"Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access"

Empowering underprivileged students through legal education.

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About us

The IDIA project was initiated to reach out to these marginalized and under-represented groups, sensitize them to law as a viable career option and help interested students acquire admission to these law schools. It is hoped that such access to legal education would go some way towards empowering the marginalized and underprivileged students and the communities that they represent.

Why law?

Legal education is just not about memorizing hundreds of legal maxims and cases. Rather, a good legal education enables the cultivation of personal autonomy, intellectual independence and the development of critical life skills beyond the traditional goals of teaching/training/learning of specific skills.

IDIA Research

The IDIA Project seeks to empower marginalised communities by fostering access to the leading law schools. Along with sensitisation and intensive training programs, IDIA will also attempt to drive policy in the area of “inclusive” legal education and “diversity” within law schools and the legal profession.

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Five Team Leaders Selected for SAGAR – IDIA FELLOWSHIP 2016

IDIA family extends heartiest congratulations to the following five team leaders, who have been selected for the prestigious Sagar-IDIA Fellowship 2016 for their outstanding leadership in 2015: Amrita Shivaprasad, Team Leader – IDIA Rajasthan Chapter, National Law University Jodhpur. Shachi Jain, Team Leader – IDIA Maharashtra Chapter, Government Law College, Mumbai. Subornadeep Bhattacharjee, Team Leader – IDIA North-East Chapter, National Law University, Assam. Yugal Jain, Team Leader – IDIA Hyderabad Chapter, NALSAR Law University, Hyderabad. Kumar Harsh, Team Leader, IDIA Rajasthan Chapter (Mentorship sub-team), National Law University Jodhpur. We are confident that they will continue...

IDAP Interview Series: Interview II with Judge David S Tatel

The second interview for the IDIA Disability Access Programme (IDAP) Interview Series is with the distinguished Judge David S Tatel of the United States Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, often referred to as the second most important court in the United States of America. Judge Tatel was nominated to the bench in 1994 by President Clinton, to a seat vacated by Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Judge Tatel graduated from the University of Chicago Law School in 1966. He has had a very diverse career trajectory, from teaching...

IDAP Interview Series: Interview I with Justice Zak Mohammed Yacoob

The IDIA Disability Access Programme (IDAP) was launched in January this year. As part of the programme, we’ve initiated a series of interviews with leading legal luminaries who are disabled (including lawyers, law professors and judges). The first interview in this series is with Justice Zak Mohammed Yacoob, a legendary judge, social activist and educator who served as a judge on the South African Constitutional Court for 15 years. He was appointed to the bench in 1998 by Nelson Mandela. Justice Yacoob became blind at 16 months because of meningitis.

A Huge Victory for Diversity

Diversity scored a big victory when the US Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the University of Texas’ race-based affirmative action plan for its undergraduate admission! The landmark decision in Fisher v. University of Texas case came as a welcome surprise to the champions of diversity.

Susmit Isfaq

Susmit Isfaq hails from a modest background in Guwahati, Assam. The only child to his parents, Isfaq lost his mother around eight years ago. Despite growing up under precarious circumstances, Isfaq’s resolve to succeed has never been dampened. He performed well in CLAT 2016, gaining admission into National Law University, Assam.

Yash Mittal

Yash Mittal

Yash Mittal, from Gwalior, Madhya Pradesh, recently finished his schooling from Kiddy’s Corner Higher Secondary School and has been trained by the IDIA Madhya Pradesh Chapter since December 2015. With limited means to support his educational needs, Yash has worked hard to achieve academic success and has been admitted at Institute of Law, Nirma University.

Trilok Chand

Trilok Chand

Trilok Chand is from Barmer, Rajasthan, and moved to Jodhpur for his schooling, where he completed schooling from Holy Spirit Senior Secondary School, Jodhpur in 2015. His father is a cobbler by profession, and there have been various social and economic pressures that he is under. His diligence led to him performing admirably well in CLAT 2016, securing an All India category rank of 259, and gaining admission into Tamil Nadu National Law School, Tiruchirapalli.

Raju Ram

Raju Ram

Raju Ram completed his schooling from Dr. Ambedkar Residential School in 2015, and devoted the better part of the last year preparing for CLAT under the training of the IDIA Rajasthan chapter. Raju’s diligent efforts paid off as he secured an All India category rank of 248 in CLAT 2016, and gained admission into Tamil Nadu National Law School, Tiruchirapalli.

Dikhita Borah

Dikhita Borah

Dikhita Borah hails from a small village called Hathi Gaon in North Guwahati, Assam. Dikhita and her two sisters have seen some strife in the family- their father is a construction worker with the Public Works Department and, unfortunately, suffers from alcoholism. Both bright and hard working, Dikhita performed extremely well in school and the CLAT 2016, where she scored 109.75 marks, gaining admission into National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam in Guwahati.

Musharaf Nazir

Musharaf Nazir

Musharaf Nazir is a resident of the Baramulla district in Jammu and Kashmir. In 2016, Musharaf came across IDIA on the internet, and contacted Dr. Shamnad Basheer for IDIA’s support in his CLAT preparation. He was invited to shift to Delhi and train with the IDIA Delhi chapter for the month of April. Musharaf’s hard work finally paid off, as he secured 116.25 marks in CLAT.

Dharu Ram

Dharu Ram

After training with the IDIA Rajasthan Chapter for two years, Dharu cracked CLAT and secured admission to the Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar, one of the top ten law schools in the country.

Sarath KP

Sarath KP

Sarath hails from the village of Panangad, in the Ernakulam district of Kerala. He completed his schooling from Kaloor Model Technical Higher Secondary School, Ernakulam. His hard work as an IDIA Trainee with the IDIA Kerala Chapter has paid off, with Sarath’s CLAT 2016 score securing him admission into the National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi.

Ragvendra

Ragvendra

Ragvendra has been passionate about studying law since he was in Class XI, and scored an impressive 144.25 in CLAT 2016, the highest CLAT score ever achieved by an IDIA Trainee in the general category! This performance gained him admission into National Law University Odisha, Cuttack.

Eshwar

Eshwar

Despite his visual impairment, Eshwar burnt the midnight oil and secured his admission into Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar. Eshwar was meticulously trained by the IDIA Hyderabad Chapter over the last two years after having been selected from the Sai Junior School for the Visually Challenged in Hyderabad.

Aritra Mondal

Aritra Mondal

Aritra Mondal, a dynamic and determined scholar who trained under the IDIA West Bengal Chapter, secured admission into Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.

Rishabh

Rishabh

A bright scholar who had been trained by the IDIA Delhi Chapter, Rishabh finished school from a Government Senior Secondary School in Delhi. His hard work as an IDIA Trainee has paid off, with him gaining admission into Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar.

Rahul Suthar

Rahul Suthar

Rahul excelled in CLAT 2016, scoring 127 and ranking among the top-performing IDIA trainees across the country this year.

Pavan Kallem

Pavan Kallem

Despite his visual impairment and poverty, Pavan’s inspirational efforts have secured him admission to NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad

Nazrul Molla

Nazrul Islam Molla is a 3rd-year student of Sikkim Government Law College, Gangtok. Nazrul’s excellent academic performance and friendly demeanour quickly earned him admiration from amongst his teachers and peers. He has consistently been amongst the top two ranks in his batch. A reward for his commitment and brilliance in his academic pursuits came in his 2nd year when the Chief Minister of Sikkim awarded Nazrul a laptop as a token of appreciation. In addition to his academic achievements, Nazrul is also active in sports on campus especially in...

Christina Charles

Christina Charles hails from a family of 4 where her mother is the sole earner. Her father has been unemployed over the last few years due to a gangrene infection resulting in the amputation of the leg which doesn’t allow him to work. While her sister is currently in the 10th grade and is a keen student. Christina is currently in her  3rd year(2016-2017) BA LL.B from KLE Society’s Law College, Bangalore. She feels that Law is not a restrictive course and it has introduced her to so many various other...

Sensitization in Train

One of our IDIA volunteers provides an interesting perspective on IDIA sensitizations, while chancing upon a new avenue for conducting sensitizations – while travelling in trains!

The Inaugural IDIA-NLUA Food Fest ’16

Our student team leader from National Law University, Assam, details an innovative and fun fundraising initiative pioneered by the IDIA team at their university – a ‘Cook for a Cause’ food fest in which students and professors prepare and sell an assortment of delicacies to the inhabitants of the university campus, with the proceeds going towards IDIA for the legal educations of students from low-income and marginalized groups.

IDEX Legal presents the 13th edition of The Legal Counsel Congress and 5th edition of IDEX Legal Awards

IDIA acts as charity partner at IDEX Legal Awards 2016 hosted at Mumbai. The opportunity was used to showcase fantastic work done by lawyers in the region and raised funds for IDIA.

The Zero Project Recognises IDIA as an ‘Innovative Practice’

IDIA goes international! The Zero Project which, conducts research and monitors statistics related to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (UN CRPD) awarded IDIA for being one of the most ‘Innovative Practices in 2016.’

IDIA conducts sensitization at Sukma, Chhattisgarh

IDIA volunteers embark on a rare adventure to sensitize students in Sukma, a part of the Red Corridor, which is severely affected by the Naxalite insurgency

IDIA Gala Dinner: Fun and Food with Soul

We, at IDIA, are organizing a Gala Dinner in Bangalore this Saturday, 19th March 2016. The Gala Dinner marks our first formal attempt at unleashing a focused CHAMPS training programme for our scholars (for more details, see here).   Important Details:  When: 6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m., 19th March 2016. Where: Wadiyar Hall, Century Club, #1, Seshadri Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560001. Google Map Location: here Chief Guest: Senior Advocate, Mr. KG Raghavan has graciously agreed to be the Chief Guest for the event. Tickets: The dinner is priced at INR 1500 per head but further donations to match...

Smart Start Work Experience Programme Launches in India

Allen &Overy joins hands with IDIA to level the playing field for its Scholars as they enter the job market. The program included soft skills training, presentation tips and persuasive writing.

Biryani with Balakrishna

Former Hyderabad team leader, Prajwal Gyawali meets a former trainee, now pursuing B.com, after five long years. They take a nostalgic walk down memory lane over delicious Hyderabadi biryani and a visit to Sai Junior College

CHAMPS Alert: Rinju Kumari Ranks Second in Calcutta University

Rinju, a diligent scholar, who unfortunately could not make it through CLAT, is amongst the crème de la crème of Calcutta University. She is the embodiment of the IDIA vision, to be a community leader empowered by legal education.

IDIA Model United Nations 2016

National Law University Odisha as a part of its fundraising initiatives hosts a Model United Nations Conference. The opportunity is aimed at providing exposure to participating IDIA Scholars and spread the IDIA message to the locals of Cuttack and Bhubaneswar

Sensitisation Visit to Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys’ Academy by IDIA West Bengal Chapter

IDIA West Bengal team heads out to sensitize parents and visually impaired students. Our IDIA Scholar, LakeshMeena shares his experiences as a scholar and connects with the crowd.

Life comes full circle for IDIA-Sikkim

The IDIA movement began when a few students of NUJS, along with Prof. Shamnad Basheer, conducted a sensitization programme at a school located at the picturesque hill town of Pelling, Western Sikkim, back in 2010. Since then, the IDIA movement has spread across the entire country. It is only fitting that this special association with Sikkim is maintained, with an IDIA volunteer team working out of and focusing exclusively on Sikkim. A team comprising of Nazrul Molla, Manoj Subba, Kuenzang Pelden, Tenzin Lhadon and Hemlal Manger, all student volunteers...

CPR Workshop on a Draft Anti-discrimination Bill

At the heart of IDIA’s philosophy and mandate lies the fight for non-discrimination and for achieving real, material equality. We look forward to having a consistent policy for promoting non-discrimination in India. The Draft Anti-discrimination Bill is a great step forward in this direction. Do see the details of CPR Workshop of Draft Anti-discrimination Bill below. Visit http://cprindia.org/events/4871 for more details. Speakers: MICHAEL KIRBY, TARUNABH KHAITAN, SHYAM BABU, JAYNA KOTHARI, SAUMYA UMA, VIDHU VERMA, SIDDHARTH NARRAIN Date and Time: FRIDAY, 18 DECEMBER 2015, 10:30 AM TO 4:00 PM Venue: Conference Hall,...

Liberal Lawyers: To Kill a Mocking Bird and Other Essential Readings

In his essay titled “Liberally Educating Law Students: Suggested Readings”, Professor Leonard J. Long rightly notes (albeit in the US context) (read the article here): “Is the aim of legal education merely to produce (that is, graduate) mere legal technocrats? If that were the primary aim of legal education, then a reading list for the well-read law graduate could conceivably consist of only law or law-related titles. But lawyers, at least in America, wield a fair bit of political power and influence. (I will not comment here as to whether...

IDIA launches Disability Access Programme Team!

            Empower and Enable the (Dis)-abled On the occasion of the United Nations International Day of People with Disability 2015, IDIA is very happy to announce the launch of our new IDIA Disability Access Programme (“i-DAP”) team! One of our core objectives since IDIA’s inception has been to contribute to making the legal ecosystem more disabled-friendly. IDIA has sensitised, trained and supported many students with disabilities, as well as undertaken policy research and reform for making legal education and legal profession more accessible to students with...

Call for Internships: IDIA Hyderabad Chapter (2015-2016)

Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education (IDIA), Hyderabad Chapter invites applications for an internship tenure between November 2015 and April 2016. The internship is open to students who are pursuing their bachelor’s degree or a higher level of education. Interns are expected to work with the Training & Materials Team of the Hyderabad Chapter, training IDIA scholars for CLAT (Common Law Admission Test) and other entrance examinations that open doors to legal education. This will entail teaching and preparing study guides for Legal Aptitude, Logical Reasoning, English, General...

The Road Less Traveled – IDIA Mumbai’s “Kranti” Visit

– By Ankit Pathak and Sumedha Mazumdar They were meant to fly To touch that blue sky But the selfish world kept them caged Scared and threatened them with rage But the world forgot they are dreamers Determined to fly away The cage will melt The world will change With the new light of the day                            – Ankit Pathak   On 11th October 2015, the IDIA Mumbai chapter took the first step on the road less...

First Sensitisation by IDIA Odisha’s Sensitisation Team

 – Sourav Mishra, Co-Team Leader, IDIA ODISHA (Sensitisation) Tuesday, September 22, 2015: The day finally arrived. Students of National Law University Odisha conducted IDIA’s first ever sensitisation event of the newly formed Sensitisation Team of IDIA’s Odisha Chapter at Emarti Devi College, Cuttack. The team reached the venue at 10 a.m. and was greeted by the Principal-in-Charge and Supervisor of the college. With an attendance of more than 200 students in a single lecture hall, the team knew that there was a need for utmost sincerity in conduct of sensitisation, primarily because of it being their...

IDIA celebrates fifth anniversary with memorable three-day event

The IDIA movement recently celebrated its 5th Anniversary with a ‘legal education’ conference on 2nd October at the National Law University (NLU) Delhi and a fun filled awards ceremony on the evening of 3rd October, at the Delhi Flying Club, Safdarjung Airport.     Our first event, the 2nd Annual ‘Legal Education’ conference on ‘Gandhi and the IDIA of law: Creating CHAMPS’, was organized in association with the Chair of Professional Ethics, NLU Delhi. The theme was chosen keeping in mind the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti. We were joined...

Thank you for supporting IDIA for five years!

What began with a few students from WBNUJS at the small Himalayan town of Pelling in 2010 has, incredibly, completed 5 years, as IDIA gears up to celebrate its Fifth Year Anniversary over the weekend. The last half a decade has been a great ride for IDIA, as it has achieved moderate success, admitting 70 of its trainees into various law schools across the country, including 54 into National Law Universities. What has been absolutely overwhelming, though, has been the amount of love and support that IDIA has received from...

Legal Position in India on leeway granted to dyslexic students during competitive examinations

The Research and Policy Team of IDIA recently had the opportunity to answer a query regarding leeway granted to students with disabilities (with specific emphasis on dyslexic students) during examinations such as the IIM-Indore IPM Aptitude Test, CLAT, NMIMS-NPAT (BBA), Symbiosis-SET etc. We looked into the legal position on the issue, investigating specifically whether a dyslexic student is entitled to demand: additional time access to calculators Locating the right The, Persons with Disabilities (Equal Opportunities, Protection of Rights and Full Participation) Act, 1995 [“PWD Act”] is the special legislation...

The IDIA – Snehangshu Kumar Mukherjee Scholarship

Late Snehangshu Kumar Mukherjee was an eminent advocate practicing at the Calcutta High Court. He practiced mostly civil and commercial law and, over a career spanning 37 years, was well known for resolving differences and helping litigants settle their disputes amicably. The IDIA – Snehangshu Kumar Mukherjee Scholarship has been constituted in collaboration with his son Mr. Swayambhu Mukherjee. Every year, an IDIA Scholar gaining admission to NUJS shall be the recipient of this scholarship. This scholarship will help the IDIA scholar with educational expenses that he may have to...

THE MAKING OF CHAMPS: IDIA’s PILOT FORAY INTO MARENAHALLI BANDE

IDIA Scholar, Karthika Annamalai is now in her fourth year at NUJS, Kolkata. Karthika has many accomplishments to her credit, including winning the CNN IBN Zindagi Live Award in 2013 for epitomizing the triumphant of the human will amidst adversity. You can find out more about Karthika here. Karthika belongs to a community that resides in a tiny village surrounding a stone quarry in Marenahalli Bande, around 3 hours away from central Bangalore, Karnataka. Marenahalli is the name of the village which is part of the Bangalore district, while...

IDIA Football League, 2015 [Press Release]

Mumbai is all set to host the 2015 edition of the IDIA Football League (IFL), powered by Vahura and partnered by Tilt All Day and Sporting Easy, on September 5 and 6 this year. IFL 2015 comes as the second installment to the highly successful tournament last year, which saw participation from fourteen teams representing various law firms and corporate houses. This year the tournament will see larger participation with 20 teams fighting it out for the two trophies – IFL CUP 2015 and IFL PLATE 2015. The IFL...

NLSIU, Bangalore announces scholarship policy for the underprivileged

  The National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore recently pioneered one of the most progressive scholarship policies for underprivileged students last month. You can read the news coverage of the same here, here and here. For a copy of the policy, see here.   The Preamble of the Policy acknowledges the prevalence of elitism and the lack of diversity in student populations by citing IDIA diversity survey research. This is indeed admirable, because this is probably the first time that any of the national law schools is...

Call for applications: National Research and Policy Team

Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education (IDIA) is looking for passionate and dynamic students from the 3rd, 4th and 5th years of law school to join our National Research and Policy Team.   What is the IDIA National Research and Policy Team As IDIA attempts to drive policy in the area of ‘inclusive’ legal education and ‘diversity’ within law schools and the legal profession, the IDIA Research and Policy Team (IRAP) has been specially designed to take this forward. The IRAP team consists of a dedicated group of...

IDIA Football League 2015 (IFL-2015)

  IDIA is happy to announce the second edition of IDIA Football League 2015 (IFL-2015) powered by Vahura. The IDIA Football League is conceptualized as a football tournament in Mumbai for Law Firms and Legal Teams of Corporates. IDIA is organizing the IFL to raise money to sponsor the legal education of IDIA Scholars studying at National Law Universities and other leading law colleges (non National Law Universities). The schedule and timings will be informed well in advance to enable your team to plan appropriately. The dates and venue are listed below....

Diversity Deficit at the NLUs

As many of you know, we’ve been tracking the diversity deficit at the premier law schools for a while now. On some counts, its getting better (more students gaining admission without any real legal “ties” to the legal profession or judiciary etc) whereas on other counts, its getting worse (hardly 1% of students who made it to the top 5 NLU’s were from a vernacular medium school). Unfortunately, we were quite late in releasing our last results (for the incoming first year batch of 2013-14). The Mint and LI have...

‘IDIA on Wheels’ Project

Our world is a greatly divided one. Everywhere you see, cracks and divisions exist. While it is all fair to sit behind a computer screen and type words onto the screen admonishing the inequality around, real change can only be affected once we hit the roads and take what is rightfully ours. Fortunately enough, we have found solace in the company of one of our most ardent supporter and a cycle enthusiast, Nihad Basheer. He is willing to literally go that extra mile to effect the change IDIA envisions....

The Dabbawala Project – Legal Career Counselling and Sensitisation

Our Mumbai team conducts a series of sensitizations with Mumbai’s Dabbawalas and their Children.