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The Impact of the Coronavirus on CLAT 2020 in Particular and Legal Education in General

In the wake of the number of Coronavirus cases spiking in India, the central and state governments have been scrambling to put in place stringent measures like the closure of schools, colleges, malls, and entertainment & recreational venues and now finally as best preventive measure “Lockdowns” has been announced. This emerging situation has also kept CLAT 2020 aspirants on tenterhooks as, if the situation deteriorates any further, there is every chance that this important all India Law entrance exam conducted by the National Law Schools/Universities for admissions to their under-graduate (B.A. LL. B. and LL.B.) and postgraduate degree programmes (LL. M) may be postponed.

The pen-and-paper based CLAT 2020 exam is currently slated to be conducted on 10th May 2020 with the application form currently open. The last date to submit the completed CLAT 2020 application form is 31st March 2020.

Coronavirus update:

At the point of writing this blog, the total number of coronavirus cases in India has gone beyond 500. So far, 19 people have succumbed to the virus, which causes COVID-19 disease. Maharashtra has recorded the highest number of cases, and Kerala comes second.

In order to stop the contagion from spreading, most states have closed down shopping malls, schools, colleges, recreational and entertainment areas. Almost all Indian states have now announced total “Lockdown” till 31st March 2020. Besides, the central government is evacuating Indian nationals who were stuck in foreign countries, including in Coronavirus epicentres like Italy and Iran. Major events like the IPL have been suspended, as travelling becomes more and more hazardous. International figures like the wife of Canadian PM Justin Trudeau’s wife has tested positive for Coronavirus.

What are the chances of CLAT 2020 being postponed?

So far, the Consortium of NLUs responsilbel for conducting CLAT 2020 have not come out with any notification with regard to postponment of date of examination which as of now is 10th May 2020. But if the outbreak of this pandemic is not controlled then probably CLAT 2020 aspirants can expect an official announcement with regard to schedule of examination.

Impact of the Coronavirus on legal education in general

To talk of the impact of the Coronavirus on legal education in general, it can certainly be said that the Coronavirus pandemic is adversely affecting law schools, prospective law applicants, students and graduates across the world in no less measure. In fact, law schools which are typically considered to be traditional and resistant to change, are now adapting with rare urgency new ways and means of conducting e- learning with the help of technology for controlling the escalation of Coronavirus pandemic .

Like other educational institutions, nearly all law schools in India have moved to virtual classroom setup with classes being conducted online, cancelled campus activities and events, and restricted libraries and other facilities. It is also advised that students who are worried about the impact on their transcripts as they enter a precarious job market should start preparing early for their final papers and exams and take advantage of videoconferencing tools to conduct group study sessions and feel less isolated during this challenging time.

Law schools are likely to make usage of new technology to ease the transition from real classroom to virtual classroom setup. Further no doubt the technological innovations and various applications like Zoom. Microsoft Team etc will help the law colleges to continue their academic sessions rigouroulsy even during the present difficult times.

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