his numerous causes and activities the issue of letting the full-time University law professors practise in law courts and started the campaign for obtaining signatures of existing law professors including the retired ones like me. In view of my sad experience of having seen the decline of effective teaching, research and scholarship in Delhi University, Faculty of Law because without such permission many of its full-time professors started court practice even against the displeasure of the

University. Finding the University and myself helpless and target of displeasure of my colleagues, two of my former students, one of whom had just started practice while the other had simply got enrolled without having participated in any litigation, offered to take the matter to the court and filed a petition in the Delhi High Court, which was ultimately decided in their favour. In view of this institutional and personal experience, my conscience could not permit to agree with Shamnad’s suggestion, though I did not ask him to pursue his campaign. That may have disappointed him immensely adding to his health issues. But he never gave me that impression because even two-three days before the news of his sad demise came he wrote to me, perhaps along with other close colleagues, that I should take care of IDIA related activities if anything happens to him anytime because that day he again vomited blood.

The sad news of Shamnad’s demise came at about 8 p.m. on 8-8-2019 when my colleague Niraj sitting in front of me checked his WhatsApp and told me that Shamnad was no more. Without losing my composure, I told Niraj that he had already given a hint to me two, three days ago. Immediately innumerable memories of him, including his last visit to our place few months before, in which having got no relief even during his US visit and having lost further weight, he gave no impression whatsoever of any suffering or fear of losing his life. He prepared some coffee that he was carrying with him also for my wife and me to be gulped in one sip and left with his heavy bags promising to return soon and stay with us to enjoy the food my wife cooked. So sad for both of us that Shamnad could not keep his promise. Knowing well that Shamnad will never come to see us, sound of the words from a movie keep echoing in my head that read somewhat like this:

2020_1_SCC_J_3_1.png


 Former Judge, Supreme Court of India. Republished with the kind permission of Supreme Court Cases (SCC). First published in the (2020) 1 SCC J-1.

††Professor, Emeritus University of Delhi, presently Visiting Professor and Chair, Centre for Comparative Law, National Law University, Delhi. Republished with the kind permission of Supreme Court Cases (SCC). First published in the (2020) 1 SCC J-3.

[1] Novartis AG v. Union of India(2013) 6 SCC 1.

[2] Thomas Byrom (Tr.), The Heart of Awareness: A Translation of the Ashtavakra Gita (Shambhala Dragon Editions, 2001).

[3] For his different academic and related achievements see his CV in Google prepared a few months before his death towards the end of 2018 or in early 2019 required by me for recommending his name for the post of Vice-Chancellor, National Law University, Shimla.

[4] Novartis AG v. Union of India(2013) 6 SCC 1.

[5] Master & Scholors of University of Oxford v. Rameswari Photocopy Services2016 SCC OnLine Del 6229 : (2016) 235 DLT 409.

Law School NewsOthers

Meraki’s is India’s exclusive intellectual property law essay competition brought to you by IDIA, Institute of Law, Nirma University and Anand and Anand.

With themes focusing on research topics that are both core and contemporary, Meraki is designed to unleash your creative take on India’s intellectual property rights regime. Add to this the stellar jury and the attractive rewards and recognition that this competition offers and you have in front you, the epitome of all IP research competitions in India.

The participant whose entry will be adjudged as the Best Entry wins an ‘Internship with Anand and Anand’ and an attractive cash prize. The competition offers you an Opportunity to win Cash Prizes worth ? 16,000.

The stellar jury and the attractive rewards and recognition that this competition offers, makes it the epitome of all IP research competitions in India.

The competition is open to all students pursuing under-graduate (three/ five year) or post-graduate law degrees.

Students can choose from the following topics,
  1. Should the same subject matter merit protection under both copyright and design laws? Discuss with reference to the Indian context.
  2. Should Injunctions be granted in SEP cases? Please restrict your focus to the Indian context, drawing from international/comparative perspective where required.
  3. What is the likely future of John Doe jurisprudence in India? Please restrict your focus to copyright infringement and Bollywood.
Registration and Important dates
  • Single authorship: Rs. 350/-
  • Co-authorship: Rs. 500/-

Please refer to detailed information regarding the registration process and the submission guidelines by opening the brochure attached in the mail.

  • Last Date of Registration: 14th March, 2018 (11:59 pm)
  • Last Date of Submission of the Essay: 17th March, 2019 (11:59 pm)
  • First round of Evaluation: 29th March, 2019.
  • Declaration of the Results: 24th April, 2018
Prizes
  • First Prize: Rs. 8,000 cash prize; Internship with Anand and Anand; Certificate of merit.
  • Second Prize: Rs. 5,000 cash prize; Certificate of merit.
  • Third Prize: Rs. 3,000 cash prize; Certificate of merit.

The top 10 selected essays will be awarded Certificates of Appreciation.

All Participants will be provided with a Certificate of Participation.

Judges

The competition will be judged by an eminent panel of judges renowned in the IPR sphere in India and abroad. The judges for the competition are:

  • Mr. Pravin Anand.
  • Prof (Dr.) Feroz Ali K.
  • Mr. Murali Neelkanthan.
  • Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer.
Contact, Organizing team

In case of any query, please feel free to contact us:

  • Kartikey Kanojiya (Co-ordinator): 9913891167
  • Harshit Jadaon (Co-ordinator): 9106715298
  • Runjhun Pare (Team Leader): 9727886844
  • Aadesh Shinde: 7803941577
  • Supriya Julka: 9265300393
Further details are available at : https://merakidia.wixsite.com/website
Interviews

Ms. Prakrati Shah and Aiswarya Murali Team Leaders of IDIA Rajasthan Chapter recently won the Star of IDIA award. They were being interviewed by EBC student ambassador Srishti Rai on her win.

  1. Brief intro

Prakrati: My name is Prakrati Shah. I am a fifth-year student from National Law University, Jodhpur, I always wanted to make a difference in the society and the most effective way to bring about any change, in my opinion would be to start from the grass roots and educate the youth. I joined IDIA at the end of my first year because it filled that lacuna. We didn’t only help create awareness about career prospects in law, but mentored these kids to ensure they get into the best law schools of the country and the opportunities that they deserved and could not get due to lack of resources.

Aiswarya: My name is Aiswarya Murali. I am a fifth year student from National Law University, Jodhpur. I have been part of IDIA for almost four years now. It has now become an integral part of my life. IDIA gave a purpose to my learning and became an operating factor to the values I hold. The happiness I secured each time I saw a trainee excel is inexplicable.

  1. About IDIA

Prakrati: IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education)started by Mr. Shamnad Basheer. IDIA is a Non-Governmental Organisation that works towards bringing gender, class and caste inclusivity in law schools so that everyone has an equal opportunity to fully utilise their potential.

Aiswarya: IDIA, is the acronym for Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access.  As the name suggests, this project aims at cutting across economically and socially marginalised sections by sensitising them about legal education thereby encouraging them to pursue it as a career. This was an idea envisioned by Prof. Shamnad Basheer. IDIA provides a support system to the students throughout their journey in pursuing law as a career. The working hands of IDIA being law students across the country. They run chapters in the form of teams capable of sensitising, training and financially aiding the students to enter and survive in law schools.

  1. My journey as a team leader

Prakrati: In my drop year for CLAT, I joined Make a Difference where I was an English Teacher, a Community Fundraising Mentor and team leader in the dream camp organized for underprivileged kids staying in shelter homes. Working with these kids for a year made me realize that they have great potential, however we were only able to help them till the school level and after that they needed career guidance.

After becoming a Team Leader in 2017, I am nothing but grateful for what I along with my team have managed to accomplish at NLU Jodhpur. For the academic years of 2016-19, we have managed successful negotiations with CrackClat and LawPrep, Jodhpur and have secured subsidized coaching rates upto 85% along with them taking on visually impaired kids pro bono. We have created more awareness in our college by way of signing campaigns, setting up stalls during events like NH-65 (our college cultural fest) and Dandiya night, and sending out e-mails to alumni and our peers by reaching out to them personally. We also reached out to students from the legal background so they can involve their parents with IDIA as much as possible. We also organized a lecture by Mr. Carl Malamud in collaboration with CalQ, our college journal.

Through these initiatives we raised Rs. 40,000 in the span of two weeks in November to pay the coaching fees for the IDIA Rajasthan Chapter students and Rs. 10,000 from our activities on campus this semester. We have also gotten an in-principal approval from the administration to set up IDIA stalls on campus for any forthcoming event. Keeping into mind that people have varying level of time commitments, but still want to contribute to IDIA, we have also started a volunteer system for the students in the college.

We also had a case concerning POCSO in 2017, but we did not have members equipped to deal with case and had to reach out to a student outside IDIA to help us out. This incident gave me the idea to start a legal services team for the IDIA Rajasthan Chapter which is currently looking into measures which would make our college more PWD friendly by getting special scanners for the visually impaired and ramps for physically handicapped people. We are also looking at possible alternatives of filing an RTI or a letter petition to look at the minimum qualifications for teachers in law schools to ensure a better standard of education.

The Rajasthan Chapter over the past two years has achieved certain milestones and I will always be thankful to IDIA to give me the opportunity to lead the team to achieve them and help me fulfill the vision I had when I joined law school to try my best to make a difference in the society.

Aiswarya: I believe that being part of IDIA is a two –way transformation process. While we transform lives, our own lives get transformed. I became part of IDIA in my second year. I was part of the training team in my second and third year. I taught legal reasoning and English. I focused on helping the trainees chalk out a strategy, which I believe is the most crucial part of training them. Towards the end of my third year, we were slowly delegated the works of a Team Leader and then completely transitioned into running the entire chapter. It was quite challenging however, I quickly settled in due to my eagerness in executing the changes I wanted to see.

I have been the team leader of IDIA since February 2017 along with Prakrati Shah. Apart from several inherent challenges that we face while working for IDIA, institutional challenges are a major impediment. But each time I worked for IDIA, I strived to imbibe the true meaning of IDIA and believe in it more deeply. Being a team leader has added several aspects to my personality, in the form of enhancing problem solving capability, people skills, organisation skills and welcoming challenges in its true spirit.

It wouldn’t be an overstatement if I were to say that Rajasthan Chapter is one of the efficiently-run chapters, producing the best results every year. Major credit goes to my very enthusiastic team and ever supportive director who has always been our pillar. To ensure a good success rate we constantly keep a track of the performance of our trainees. Provide them with every possible material that we can by maintaining an internal library in the chapter. We keep them updated with current affairs by providing them monthly compendiums. Finally, I believe that the most determinative factor of a competitive exam like CLAT is self-belief and the much needed mental strength for perseverance.  We ensure that the trainees are provided enough emotional support and are motivated to achieve what they are capable of. In the course of being part of IDIA, I realised that there is no happiness greater than helping someone realise their dream. To rescue someone from being victims of their circumstances and to add an extra mile to their lives. This is what IDIA means to me. Pure bliss!

  1. Feeling after winning the award

Prakrati: I felt humbled in the presence of all the dignitaries present. We got to see the IDIA scholars being awarded, heard about their struggles even after joining law school and how well they are still doing for themselves. It was a platform to interact with the legal luminaries and chance to meet the people who are actually making a difference. I think I’m taking back lessons for lifetime. Getting this award has further motivated me and inspired me to work further.

Aiswarya: I was truly overwhelmed when I was informed that I was eligible for this award. My heartfelt gratitude to the entire IDIA family for this precious piece of memory. I was honoured to receive it. I am also grateful to my ever supportive family, who have always encouraged me to aim the stars and strive in the best possible manner to reach the sky. I am thankful to my friends who believed in me and gave me the emotional strength to never give up. Lastly, I believe that the real happiness is when you receive calls from your successful trainees and be a part of their happiness.Their satisfactions when you aid them embark on a journey towards a bright future. This award is a materialization of their happiness!

     5. Any suggestions

Aiswarya: It is important to do what gives you contentment in life. If it’s seeing transform lives of people then IDIA is the perfect place for you. There are several ways of being part of this project. If you are a law student you can join IDIA and be a part of this beautiful family. Financial aid is also very crucial. You can donate and support us. Any amount can add value to a life. The least, all of us can do is to spread a word about our project to those interested. Any mille of your help is precious for us.

Law School NewsOthers

This is a call for applications to be part of the Training & Materials Vertical of the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) Project.

The IDIA Project was initiated by Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer to reach out to the marginalized and under-represented groups, sensitize them to law as a viable career option and help interested students acquire admission in law schools, which are otherwise increasingly elitist spaces. The hope is that increasing access to legal education would contribute immensely to empowerment of the marginalized and underprivileged students and the communities they represent. To know more about the project, please visit the IDIA website here.

The Training and Materials Vertical (T&M Team) of IDIA is responsible for preparation of training-material for our trainees to practise with. The Team is inviting applications for the different projects it will be undertaking this year.  As you may know, the T&M Vertical is undergoing rapid expansion via its online platform and in furtherance of this endeavor, we require volunteers for the following projects:

1. Video Training: Building on from last year’s success, we aim to create more video tutorials in regional languages so as make learning easier and more fun for our trainees. We will be using a very simple software for this (for instance see this short explanatory video). Each video ideally explains one topic and gives some questions on it. You can view the tutorials we developed last year here.

This project, once completed, shall enable IDIA to reach out to areas where it does not have a strong presence as yet. Prior knowledge of video-making, programming, graphic designing etc. is NOT a pre-requisite to be a part of this team. If you have a sound grasp of subject areas tested through law entrance examinations, and wish to disseminate this knowledge country-wide then please do apply!

2. Mock Tests: We have prepared a repository of mock tests on the online platform. The work would entail –

  • Creating mock tests calibrated to different difficulty levels.
  • Proof-reading questions and answer keys in pre-existing Mock Tests.
  • Administering tests and analysing test results so as to give detailed, individualised feedback to test-takers.

Last year, all our trainees attempted these mock tests and greatly benefited from regular feedback on their performance. In addition to designing questions, you will have an opportunity to extensively engage with Moodle, code tests, and conduct data analysis using MS Excel. Once again, prior knowledge of these tools is NOT a pre-requisite.

3. Question Bank: We have been successful in preparing a well-segregated subject-wise question bank of all past-years’ law entrance examinations. This task was undertaken with the aim of familiarizing trainees with the possible types of questions that can be expected in an entrance examination. The work for this project would entail –

  • Reviewing the Question Bank to ensure there are no errors in the questions and ensuring the answers are conducive.
  • Determining and implementing a creative means for rendering the question bank online so as to ensure ease of usage.

4. Current Affairs: This project entails preparation of weekly quizzes on current affairs. If you are interested in regular engagement with the happenings across the world, then this work shall interest you greatly.

Qualifications: The minimum qualifications for this post are the following:

  1. The T&M Vertical must be first priority for you. You should be able to spare at least 6-8 hours a week for this work.
  2. It is essential that you believe in and be committed to IDIA’s cause.
  3. Good communication skills along with leadership qualities are also a must.

Incentives: The biggest incentive in working as part of IDIA is, of course, the satisfaction of having made great contribution towards a great cause. However, if the promise of a social revolution and transforming someone’s life is not good enough for you, some material incentives which you could consider are:

  1. IDIA’s various supporters and donors (including some of the leading law firms) have agreed to grant internship opportunities to best performing IDIA volunteers. In the past, IDIA has nominated its best performing volunteers for internships at top law firms such as JSA, Trilegal, Luthra and Luthra, AZB etc. as well as companies like GE, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis etc.
  2. An exceptional IDIA team leader/deputy team leader could be nominated for a series of awards including a fellowship instituted by a leading lawyer (IDIA: Sagar Fellowships) that pays a good sum each month.
  3. A certificate highlighting your contribution to IDIA and providing an assessment of your work.

Application Process: Those interested in applying may fill in this form by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, 2nd September 2018. Applicants having past experience with similar projects are encouraged to apply, although that is not a strict requirement for selection. Members of regional teams are also encouraged to apply. Based on your expression of interest via the Google form you will be asked to complete a small task in due course.

Needless to say, each of these projects would require you to maintain a high level of professionalism and meet strict deadlines. In case of any doubt(s), please feel free to write to Shilpa Prasad (shilpadeprasad@gmail.com) or Siddhant Sachdeva (siddhant.sachdeva14@nludelhi.ac.in). We would be happy to answer your queries or take up suggestions.

We look forward to receiving your applications!

Law School NewsOthers

This is a call for applications to be part of the Training & Materials Vertical of the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) Project. The IDIA Project was initiated by Prof. (Dr.) Shamnad Basheer to reach out to the marginalized and under-represented groups, sensitize them to law as a viable career option and help interested students acquire admission in law schools, which are otherwise increasingly elitist spaces. The hope is that increasing access to legal education would contribute immensely to empowerment of the marginalized and underprivileged students and the communities they represent. To know more about the project, please visit the IDIA website here.

The Training and Materials Vertical (T&M Team) of IDIA is responsible for preparation of training-material for our trainees to practise with. The Team is inviting applications for the different projects it will be undertaking this year.  As you may know, the T&M Vertical is undergoing rapid expansion via its online platform and in furtherance of this endeavor, we require volunteers for the following projects –

1. Video Training 
Building on from last year’s success, we aim to create more video tutorials in regional languages so as make learning easier and more fun for our trainees. We will be using a very simple software for this (for instance see this short explanatory video). Each video ideally explains one topic and gives some questions on it. You can view the tutorials we developed last year here.

This project, once completed, shall enable IDIA to reach out to areas where it does not have a strong presence as yet. Prior knowledge of video-making, programming, graphic designing etc. is NOT a pre-requisite to be a part of this team. If you have a sound grasp of subject areas tested through law entrance examinations, and wish to disseminate this knowledge country-wide then please do apply!

2. Mock Tests
We have prepared a repository of mock tests on the online platform. The work would entail –

  • Creating mock tests calibrated to different difficulty levels.
  • Proof-reading questions and answer keys in pre-existing Mock Tests.
  • Administering tests and analysing test results so as to give detailed, individualised feedback to test-takers.

Last year, all our trainees attempted these mock tests and greatly benefited from regular feedback on their performance. In addition to designing questions, you will have an opportunity to extensively engage with Moodle, code tests, and conduct data analysis using MS Excel. Once again, prior knowledge of these tools is NOT a pre-requisite.

3. Question Bank
We have been successful in preparing a well-segregated subject-wise question bank of all past-years’ law entrance examinations. This task was undertaken with the aim of familiarizing trainees with the possible types of questions that can be expected in an entrance examination. The work for this project would entail –

  • Reviewing the Question Bank to ensure there are no errors in the questions and ensuring the answers are conducive.
  • Determining and implementing a creative means for rendering the question bank online so as to ensure ease of usage.

4. Current Affairs
This project entails preparation of weekly quizzes on current affairs. If you are interested in regular engagement with the happenings across the world, then this work shall interest you greatly.

Qualifications
The minimum qualifications for this post are the following:

  1. The T&M Vertical must be first priority for you. You should be able to spare at least 6-8 hours a week for this work.
  2. It is essential that you believe in and be committed to IDIA’s cause.
  3. Good communication skills along with leadership qualities are also a must.

Incentives

The biggest incentive in working as part of IDIA is, of course, the satisfaction of having made great contribution towards a great cause. However, if the promise of a social revolution and transforming someone’s life is not good enough for you, some material incentives which you could consider are:

  1. IDIA’s various supporters and donors (including some of the leading law firms) have agreed to grant internship opportunities to best performing IDIA volunteers. In the past, IDIA has nominated its best performing volunteers for internships at top law firms such as JSA, Trilegal, Luthra and Luthra, AZB etc. as well as companies like GE, Microsoft, Thomson Reuters, LexisNexis etc.
  2. An exceptional IDIA team leader/deputy team leader could be nominated for a series of awards including a fellowship instituted by a leading lawyer (IDIA: Sagar Fellowships) that pays a good sum each month.
  3. A certificate highlighting your contribution to IDIA and providing an assessment of your work.

Application Process
Those interested in applying may fill in this form by 11:59 P.M. on Sunday, 1st October 2017. Applicants having past experience with similar projects are encouraged to apply, although that is not a strict requirement for selection. Members of regional teams are also encouraged to apply. Based on your expression of interest via the Google form you will be asked to complete a small task in due course.

Needless to say, each of these projects would require you to maintain a high level of professionalism and meet strict deadlines. In case of any doubt(s), please feel free to write to Anusha (anusha@idialaw.com) or Shilpa (shilpadeprasad@gmail.com) or Siddhant (siddhant.sachdeva14@nludelhi.ac.in). We would be happy to answer your queries.

Hot Off The PressNews

In an unfortunate incident that took place last night, six NUJS students were groped and brutally assaulted by a mob of goons hired by the government contractor in charge of demolition of the Subhas Sarovar slums. After the students of NUJS Kolkata obtained a stay order of Calcutta High Court on the demotion of slum housing.

Narrating the sequence of events, the Student Juridical Association, NUJS, in it’s official Press Release, said that despite the stay order, the contractors demolished the slums at which point NUJS students went to the contractors with the copy of the Court order. On being confronted, the order was torn up, following which the female students were groped by multiple goons and the male students were grievously assaulted till they were unconscious. Their phones were smashed and destroyed and when they tried to escape, the gates of the area, which is a fenced enclosure, were shut.

Terming the incident as manhandling of collective conscience, the student association wrote:

“we, as the law school fraternity, must stand together against this complete obliteration of the rule of law that we seek to defend and practice. We sincerely hope that in this hour of need, our collective conscience will inspire us to participate in defending and echoing the common ideals of liberty and rule of law that bind us together.”

As per the latest update, the Calcutta High Court has immediately ordered the state for rehabilitation of the evicted slum dwellers within 24 hours and has issued a contempt of court notice against perpetrators.

Last month, the public interest team at Increasing Diversity By Increasing Access (IDIA) comprising of NUJS students had obtained a stay on slum demolitions in Kolkata’s Subhas Sarovar area.

As part of its beautification project, the West Bengal state government planned to demolish the slums in the area, which would render around twenty-two families living there for more than a decade, homeless. Three of the slum dwellers, including octogenarian Shiv Shankar Ray, sought to file a petition before the Calcutta High Court challenging the government’s decision. The petition was drafted by the IDIA team comprising of NUJS students– which received help from pro bono lawyers practising at the High Court.