Tag Archives: National Law School

How Background Works – Reflections on NLS Socio-Economic ‘Census’ 2015-16: Chirayu Jain

Guest post by CHIRAYU JAIN

Last year I carried out a study to record background and performance data of all students at NLS. Managing to get 97.9% compliance, the data helped in preparing the report “The Elusive Island of Excellence”, which provides a microanalysis of the institution touted as the country’s best law school, and answers two broad questions: who is likely to get admitted to NLS, and how much does background influence one’s performance within NLS? This article details why this year-long study was conducted, reflections on certain key findings and insights received from academics and scholars hypothesizing probable reasons for the outcomes of the report.

When the final figures of the Census were tabulated, the dearth of Muslims or the financial affluence of the under-graduate students at NLS came as no surprise. But what was shocking was the magnitude. Muslims form not even 1% of the student body and with average family incomes being higher than Rs. 20 lakhs per annum- majority of the NLS students come from top one percentile of the country! Not a single student who declared their caste as scheduled caste/tribe was admitted through general category, and Brahmins continue to be disproportionately dominate the numbers by forming more than a quarter of the student body. Likewise, 77.8% of the students came from families where even their grandparents had gone to college, while 26% are those with even longer history of graduates in their families.

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Doublethink in the Time of Criminal Reform

Orwell created a range of wonderful concepts in his dystopic novel 1984 to characterize the language of power. One such phrase Doublethink referred to the ability to hold “two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them” without being aware of their contradictions.

The latest addition to the vast repository of doublethinks in the archives of the Indian state comes from the background note of the new committee formed for the reform of the criminal justice system. Barely a few years after the controversial Malimath Committee, yet another committee has been formed under the chairmanship of Dr. Madhava Menon (the founder of the National Law School in Bangalore). The National Criminal Justice System Policy Drafting Committee (“NCJSPDC”) has been constituted “taking into account changing profile of the crime and criminal” We can safely assume in the context of the global war against terror, what the changing profile of the crime and the criminal refers to. Continue reading Doublethink in the Time of Criminal Reform