"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.

Our Gallery

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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 …

Yamuna Menon

Yamuna Menon
NLSIU, Bangalore, 2015-2020

Yamuna Menon, a student of Bhavans Vidya Mandir, is from the small coastal town of Tripunithura, on the outskirts of Kochi, Kerala. Her father works as a bank agent and her mother is a librarian. …

Arvind Kumar

Arvind Kumar
NLU, Jodhpur, 2015-2020

Hailing from the small village of Maitriwara in the Jalore district of Rajasthan, Arvind recently finished his schooling from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya in Jalore …

Manash Mandal

Manash Mondal
HNLU, Raipur, 2015-2020

Daring to dream beyond the ordinary despite his humble background, Manas from Dibrugarh, Assam, is one of the most motivated and focused IDIA trainees from the IDIA North-East chapter. He has exhibited …

Lakesh Meena

Lakesh Meena
WBNUJS, Kolkata, 2015-2020

It is National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, next, for our resolute scholar, Lakhesh Meena, with a CLAT AIR 5 in PWD category. He comes from a humble background, where in, his …

Bhavna Singh

Bhavna Singh
GGSIPU, 2015-2020

Bhavna Singh is a very cheerful girl who works her way out with undaunted determination and hard work. She completed her schooling with flying colours, scoring 91.7% in her 12th Board examinations. Her elder sister, a graduate engaged in a …

A Small Step through a Sensitization, a Giant Leap for IDIA

June 2015 marked yet another milestone in IDIA’s short but eventful history. In our five years, though we have established regional IDIA chapters across India and reached out to multifarious small towns and marginalized communities, covering the North-Eastern Region extensively has been an arduous task. With IDIA’s efforts permeating the states of Assam, Nagaland, Mizoram and Sikkim in the region previously, it gives us immense pleasure to declare that earlier this month the state of Meghalaya has come on the IDIA map too. This development is significant for two...

Increasing Awareness about Diversity of Law and Law as a Career – a session by Mr. Murali Neelakantan

Mr. Murali Neelakantan, a leading name in the field of corporate law, and former Senior Partner at Khaitan & Co. and Global General Counsel at Cipla, recently conducted a session at GNLU on the IDIA movement. It was extremely well received by the audience comprising GNLU students and IDIA volunteers.   He began the session by introducing the audience to the idea behind IDIA, its purpose and objectives, and the importance of IDIA’s activities. He pointed out that not only do IDIA’s activities raise the bar in the institutions...

Underprivileged Girl Secures Admission to India’s Best Law School

Yamuna Menon, an underprivileged girl from the small town of Tripunithura, Kerala, has achieved something that she could only dream of. She has secured All India Rank 30 in the Common Law Admission Test 2015 and is now preparing to join NLSIU, Bangalore, widely considered to be the best law school in India. She has been ranked 2nd in Kerala, and her All India Woman’s Rank is 9.   Attending a National Law University in India is something that underprivileged people can dare to dream about. The expenses at...

Yuwa Athletes Light Up IDIA Sensitization, Football Field at NUSRL, Ranchi

Sensitization program at YUWA House, Ranchi Empowerment has many forms. Some seek it through education, some through voicing their opinions and some, by taking fight to the corridors of power. At IDIA we seek it through legal education. We believe that one law student can create impact in his or her entire society. YUWA, an NGO that works in India and U.S.A., seeks to empower girls from backward areas through sports. They believe that nothing brings together a community like sports does. Last month saw both these organizations collaborate,...

Call for Applications: Team Leaders of the Karnataka Chapter (2015-16)

  Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education (IDIA) is looking for passionate and dynamic students to join the Karnataka Chapter as Team Leaders for 2015-16. IDIA has decided to revamp the Chapter in three distinct teams, to maximise efficiency and impact, and increase accountability. Each of these teams will be headed by a Team Leader, who will expected to lead the teams and achieve the targets set out at the beginning of the year.   Sensitisation &Selections Team This team will be tasked with sensitising school students in...

Law as a career path – with IMS and IDIA

A seminar on ‘law as a lucrative career’ was hosted by IMS Learning Resources, one of the leading coaching institutions for law entrance exams preparation, on the 15th of April 2015. IMS Institute collaborates with IDIA in training promising underprivileged students for CLAT and other law school entrance exams. The event was attended by the members of IDIA Mumbai team, Kumar Panda, Rishav Baxi, Aparna Menon, Sakshi Sanghvi and Tanvi Jawale. Mr. Diwakar Kishore, one of the Directors of IDIA, addressed the audience gathered at Ruia College, Matunga about...

An IDIA to run for on 17th May

Hello,   We are happy to announce that on 17th May 2015, Sunday, a small team of around 20 runners will run the TCS Marathon in Bangalore for IDIA.    We hope to raise funds to empower underprivileged children to become world class lawyers and community leaders. We aim to raise Rupees Five Lakhs (Rs. 5,00,000) to cover a part of the cost of our sensitisations programmes across India. We request you to help us reach our goal.   HOW CAN YOU HELP?   Please visit http://idialaw.com/support-idia/ and contribute to IDIA to support our team of...

Romanticising the Law

Ever since we kickstarted the IDIA project in 2010 with a visit to a government school in the small Himalayan town of Pelling, we’ve visited around 250 schools and spoken to more than 15,000 students on the wonders of law as a career option.   This year, we plan to ramp up our sensitisation efforts and cover a great many more schools across the length and breadth of India.  Sensitisations are really the first phase of the IDIA programme, where we spread the gospel of the law and the...

An IDIA to Run For

IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access)enthusiastically invites you to Run, Jog or Walk the Tata Consultancy Services World 10k Run [“TCS 10k”] on 17th May 2015 in Bangalore, to spread awareness and raise funds for underprivileged students to become leading lawyers and community advocates.   What does IDIA do? The IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education) project is a non-profit, pan India movement premised on the notion that law is a powerful tool that can be leveraged by underprivileged and marginalised communities to help themselves. IDIA facilitates the access to quality legal...

IDIA Scholar shines at Vis East

The following post was written by IDIA scholar Shivam. He is a student of NUJS, Kolkata and his team recently reached the semifinals of the prestigious Vis East Moot Court Competition. It was 19th September 2014, when the result for moot internals at NUJS was released and I was selected to go for the 12th Willem C. Vis (East) ICA Moot. A total number of 108 law schools from all over the world participated in the 12th edition in which the NUJS team featured in top four teams. The...

IDIA Scholar gets placed: Our First.

Arindam Bhattacharjee, an IDIA Scholar from our first batch, is presently in his 4th year at NLIU, Bhopal, and has just secured a job at Khaitan & Co., one of India’s premier law firms! We asked him to share his thoughts on his commendable achievement and his journey over the last 5 years. His post follows.   4th April, 2015 was a memorable day in my life. On this day I secured a job at Khaitan & Co. and fulfilled my aspirations of having a better life for me...

From Humble Beginnings Come Great Things

  It was around September 2015 that I saw a notice on my hostel’s notice board. It said IDIA was looking for team leaders and members. I wondered what ‘IDIA’ was and what it did. After researching about the organisation, I decided I would apply to become a member. I had no idea how it was going to be or what we were going to do, but I knew deep down that I wanted to be a part of an organisation that was not only creating awareness among people...