Karnataka government passes bill reserving 25% quota for Kannadigas in National Law School of India University in Bengaluru

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BENGALURU: The legislative assembly on Thursday passed a bill that seeks to set aside 25% of seats in the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) for “students of Karnataka”.

A student – regardless of her mother tongue – who has studied in Karnataka for 10 years is eligible for the quota. The National Law School of India (Amendment) Bill 2020 cleared the assembly hurdle in minutes of its introduction. After the bill is passed in the council, the governor will sign it into a law.

The Siddaramaiah government had set aside 50% quota for Karnataka students in NLSIU, but the governor had rejected it, saying “the demand was too high”.

Injustice to Kannadiga students: Byregowda

Former minister Krishna Byregowda wanted to know why did the government use the term ‘students of Karnataka’, instead of ‘Kannadigas’, in the bill. “Any student from outside the state who studied in Karnataka for 10 years will be eligible for the quota. This means injustice to Kannadiga students from Karnataka,” Byregowda said.

Law minister JC Madhuswamy didn’t rule out that scenario and said the quota provided “only an opening” into the institute where it’s difficult to secure admission. He hinted at the government
pursuing horizontal reservation for Karnataka’s SC/ST students into the institute.

The minister said Karnataka students — like their counterparts in other states — must get a fair opportunity to walk into the law school’s portals. He cited quota for locals in some of the well-known law schools in the country: 25% in National Law Institute University, Madhya Pradesh; 10% in Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab; 30 seats each in Assam’s National Law
School and Judicial Academy and Andhra Pradesh’s Damodaram Sanjivayya National Law University; 80 seats in UP’s Dr Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University; and 16 seats in Tamil Nadu National Law University.

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