India’s top government law & humanities universities 2023-24

EducationWorld May 2023 | Cover Story Magazine

Since last year when government varsities were segregated according to their subject specialisations, the National Law Universities (NLUs) have dominated EW India Gov. Law & Humanities league table

NLSIU's Dr. Krishnaswamy (centre right): "unparalled legal learning environment"

NLSIU’s Dr. Krishnaswamy (centre right): “unparalled legal learning environment”

Even as India’s legal system is collapsing under the weight of pending caseload — a record 47 million cases are pending in the country’s courts — legal education institutions are flourishing and multiplying across the country. According to Union law minister Kiren Rijiju, currently 1,721 colleges/ universities — including 920 private colleges, 248 private universities, 383 government law colleges and 170 government varsities — offer law study programmes countrywide. Of them, the most prized are the 24 National Law Universities (NLUs) promoted by Central/state governments pursuant to the second-generation legal education reforms (1985) implemented by the Bar Council of India. Admission into NLUs is through the highly competitive CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) — in 2022 of the 61,574 students who wrote CLAT, a mere 2,175 were admitted.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that since last year when government varsities were segregated according to their domain/subject specialisations, the NLUs have dominated the EW India Government Law & Humanities Rankings. This year too, seven of the Top 10 ranks have been awarded to NLUs with National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bengaluru (estb. 1988) heading the league table with top scores on all ten parameters of higher education excellence.

“We are honoured to receive this recognition for the second consecutive year. Our top score for faculty competence is especially satisfying as our faculty is drawn from the best institutions in India and overseas including Stanford, Cambridge, Oxford, Harvard, Yale, and New York universities, NALSAR Hyderabad, NLU Delhi and XLRI Jamshedpur. This exceptionally talented pool is the strongest faculty cohort at any Indian law university currently and enables us to provide an unparalleled learning environment for legal education in the country,” says Dr. Sudhir Krishnaswamy, an alumnus of NLSIU and Oxford University who was appointed vice chancellor of NLSIU in 2019.

According to Krishnaswamy, NLSIU’s pedagogy is focused on the intersection of law with the social sciences and humanities. “Last year, we recruited ten new faculty in social sciences and humanities, resulting in a five-fold increase in the number of permanent social sciences faculty at the university. With the National Education Policy 2020 recommending all higher education institutions to transform into multidisciplinary universities, we intend to boost research and knowledge creation, upgrade and expand our syllabus to develop new law and multidisciplinary programmes,” he adds.

Following NLSIU is NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad which has retained its #2 rank. The Indian Law Institute has been elevated to #3 (#5 in 2022-23), NLU, Dwarka, Delhi is ranked #4 (#4) while the WB National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata at #5 (#3) has lost some lustre.

Since this is a composite league table of law and humanities universities, two previously unranked non-legal Central higher education institutions — Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha, Delhi, ranked #6 and National Sanskrit University, Tirupati ranked #8, have broken the run of law universities.


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