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Statement of Solidarity: In Solidarity with the students of NLSIU, Bangalore

STATEMENT OF SOLIDARITY “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” -Martin Luther King Jr. The Student Juridical Association (SJA) of National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata stands in complete solidarity with the students of National Law School of India University, Bangalore in their protest against the arbitrary fee hike in their university. The administration recently rolled out a fee hike of about 50,000 rupees in a clandestine and unjustified manner. This decision was taken without consulting the Student Bar Association (SBA), and no notification was circulated among the students regarding such a change. Further, the change has been made not only to tuition fee, but also to other heads such as internet costs, without any reasonable explanation being provided for the same. The SBA, in its statement, has expressed strong displeasure against this action and has rightly pointed out that such a measure would entail financial hardships for students and be detrimental to those who come from financially vulnerable groups including students from scheduled tribes and scheduled castes. This change would negatively affect students who are dependent on student loans or scholarships for their fee payment as it would be difficult for them to raise the excess amount within such a short span of time. It has been urged by the SBA that the administration explore alternative methods of meeting the requirements of the university, ones that do not jeopardize the financial stability of the students or come at the cost of inclusivity. The SJA expresses the same sentiments as such a hike would be contrary to the spirit of what National Law Universities were envisaged to be: premier institutions that educate students from diverse backgrounds. Opacity in administrative decisions and arbitrary fee hikes have been a recurring problem in many National Law Universities (NLUs) in the past. This severely restricts access to legal education and dissuades students from financially vulnerable backgrounds from engaging in legal education at some of the best law schools in the country. In light of the same, the SBA has called on for Nationalization of NLUs, a demand that has been gaining traction among the stakeholders of this vision. It begins with giving NLUs the status of Institutes of National Importance (INI), thus solving a plethora of problems including deficiency of funds, administrative irregularities, and lack of infrastructure. It would bring NLUs on par with IITs and IIMs and would help truly nationalize their character. The demand for nationalization is getting progressively louder, and this incident reminds the SJA of the common problems that threaten to plague us all. It also reaffirms the SJA’s commitment towards the cause of nationalization of NLUs. The SJA extends its complete support to the students of NLSIU in their efforts to safeguard the representative character of the university.





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