National Testing Agency offers to conduct Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2024 in various regional languages
NTA can conduct CLAT 2024 in regional languages – The National Testing Agency (NTA) has conveyed the Delhi High Court in an affidavit that it can conduct Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) in various regional languages like Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada and others languages in response to a petition seeking the conduct of CLAT-2024 not only in English but also in regional languages enhancing accessibility for candidates lacking proficiency in the English language. Currently CLAT is conducted by the Consortium of National Law Universities in English only. NTA is currently conducting NEET and JEE Mains in 13 regional languages across the country
As per the agency, it has a pool of experts and translators in a wide range of subjects for preparing question papers in multiple languages. It has also informed that if NTA has to conduct the CLAT 2024 in regional language, it could only be possible to hold in the third or fourth week of January 2024 as they will require minimum four months’ time to make preparations. The application process for CLAT 2024 is ongoing and the exam is scheduled to be conducted in December 2023.
The National Testing agency has been asked by the bench of Chief Justice Satish Chandra Sharma and Justice Subramonium Prasad to file an affidavit on the issue, observing that when medical and engineering entrance exams can be held in regional languages then why not CLAT be conducted in other languages except for English.
Petitioner Sudhanshu Pathak, a law student at Delhi University, has said in his PIL that “In a hyper-competitive paper, students from non-English language background are linguistically disempowered as they have to surpass the additional hurdle of learning and mastering a new language”. It is also mentioned in PIL that CLAT (UG) examination “discriminates” and fails to provide a “level playing field” to students whose educational backgrounds are rooted in regional languages.
The Consortium of National Law Universities responded by stating that CLAT-2024 preparation has been advanced and that any judicial order requiring the addition of new language options this year without any consideration and studies would have serious administrative and operational impacts The consortium added that it has formed an expert committee to consider giving CLAT in other regional languages besides English in the upcoming years after resolving all anticipated issues.