Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Bar Examinations In India: BCI Must Take Immediate Steps

Ram K Kaushik

Till now the law students must be aware about the proposed bar examinations in India. After going through both sides of arguments (law students v bar council), it seems both have their respective share of merits. The final year law students are somewhat apprehensive about the bar examinations. They have their own share of problems ranging from final year exams, placement opportunities, internships, etc. On the other hand the Bar Council of India (BCI) is facing a Herculean task of legal reforms in India.

Qualitative legal education is one of the pre requisites of effective legal reforms in India. Having a qualitative legal education is totally different from appearing in bar examinations as the orientation for both of them is completely different. But there is no escape from the reality that whether the final year students like it or not but ultimately they have to go through bar examination. It is better to start preparing both mentally as well as educationally.

Accepted. But from where to start preparation as preparation cannot be in vacuum. The BCI has not come up with any sort of information regarding the same. Although some good suggestions for a successful implementation of bar examinations can be found, yet we need the same from BCI itself.

As far as my opinion goes, final year students must start preparing for the same as risking bar enrollment means risking the entire legal career.


Way To Make Bar Examinations Successful In India


From August/September 2010 all fresh law graduates or those who have already graduated but not yet enrolled would be compulsorily required to pass a bar examination to be conducted by Bar Council of India (BCI). Perry4Law Techno-Legal Base (PTLB) and its Bar Examination Segment welcome this initiative of BCI as it would go a long way in bringing Judicial and Legal Reforms in India.

Having said that one cannot deny the difficulties and challenges that the BCI and others associated with the bar examination would face. On top of it are the fears and apprehensions of final year law graduates regarding the same. They have fears that their education at respective law school may not automatically empower them to clear the bar exams and they need some more time to exclusively prepare for the bar exam.

Here starts the real problem. If the bar examination is a sub standard one and is mere formality, it would fail to bring required legal reforms in India. On the other hand, if the exam is a real and effective one, the students must hone up their existing legal knowledge and acumen as the pattern of their study and exams at law colleges/schools may be different from that of bar exams.

I must confess that the burden is upon the BCI to tackle this arduous task effectively as well as graciously. On the one hand it has a greater responsibility towards the nation at large whereas on the other hand it must act as a guide and mentor for fresh law graduates. While the first task has been effectively taken up by the BCI the latter one, in my personal opinion, has been totally neglected by the BCI. Till now the BCI has not come up with a concrete plan regarding the bar exams. For instance, there is no information regarding the course contents, syllabus, dates of exam, authorities that would conduct the exams, suggested resources for preparation, institutions with whom it has tie ups, etc.

While PTLB and Bar Examination Segment of Perry4Law have taken a small but significant step in this direction yet the initiative must come from BCI itself. We have started an “Online Platform” where the registered students may have some guidance and insight regarding the course mentioned therein. This is a “Prototype” that may be adopted by BCI or the BCI may (if it thinks fit) rope us for their bar exams initiative.

Whatever the choice the BCI exercises, it has to keep in mind at least two things. Firstly, it has to arrange all the matters pertaining to bar exams precisely and efficiently. Secondly, it has to do this as soon as possible as the dissatisfaction and unrest among the final year students is increasing.

Perry4Law, PTLB and its other Segments wish all the best to the BCI and we have full faith in not only the intentions but also the potential of BCI to conduct bar exams effectively, efficiently and successfully.