Breaking: CLAT 2019 application form charges Rs 3500 from BPL category

Apratim Chatterjee | 17th Jan, 2019 - 7:05 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI, JANUARY 17: In a shocking revelation, the Consortium of National Law Universities (NLU Consortium) is charging an application fee as high as Rs 3500 from the candidates belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) category. According to the official notification of CLAT 2019 and if the CLAT application form instructions inscribed on the official website are to believed, a BPL category candidate has to pay Rs. 3500 as CLAT 2019 application fee, the same amount to be paid by Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe categories' candidates.

The issue on CLAT 2019 application fee is a serious concern, when the Union Government recently has passed an Economic Backward Class (EBC) Law.

The Consortium of NLUs, the pseudo-permanent body for conducting Common Law Admission Test thinks a BPL category candidate can afford to the hefty amount for CLAT application form.

Below Poverty Line in Statistics

The Suresh Tendulkar Committee (2005), which was responsible for studying the portion of the population that lived below the poverty line (BPL) in November 2009 had submitted its report fixing the BPL mark. The committee devised a new method of calculating the poverty line based on per capita consumption expenditure per month or day. According to the method, the BPL mark was fixed at Rs 1000 per month (Rs 33/day) for urban areas, while the rural areas’ BPL mark was fixed at as low as Rs 816 per month (Rs 27/day).

Further, according to the latest data on Government records, which however is dated back to 2015, as many as 176 million people are under the National Poverty Line, which constituted to 21.9% of the total Indian population. Breaking this number further, the Poverty Estimates functioning under Niti Aayog (erstwhile Planning Commission), as much as 25.7 percent were located in urban areas and another 13.7% in rural areas.

Considering the seven years from 2015, the economic experts share that there might be a change, but yet they agree that there is a considerable number of BPL families residing amongst the Indian population.

Major questions on CLAT 2019 application fee: The issues

There are a number of questions rising due to this discrepant CLAT 2019 application fee.

  1. Why did CLAT 2019 officials (Consortium of NLUs) decided to charge BPL category candidates in a first this year? There was no mention of BPL category candidates’ CLAT application fee till last year.
  2. How did the Consortium of NLUs (CLAT 2019 conducting authority) did not realize that a BPL family who can barely afford to earn Rs 33 per day, amounting to Rs 1000, a month can afford to pay Rs 3500 for a CLAT 2019 application fee? This means that a BPL family has to save their complete earnings of three and a half months to pay an application fee of CLAT 2019 for its ward.
  3. Why can’t CLAT exempt the BPL category candidates from paying application fee like NLU Delhi does for AILET application form?

What now?

Careers360 believing this an injustice to the prospective BPL category candidates has written to CLAT 2019 Convenor and Consortium of NLUs seeking responses on the discrepancy of CLAT 2019 application fee.

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