The National Testing Agency (NTA) has informed the Delhi High Court that it is in a position to conduct Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2024 examination in regional languages.
The Agency has filed an affidavit in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking the CLAT 2024 be held in all regional languages listed in the Constitution’s Eighth Schedule, and not just in English.
Saying that it will be of great assistance, NTA has sought Consortium of National Law Universities (NLUs) or any particular NLU’s support for smooth and fair conduct of CLAT (UG)- 2024.
NTA has said that it would be in a position to conduct the CLAT Exam in English and other Indian Languages, and that the exam can even be conducted in Computer Based Test (CBT) mode, like JEE and CUET.
“However, if it has to conduct the CLAT (UG)-2024, it could possibly be conducted sometime in third or fourth week of January 2024, considering the minimum time of four months required for development/ moderation/ translation/proof reading/vetting or validation of Question Paper, finalisation of exam centres in major cities as per the past practice, movement of exam functionaries and materials to the exam cities/centres and other pre-exam preparations,” said NTA.
The court has now listed the matter for further hearing on October 6.
Last month, the BCI, in an affidavit, had said that if CLAT is conducted in regional languages, it will give opportunities to more citizens to opt law as a career.
It was further submitted that the All India Bar Examination held on February 5, was decided to be conducted in 23 languages including English.
Earlier, the consortium had informed the high court that preparations for the CLAT for the academic year 2024 are well underway, and assured the bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad that it would be capable of devising a thorough roadmap for the eventual inclusion of additional languages in the CLAT examination.
Currently, CLAT is conducted exclusively in English, and the exam for the upcoming 2024 academic year is scheduled to take place in December.
According to the plea, the CLAT examination fails to provide equal opportunities to students whose educational backgrounds are rooted in regional languages. It contends that the current practice of conducting the CLAT (UG) examination exclusively in English is arbitrary, discriminatory, and violates Articles 14 and 29(2) of the Constitution.
Furthermore, the petitioner argues that the new Education Policy of 2020 and the Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009 advocate the use of mother tongue as the medium of instruction in schools and higher education institutions.