"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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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 is charity partner for the event]   PRESS RELEASE| IDEX LEGAL Mumbai, 22nd April: In association with Thomson Reuters, IDEX Legal curated the 13th edition of The Legal Counsel Congress (LCC) and 5th edition of IDEX Legal Awards (ILA) at St. Regis, Mumbai. India’s annual general counsel gathering, the LCC brought together global legal heads from across Asia, Europe, and the United States to address the challenges faced by GC’s as a result of their broadening roles as intrinsic business partners. The LCC was presented by Thomson Reuters, the leading global...

The Zero Project Recognises IDIA as an ‘Innovative Practice’

The IDIA Charitable Trust was selected by the Vienna based Zero Project as one of 86 winners from across the world for “Innovative Practices 2016” at this year’s Zero Project Conference on Inclusive Education and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that was held on 10-12 February 2016 (http://zeroproject.org/practice/india-idia-charitable-trust/). The project was distinguished at the United Nations Office in Vienna in the presence of more than 500 experts in the field of disability rights from over 70 countries around the world for its achievements in Inclusive Education and ICT. IDIA’s...

IDIA conducts sensitization at Sukma, Chhattisgarh

Vineet reports on IDIA’s first sensitization venture into the notorious Red Corridor, as a three-member team visits the district of Sukma in Chhattisgarh.

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

PRESS RELEASE 3 March 2016 DELHI –The Smart Start Experience, Allen & Overy’s award-winning work experience scheme, launches in India on 8 March. The programme, which aims to give young people from disadvantaged backgrounds a real insight into the world of business, will be held in collaboration with the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) project in India. IDIA identifies candidates with potential from marginalised and under-represented backgrounds and aims to introduce them to law as a career option. IDIA has already successfully created collaborative local networks with law...

Biryani with Balakrishna

Story of reconnecting three years later with a scholar who we lost in touch with after CLAT [About the author: Prajwal Gyawali is former Team Leader of IDIA Hyderabad chapter. He is currently working with ICICI Bank.] I got the great opportunity to reconnect with Balakrishna after almost 3 years since I last saw him. Balakrishna, was one of our visually impaired CLAT aspirant for CLAT 2013, along with Sudheer, Vamshi, and Chenna Reddy. One of our most open and interactive scholars who used to keenly ask us questions during...

CHAMPS Alert: Rinju Kumari Ranks Second in Calcutta University

Ms. Rinju Kumari, an IDIA scholar currently a 3rd-year student of South Calcutta Law College, Kolkata, became the 2nd highest scorer in her university (Calcutta University) for a second consecutive year scoring a whopping 74.4% , being an astonishing average of the five subjects!

IDIA Model United Nations 2016

IDIA in collaboration with National Law University Odisha (NLUO) is proud to announce IDIA MODEL UNITED NATIONS 2016  The event will take place on the NLUO campus from 26th to 28th February, 2016. The Theme of the event is to promote diversity and awareness through the medium of MUN. The agendas for the MUN have been set keeping the theme in mind. Apart from a diverse discussion on the subject, this MUN will also be conducting a special session focused on the theme “Diversity: The Inclusive Planet and Symbiosis”...

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

On 3 December 2015, members of IDIA West Bengal Chapter visited the Ramakrishna Mission Blind Boys’ Academy, Narendrapur, Kolkata for sensitizing the students and the members of the institution about law as a viable career choice. The day held special significance as 3 December 2015 has been designated as the International Day of People with Disability by the United Nations and is celebrated around the world. The team comprising Mr. Arnab Roy (Director), Ms. Trina Saha (Director), Saubhagya Raj Alfred (Team Leader), Abhisheak Verma (Deputy Leader), Aditya Pattnaik (Student Director) and Lakesh...

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

With numerous tiffins of freshly cooked lunches or more commonly known as “dabbas” stocked over their heads, the dabbawalas move under the red hot scorching sun with sweat trickling down their faces.This efficient network of tiffin carriers have been a very important part of Mumbai’s lifeline for many decades. The Mumbai chapter of the IDIA team visited the Dabbawalas to address the issue of their children’s education and thereby be of assistance to them in their own little way. On the 27thof June 2015 at Navayug Mansion, Grant Road,...

Can an institution be Zen?

If being “Zen” means “living the moment”, can an institution be Zen? Sure, individuals can live the moment and leave all else to chance or destiny or the higher forces that be. But can an institution? When we kickstarted IDIA, we took one day at a time and let it grow naturally and organically. Despite many a critical (well meaning) skeptic, the movement blossomed beyond our wildest dreams..and grew in completely unanticipated ways. Had we known the enormity of the task ahead or that we’d need at least 2...

IDIA Strikes Again: Profiling Our Successful Scholars In CLAT 2015

As with previous years, IDIA continues its modest success this year as well. Five of our scholars make it to the leading law schools in India! For their detailed profiles see here. The fourth allotment list of CLAT was just out last week. Although mired in controversy and potentially revisable after a Bombay High Court order, it seems like this will be the final list after all (given that the admissions processes have concluded at most of the law schools). Controversy notwithstanding, this is one of the high points...

Anil Bhadu

Anil Bhadu
NLSIU, Bangalore, 2015-2020

Anil Bhadu, has successfully managed to crack the Common Law Admission Test, 2015 this year and secure an All India Rank of 42, which has qualified him for taking admission in …