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1,721 law schools in India; more than twice as many private law colleges as government Law colleges

Socio Legal Corp

Written by Shaurya Mahajan

Today, the Union Law Minister Kiren Rijiju revealed in Parliament that a total of 1,721 law colleges and universities are currently operating in the country. 

CPI(M) Member of Parliament from the Nagapattinam constituency M Selvaraj had asked a question regarding the details of the number of law colleges and universities in the country.

The reply given by the Law Minister divided the institutions into law colleges and law universities (private and government) in States across India.

The breakup of the institutions is as follows: 

Private Law Colleges – 920

Private Universities – 248

Government Law Colleges – 383

Government Universities – 170

Total: 1,721 institutions

It can be observed that there are more than twice as many private law colleges in India than there are government law colleges. In states like Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra, that number is nearly 4 times.

The response also revealed that Madhya Pradesh has the highest number of government law colleges at 68, while Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of private law colleges, at 223. Rajasthan has the highest number of private law universities at 38, while Uttar Pradesh has the highest number of government law universities at 20. On the other hand, Goa, Mizoram and Nagaland have no private law institutions.

It was stated that the responsibility of filling up of vacancies in such colleges/universities is for the respective institutes themselves and no data is maintained centrally with regard to the same.

On whether there is any proposal to set up new law institutes, the reply stated that at present there was no such proposal under consideration.

In September last year, the Madras High Court, while hearing a challenge to Section 9 of the Advocates Act, had reiterated long-standing concerns about the mushrooming of sub-standard law colleges. Then Chief Justice Sanjib Banerjee had said that mushrooming of “cowshed law colleges” is an issue that needs to be addressed.

This was not the first time the courts discussed the issue. A Supreme Court Bench of Justices Arun Mishra and Mohan Shantangoudar had in January 2018 made interesting remarks regarding the mushrooming of private law colleges.

The Bar Council of India (BCI) had in August 2019 unanimously resolved to stop granting affiliation to new law colleges for three years. The decision followed a proposal to this effect made by Bar Council of India member Ved Prakash Sharma. Sharma had raised issues with respect to sub-standard legal education in the country, which was ultimately affecting the standard of the legal profession.

The Council had observed that there were enough institutions in all parts of the country to feed the law courts and to serve the people.

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