Advertisements and Law School Rankings – The Umbilical Cord Connection


Law school rankings have always been a controversial topic. A four member committee headed by former Supreme Court judge, Syed Shah Mohammed Quadri was appointed by former Chief Justice of the AP High Court, Nisar Ahmed Kakru to investigate complaints filed by NALSAR students and faculty members. The committee came up with a report highlighting the administrative mismanagement and suggesting a complete overhaul of the management at the premier law school.

While much emphasize have been given by media on the misuse of power by NALSAR authorities and the alleged sexual abuse by Prof. Veer Singh; media intentionally or unintentionally tried to forget a very important and vital part of the committee report dealing with “Advertisement Expenses” incurred by NALSAR. The advertisements were in the popular “India Today” magazine.

The report of the committee does not rule out the possibility of advertisements influencing the rankings, it merely says “advertisements given  by  NALSAR may not have  a bearing on  its being  rated  by "lndia Today"  as the best, or  the  second best, law school in the country.

NALSAR have been giving advertisements in “India Today” ever since 2006. In the year 2006 when “India Today” carried an impact feature on NALSAR, it was ranked 1. For this advertisement NALSAR incurred expenses around 8 lakhs. In the July 18, 2011 issue where NALSAR was ranked 1 by India Today, NALSAR had a one page advertisement on that issue. There are other similar figures which are detailed in the report. Almost every year since 2006, NALSAR has advertised in India and they come out as the best or the second best law school of the country in the rankings! Let’s hope that there is no direct or indirect umbilical cord connection between the rankings and advertisement!

Excerpts from the report are copied below.

While  the  advertisements given  by  NALSAR may not have  a bearing on  its being  rated  by "lndia Today"  as the best, or  the  second best, law school in the country, what is of concern is the  needless and wasteful  expenditure  incurred in this regard.

"India- Today", July 18th 2011 issue, carries details of the “India Today - Neilson" survey of the Top 10 law colleges in the country among whom NALSAR, Hyderabad is shown as No.1.  Curiously, the very same issue carries a one page advertisement by NALSAR.

Ever since 2006-07, NALSAR has been issuing advertisements in "India Today". The advertisements, invariably, appear in the very same issue in which the top 10 or 25 law colleges in India are rated.   For the year 2006-07, "India-Today" issue dated 5.6.2006 carries an impact feature of two pages. For this advertisement feature, NALSAR paid Rs.8.00 lakhs, (Rs.7.91, 636 after deducting TDS), vide Cheque No.241452 dated 13.6.2006. The said issue lists the top 10 law colleges in the country among whom NALSAR is rated as No.1.

For the year 2007-08, "India   Today" issue dated 4.6.2007 carries an impact feature of two pages, an advertisement given by NALSAR. This impact feature is in the very same issue in which the top   25 colleges in the country are listed among whom NALSAR is ranked No.2. Rs.8, 50,000/ -, (Rs.8, 40,369- after TDS deduction), was paid by cheque No.346024 dated 20.6. 2007.

The "India Today" issue dated 2.6.2008 lists the top 25 colleges in the country wherein NALSAR is shown as No.1. The  very same issue carries a one  page  advertisement given by  NALSAR for  which Rs.3,60,000/ -,  ( Rs.3,51,842/ -  after deducting TDS), was paid vide Cheque No.262028 dated 1.10.2008.

"India Today" issue dated 22.6.2009 lists the top 25  law colleges in the country wherein NALSAR is ranked as No.2.   The same issue carries a one page advertisement by NALSAR. Rs.3, 50,000 I-                was paid as advertisement charges by NALSAR, (Rs.3, 46,034 after deducting TDS),) vide Cheque No.265666 dated 25.7.2009.

For the year 2010-11, “India   Today" issue dated' 28.6.2010 rates the top 10   law colleges in the   country amongst whom NALSAR is ranked as No.2. The  very  same issue carries a one page  advertisement given by NALSAR for which  Rs.3,50,000I-  was   paid,  (Rs.3,43,000 after deducting TDS),  vide  Cheque No.902816 dated 10.8.2010.

We are informed that, unlike NALSAR, the National Law School, Bangalore does not incur such needless advertisement expenditure.

3 comments: (+add yours?)

MALKANGIRI RAVI KUMAR said...

I don't believe in ranking concept ,there is no fool proof method of determining the ranking.Every college/university has good faculty &average faculty.I believe that good infrastructure should not be sole criteria for ranking,even small corporate college can produced good student.I'm not surprised that colleges/universities paying money for Ads,this trend got momentum after corporatisation of education started.It is rat race to be on top.

WLCI said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mukta Bakshi said...


Hi,

This is really a good information, thank you.

Supreme Court Advocate

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