Bar Council of India Proposes to Quash One-Year LLM Course, to Introduce Common Entrance Test for Post-Graduation
In a major decision, the Bar Council of India has decided to annul the one-year master’s degree programme (LLM) from the next academic session. This format for the LLM course was introduced in 2013. The BCI’s “Bar Council of India Legal Education (Post-Graduate, Doctoral, Executive, Vocational, Clinical and other Continuing Education), Rules, 2020”, notified on January 2, 2021, has proposed to reinstate the pre-2013 format of a two-year master’s degree (LLM), spread conventionally over four semesters.The January 2 notification will bring in some radical changes in the criteria on which the students were allowed to seek admission in the higher studies of Law. Along with the duration of the course extended over two years, there have been some other fundamental alterations in BCI’s proposed conception of the course. One of the basic changes is restricting the admission in LLM course only to students who have completed a three year graduation course in Law (LLB). Once the rule is passed, the students who studied individual Law subjects such as Company Law, law subjects under MBA and others will not be eligible to apply for LLM degree.In addition to these, the Bar Council of India has also proposed an entrance test to LLM, which is called Post Graduate Common Entrance Test in Law (PGCETL), for all the law universities having degree programmes for postgraduate students. This can be understood as a move to streamline higher education in Law.After these sweeping changes, the LLM aspirants will be needed to submit their law entrance test score for admission into universities of their choice, along with other requisite documents establishing educational qualifications. However, the universities haven’t been provided with the details of the procedure. Until then, the varsities will be following the existing norms for the students admitted under current academic session.