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This Article is written by Charul Mishra, a student pursuing B.A.LLB from Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad in this Article. In this article, the author has dealt with the expected effects of postponement of the entrance examination for national law universities i.e. CLAT.

Introduction

The National Law University Consortium has once again postponed the CLAT 2020 exam. The examination is now expected to take place after 21st July as the online application process will go on to the official website, https://consortiumofnlus.ac.in/clat-2020/ until 1st July. The official website has not yet been updated on other specifics such as acknowledging the date and time of publication of the admit card. The remaining information concerning the updated timetable is scheduled to be available in the coming days.

What is CLAT?

CLAT refers to the Common Law Admission Test. It is an all India law entrance test for admissions to the undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs (LL.B & LL.M) administered by the National Law Schools / Universities. The responsibility for conducting the examination is rotated and provided to the institution based on seniority. The Consortium of National Law Universities was established to enhance the country’s legal education quality and the justice system through legal training. It was founded on 19 August 2017 with headquarters in NLSIU, Bengaluru, and Prof. R. Venkata Rao, vice-chancellor as president and Vice-president of Prof. Faizan Mustafa, vice-chancellor, NALSAR. On 3 October 2018, Prof. R. Venkata Rao, Vice-Chancellor, NLSIU, following the terms of the MoU, handed over the charge to Prof. Faizan Mustafa, Vice-Chancellor, NALSAR as President and Prof. V. Vijayakumar, Vice-Chancellor, NLIU, Bhopal as Vice-Chair.

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Postponement of Entrance Exams

The Human Resource Development Ministry has agreed to delay entrance tests, including JNU, UGC, NET among IGNOU Ph.D., and many others, keeping the lockdown in mind. Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank stated that The National Research Agency’s Director-General has been told to delay the last date for sending applications for different tests. He further stated that the examinations comprise of admission exams of Jawaharlal Nehru University UGC NET, IGNOU Ph.D., ICAR test, NCHM-G, and course on management. In compliance with the order given on March 24 by the Ministry of Home Affairs, all offices of the Ministry of Human Resource Development and its autonomous and subordinate bodies will remain closed for a three-week duration.

Effects of Postponement of CLAT

The major effect of postponement of CLAT is the delay in the commencement of the academic year of the law students. After big national entrance tests such as JEE,NEET and CLAT were delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the academic schedules of millions of students and universities around the world were thrown out of gear. Annually, the school board tests conclude by the end of March, and in the second week of April, students have two weeks to study for vocational course entry examinations. Already, academics and universities are concerned that the lockdown could be prolonged. Assuming the entire examination process of Class 10 and 12 resumes in the first week of May, completion will take at least two weeks. Then, it takes us a month to review response scripts and submit tests. At this time we’re going to be in the second week of June.

With board exams, university exams, law school exams, postponing the entrance test, it will be a huge challenge for universities to complete their syllabus on time without compromising with the quality of the education provided. It is the academic year of the students which might suffer from a delay in board exams,to the university being shut down,to a delay in national-level entrance exams. As already mentioned, CLAT, which is India’s ticket for law education, has already been postponed due to the Coronavirus outbreak & would lead to the pause in beginning academic sessions for most of the law colleges as well as for most other colleges.

The national entrance exams, interviews, and admission process normally take about 90 days. By the time the universities will launch classes for 2020-21 this is expected to be September. Because of the disruption, the colleges and the students will lose almost three months of classroom teaching to students.

Along with this, even if the admission process is finished, it would not be possible for the universities to call students for physical classes due to the pandemic. The traditional Indian education system practices face-to-face or physical teaching while a decade ago the advent of audio-visual aids was implemented in classrooms. Renowned Indian universities such as the University of Delhi now offer their students online courses. But much of India’s higher education institutions are not equipped with such facilities. In the event of such a difference, certain students could violently face the brunt, which could impact their whole school year, If we follow countries with a much more developed and versatile curriculum level relative to ours.

The major problem with the colleges is that most of the colleges are not well-equipped with the academic technology which might be needed to normalize the learning and teaching at colleges. In a 2018 survey commissioned by Times Higher Education, the leaders of well-known global universities held the opinion that online teaching could never equal physical room teaching. When we speak about how India’s higher education system is ready to tackle the transition, we need to keep in mind that India’s digital shift is fairly recent. Not only in India but also in Asia. You will be amazed to know that only in the year 2012 was the first Asian Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) developed by the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Indian Colleges will take time to cope with the transition and be open to innovative approaches because the education system model here is a teaching style focused on lectures. Visual teaching is more apparent in schools and this approach makes school students, teachers, and parents more relaxed compared to higher education in India. In the case of COVID-19, online teaching has become a must, for not only colleges in India but also worldwide to look for creative approaches in a short period. 

How should the students cope up with the postponement?

With the postponement of the entrance exams, in the present case CLAT, the students should take advantage of the time given and make their preparations as strong as possible. The following methods can be followed to have stronger preparation for the entrance exams.

Following a set time table

As there is no option available to the students except to stay at home and study due to the lockdown, it is the best time for the students to have a proper time table and follow it to prepare for the entrance exams. The students can form a new timetable and study routine and include all subjects in that daily routine or time table. The students should give maximum time to study while they are at their home. The lockdown will give some extra time to the students preparing for the entrance exams so one may use this to prepare for those subjects or topics which they did not prepare so far.

Doing online preparations and classes

While the lockdown still continues, candidates will have to go online to keep their CLAT preparation momentum going forward. There is a lot of material on digital media available for study. For current affairs and general information, one can use YouTube. Similarly, these days the online educational platform would be very successful and effective.

Developing various reading abilities

CLAT’s examination pattern has shifted substantially from what the students have experienced in previous years. Now, Candidates are also going to be checked on their abilities to learn, interpret, and make choices. This lockdown will also be used to improve the capacity to read and understand the complicated papers. Candidates are encouraged to read articles, editorial pages, and viewpoints, etc. to grasp the above main subject, political and legal dimension.

Solve as many mock tests as possible

The lockdown will be used to overcome further CLAT simulation assessments that are known to be an efficient way to train for CLAT. On the one side, the CLAT mock tests allow the candidates to be conscious of the current format of the CLAT exam, while at the same time aids the applicant by providing a comprehensive analysis of their preparation. CLAT is a very challenging examination. Solving the CLAT examination paper during this quarantine time will allow aspirants to peep with subject information into their observations and thus the extent of training for them. Applicants should learn their weak and strong areas of a topic by practicing CLAT sample papers. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses gives them direction to their preparation as they know where to put more effort into doing so. It will help them improve, and with pace and precision complete the whole paper.

Evaluating individual strengths and weaknesses is essential while preparing for competitive exams like CLAT. Attempting to solve sample papers will give the candidates a clear picture of the subjects or portions in which they are strong or weak in. This will help them focus on the weaker areas and improve things they are already strong at. By solving the question paper on the CLAT model, candidates should gain confidence and be ready to face the actual exam with no difficulty.

Make short notes for fast revision

Candidates should have a notebook in hand for taking the brief notes when reading a book or viewing an online film, or reading a newspaper. When revising, compiling short notes becomes very useful. Also, the quick notes or a synopsis helps to cover the topics at times when reading a full book is not convenient. During the lockdown, CLAT aspirants can invest some decent time revising the relevant subjects, the subjects that feature most frequently throughout the entrance exam. Revision means that if the applicant has absorbed, it remains with him for a prolonged period. A proper revision of the important CLAT topics will also bring accuracy when answering the CLAT examinations.

Take proper care of physical and mental health

This very particular time is very sensitive because we are in between of a health crisis. So the students especially should take care of their physical health as well as mental health. These times can be frustrating to almost all students since they have been preparing for these entrance examinations for a very long time. So the students mustn’t lose their patience as it’s a matter of time that this bad time will soon pass. When the students schedule the time table for the CLAT 2020 test, one has to make sure that they have a few hours to rest. Studying without a break can take a toll over a patient’s mental health. Do some form of exercise or yoga, play with friends, listen to music.

Conclusion

Due to the lockdown, many important schedules have been changed and caused a huge loss. The postponement of the entrance exam can be a difficult time for all the students who have prepared for these exams with a lot of hard work and determination. But this lockdown time can be a huge advantage given that the students have got extra time to prepare and walk an extra for better preparation. Thus, the students should continue with their preparation and stay positive for the future.


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