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Graduates must pass test to practise law

New Delhi. June 2: Aspiring lawyers will now have to clear a national eligibility test after graduation in order to practise in India under a plan unveiled today by the Bar Council of India and the law ministry.

The first All India Bar Examination (AIBE) will be held on December 5 this year at examination centres across the country, BCI chairman and additional solicitor-general Gopal Subramanium announced today. Results will be declared by December 31.

At present, students who graduate from recognised law schools can automatically apply for licences from the BCI to practice in India.

Since the BCI certifies the courses that can be taught at law schools and is also involved in granting recognition to these institutions, graduates were considered automatically eligible to obtain licences to practise. The eligibility test following graduation suggests that the BCI is no longer convinced that qualified students necessarily make good lawyers.

The health ministry has also been considering a similar proposal.

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