IDIA in the news. We were covered by all the below mentioned media.

Careers 360

“Testing all of our distinctively diverse students the same way, and killing their individuality!”

09 June 2019

“Testing all of our distinctively diverse students the same way, and killing their individuality!”


“Till You Believe In The Wrong Story, You Can’t Have The Right Law”: Javed Akhtar At the IDIA Annual Conference 2018

20 December 2018

“Till you believe in the wrong story, You can’t have the right law,” lyricist and scriptwriter Javed Akhtar said at the recently organized IDIA Law Annual Conference, 2018 in New Delhi.”


IDIA Captures The Constitutional Spirit Of Social Progress: Justice DY Chandrachud

16 December 2018

“Delivering the keynote address at the IDIA Law Annual Conference on ‘Law and Storytelling’ in New Delhi, he said, “The spirit of the Constitution in essence is the spirit of social progress, a spirit which is also captured in the values of the IDIA initiative and project.”

Bar and Bench

Nine IDIA scholars crack CLAT, AILET to make it to NLUs

16 June 2018

“Amidst the tumultuous events surrounding the conduct of this year’s Common Law Admission Test (CLAT 2018), nine scholars of Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) have made it to various national law universities (NLUs).”


Formal Collaboration Between Herbert Smith Freehills and IDIA

28 March 2018

“In furtherance of the Herbert Smith Freehills India Practice’s wider commitment to give back to India, Herbert Smith Freehills has entered into a formal collaboration with Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education (“IDIA”)….”

Times of India

How these smart students are jumping over social hurdles

18 June 2017

“One of the students they found is 23-year-old Karthika Annamalai, now a corporate lawyer at AZB & Partners. Her mother was a stone quarry worker, who earned Rs 3,000 a month. She describes how she wanted to be a lawyer, after hearing about a case where a landlord cut off the tongue of a bonded labourer — but it was only after IDIA’s Bangalore team gave a pitch at her school that the prospect became real.”


IDIA Strikes Again: Eight Scholars Make It To Leading Law Schools Through First CLAT Allotment List.

06 June 2017

“IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education) continued its success this year as well, with eight of their scholars making it to the leading law schools in India through the first CLAT allotment list. Another scholar made it to to the NLU Delhi, which runs its own entrance exam (AILET).”

Economic Times

Young Hyderabad girl is here to make lawyers out of the marginalized

17 April 2017

“Basheer’s Bengaluru-headquartered initiative, Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) challenges India’s elitist legal education by helping students from poor, non-Englishspeaking backgrounds get educated in the country’s most decorated law schools.”

The Guardian

I realized I could become an insider’: from ‘poor tribal boy’ to elite lawyer

10 April 2017

“Today, IDIA has 500 student volunteers from the various NLUs, operating in 23 different states. The volunteers visit remote states and tiny schools that teach in regional languages. There they identify students with an aptitude for legal reasoning, but also with what Basheer calls “fire in the belly.” The students are put through gruelling training and assigned mentors to prepare for the Common Law Assessment Test (CLAT).”

Live Law

Age No Bar For Studying Law: SC Stays BCI 

3 March 2017

“The bench comprising Justices Bobde and Nageswara Rao stayed the age bar introduced BCI while hearing petitions filed by CLAT aspirants including Michael Sam an orphan supported by IDIA, from Mumbai challenging the age limit clause introduced by Bar Council of India for taking admissions in law schools.”

India Business Law Journal

Lending a hand

14 February 2017

“Beginning in 2010 IDIA set about making high school students from under-represented communities aware of the benefits of law as a viable, lucrative career, and also helping them gain admission to these law schools. The results have been remarkable.”

Bar and Bench

AP High Court rules in favour of visually impaired IDIA scholar

17 November 2016

“Arepalli Naga Babu, a visually impaired lawyer and aspiring judge based in Hyderabad, had filed a petition in the High Court challenging Rule 7 of the Andhra Pradesh State Judicial Service Rules of 2007. A 2011 IDIA scholar, Naga hails from Machlipatnam in Andhra Pradesh.”

Bar and Bench

IDIA Football League 2016: Mahindra & Mahindra lift Cup, Wadia Ghandy takes home IFL Plate

2 November 2016

“The third edition of the IDIA Football League was held in Mumbai on October 15 and 16. Mahindra & Mahindra emerged winners in the Cup Championship, while Wadia Ghandy took home the Plate Championship.”

The Telegraph

Workshop on the need for law study.

31 October 2016

“A first such workshop was held at Dompara Anchalika Mahavidyalaya at Damapada. The students staged a drama to generate curiosity among them about how law affects our daily life. The initiative has been taken up as part of IDIA (increasing diversity by increasing access) project that aims to sensitise rural students to take up law as a viable career option and also acquire admission to National Law University. It also supports students in tuition fees and helps them survive the five years of a law school.”

First workshop for IDIA Scholars with disabilities held in Bengaluru

17 September 2016

“The IDIA Charitable Trust and Sony Pictures Networks Distribution India Pvt. Ltd. organised a workshop in Bengaluru on Saturday. The workshop was the first to be conducted exclusively for IDIA Scholars with disabilities.”

Indian Express

This powerful poem is a fitting response to racism and objectification women from North East have to face.

27 August 2016

“The poem by Vinatoli Yeptho recounts the objectification, exclusion and sexual harassment that women from the North-East have to go through.”


Youngsters in Patna offer Law Entrance Coaching  to the Underprivileged

31 July 2016

“Under a unique initiative called IDIA in Patna, youngsters are training underprivileged kids to crack law entrance examinations and gain entry into premier law schools in the country.”

Economic Times

A Super 30 for law: How IDIA, a nonprofit, is helping poor students enter India’s elite law schools

26 June 2016

“With a network of 500 volunteers in 18 cities and towns, mainly law school students, IDIA spreads awareness about law as a career option, helps train students from underprivileged backgrounds for law school entrance examinations, funds successful law school candidates and helps them throughout the time they are in law school, whether it is adjusting to the new environment or for internships.”

Money Life

Empowering Underprivileged Students through Legal Education

9 June 2016

“In the long run, we hope that the ecosystem evolves to self-correct from time to time and embrace diversity as its core theme, to the point that the presence of an external third-party organisation addressing the diversity deficit (such as IDIA) is rendered unnecessary.”

Legally India

Eight IDIA scholars make it to NUJS, Nalsar, GNLU, NLUO & Nuals

03 June 2016

“These scholars grew up amidst adverse poverty and yet demonstrated a wonderful resilience and optimism of spirit that saw them sail through CLAT and perform with aplomb. They hail from diverse backgrounds, and yet are united in their avowed aim to change society for the better through their shot at legal education”

Chambers and Partners

The Idea Behind IDIA: Creating CHAMPS from Underprivileged Communities, by Shamnad Basheer

13 April 2016

“IDIA, a pan-India movement to train underprivileged students and help transform them to leading lawyers and community advocates. IDIA is premised on the notion that access to premier legal education empowers marginalized communities and helps them help themselves.”

The Better India

This Law Professor Has Created an Amazing Route for the Economically Poor to Become Lawyers

31 Jan 2016

“Shamnad is using his college degree and knowledge to provide the best possible legal education to the underprivileged and enable them to become lawyers and communal leaders.”

Business Standard

Entry to NLUs; SC to examine plea alleging flaws in CLAT

4 September 2015

“The plea filed by advocate Shamnad Basheer, Founder and Managing Trustee of Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education (IDIA), a non-profit movement to train underprivileged students, said there was no grievance redressal mechanism under the present CLAT structure.“


Prof. Shamnad Basheer’s PIL for Permanent CLAT Body will be heard by Justice Thakur Bench on Friday

1 September 2015

“Prof. Shamnad Basheer, the petitioner, is the Founder and Managing Trustee of IDIA (‘Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education’), a non-profit pan India movement to train underprivileged students and help transform them to leading lawyers and community advocates.”


Shamnad Basheer with KK Venugopal files monster writ vs CLAT in SC, wants permanent body, transparency

31 August 2015

“Shamnad Basheer, former NUJS Kolkata professor and founder of NGO Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA), has filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking a permanent CLAT body and transparency in the exam.”


In Conversation with Prof. (Dr.) Purvi Pokhriyal, Director Institute of Law, Nirma University

11 August 2015

“ILNU is one of the very rare institutes which provide merit and merit cum means scholarship worth of Rs. 50/- lacs. It also provides two IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access) scholarships to the students on the merits as a part of Institute’s social responsibility to the talented students.”


Cost of legal education shoots up as younger colleges struggle

28 July 2015

“The problem of rising fees can skew the diversity of the legal profession. Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA)—an initiative that aims to encourage students from non-traditional backgrounds to study law—surveyed students entering law school in 2013-14.” .


A wake-up call on diversity in the legal profession

28 July 2015

“Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA), an initiative that seeks to encourage students from under-represented and marginalized groups to study law, surveyed 550 students, of whom 18 were from non-traditional backgrounds supported by IDIA .”

Social Story | Your Story

To bring the benefits of Intellectual Property Law to the bottom of the pyramid is what drives Shamnad Basheer

23 July 2015

“In the last three years, 40 scholars trained by IDIA volunteers made it to the leading National Law Universities (NLUs) in India. They reflect a truly diverse mix, comprising candidates from various backgrounds (children of farmers, stone quarry workers, shopkeepers and clerks) and across various states.”

The Times of India

He worked in farms during holidays to get into law school

 20 July 2015

“Poverty shouldn’t be a reason to give up studies,” he said. “If you want to achieve something in life, you have to work hard. I plan to take up a part-time job during my vacation in Bengaluru to cover my personal expenses,” said Anil from Nokha, Rajasthan.
Anil’s fees at NLSUI will be funded by Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access, an organization working to empower underprivileged students through legal education.

The Hindu

Grit, hard work brought him to NLSIU

19 July 2015

They simply asked my uncle whether it was a good profession and he managed to convince them,” he recalls. He was all but ready to apply for an educational loan when he got in touch with the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to legal education’s (IDIA) Rajasthan team
With steady mentorship, he has been “adopted” by the NLSIU, enjoying a full tuition fee waiver…

The Hindu

English-speaking, well-heeled students dominate NLU admissions

17 July 2015

Admitting to a lack of diversity, the findings of the survey, cited in the new scholarship policy preamble of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), acknowledges that the law schools comprise students mostly educated in English-medium schools from middleclass or upper-middleclass families. The study was conducted by the charitable trust ‘Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access’. …

The Hindu

NLSIU floats new scholarship policy

 17 July 2015

The committee itself consists of representatives from the student community, alumni and undergraduate and postgraduate councils, among others. The Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) survey had said that extremely high fees charged by these institutions, lack of …

Legally India

Revealed: 8-page MOU that CLAT tried to hide under RTI but that HNLU disclosed 3 years ago

 10 July 2015

The MoU dated 23 November 2007, under which India’s first seven national law universities (NLU) had agreed for the first time to admit students not through their separate entrance tests but through the CLAT, was requested together win the 2014 MOU by the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) Intiative via a Right to Information (RTI) request.

Live Law

CLAT – 2015; Meet Five IDIA Scholars who made history

 8 July 2015

The Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) to legal education initiative continued its success this year as well, with five of their scholars making it to the leading law schools in India …

Legally India

Multi-crore CLAT agreement with 13 other NLUs is so secret it’s exempt from RTI, claims RMLNLU

6 July 2015

The convenor with a letter dated 1 July rejected a Right to Information (RTI) request dated 10 June 2015, which was filed by the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) scheme, asking for a copy each of the MoU signed between seven NLUs …

The Hindu Business Line

Infosys Foundation fetes scientists

26 Jun 2015

Shamnad Basheer is founder and managing trustee, Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access, and founder, SpicyIP, and winner of the Infosys Prize 2014 for humanities..


CLAT: A filter that needs replacing

16 Jun 2015

“The admissions test is one of the key reasons behind the success of the NLU model. The fact that you’ve had this rigorous exam filter for picking bright school kids. All other deficiencies, such as the lack of a serious research culture, top-notch faculty, barring a few; and lack of good infrastructure and other resources were by and large forgiven because you had this relatively fine bunch of students who were offered some freedom to engage in peer learning and strut their stuff,” said Shamnad Basheer, who formerly taught at National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata, and founded the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access initiative.

Infosys Prize – Laureates 2014 – Shamnad Basheer

Shamnad Basheer

13 Nov 2014

The Infosys Prize 2014 in Humanities is awarded to Prof. Shamnad Basheer for his outstanding contributions to a broad range of legal issues and legal education. He has been remarkably fair-minded in assessing opposing positions taken on quintessentially controversial areas such as intellectual property laws…

The Pioneer

On Mission Education

14 Sept 2014

But it is not just general formal school education which is being nourished. The Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) project too seeks to find ways to reach out to under-represented communities, intending to present law as a desirable career option for them. Its founder Shamnad Basheer is a reputed and well-known name among students of law all across the country. He joined …

Hindustan Times

CNLU Symposium

27 Aug 2014

Hindustan Patna

CNLU Symposium

27 Aug 2014

Hindustan Yuva

CNLU Symposium

27 Aug 2014


Scoring for Education: IDIA Charity Football Tournament

25 August 2014


IDIA a pan India movement to give proper training to underprivileged children and help them become leading lawyers and community advocates will be starting a 6 a side football tournament to …

Bar & Bench

Innovative idea of IDIA: To host charity football tournament to raise money for IDIA Scholars

25 August 2014


The Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) dedicated to making law schools more inclusive, will be hosting a charity football league tournament to raise money for the IDIA scholars. The tournament to be hosted at Kamala Mills Ground…

The Times of India

Poverty couldn’t stop them from making it to top law schools

17 July 2014

In times when law aspirants are striving hard to secure their seat in NLUs, the IDIA scholars have already managed to imprint a mark, by successfully securing their seats in the much desired NLUs. IDIA has, since its inception, managed to send their students to NLUs. It continues the trend this year as well. Out…


IDIA Scholars Shine; Eight make it to NLUs and Two to Nirma University

07 July 2014

In times when law aspirants are striving hard to secure their seat in NLUs, the IDIA scholars have already managed to imprint a mark, by successfully securing their seats in the much desired NLUs. IDIA has, since its inception, managed to send their students to NLUs. It continues the trend this year as well. Out…

Bar & Bench

Eight IDIA Scholars make it to various NLUs even as IDIA seeks further funding

07 July 2014

Out of the 24 scholars trained by the Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education (IDIA), 8 scholars have cleared CLAT 2014 and gained admission to different national law universities (NLUs) across the country. Along with these 8 scholars, 2 scholars Mohammed Danish Gani and Namrata Dubey have got admitted to the Nirma Institute…


IDIA gets 8 out of 24 kids into NLUJ, GNLU, NLUO, +2 into Nirma

07 July 2014

The Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) to legal education initiative placed eight scholars – four in NLU Orissa, three in NLU Jodhpur and one in GNLU Gandhinagar – out of the 24 scholars it had trained for the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2014. Among those placed there are three visually impaired scholars, the son of a stenographer in…

The Times of India

Ideas that change life

 26 May 2014

Bhimavarappu Mouli Aravind lost his eyesight at a young age but he found a way to pursue legal studies at National University of Juridical Sciences (NUJS), Kolkata
My father is a compounder and mother, a homemaker. My younger brother is in class XII. After an accident in class III, I slowly lost my eyesight but this has not stopped me from living my dream. I attended a school in my hometown Nellore in Andhra Pradesh. I had difficulty reading the blackboard and it was especially tough in the maths class. As my vision slowly…

Business Standard

Mitali Saran: What an IDIA, sir-ji

09 May 2014

I was therefore interested to attend, last weekend, the first annual IDIA conference (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education). It’s a programme designed to make elite law schools accessible to the underprivileged and the disabled. First the staff reach out to persuade communities that (a) the law is a useful tool for social change and (b) lawyers aren’t all scoundrels. Then they train interested students to improve their English skills and take the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), the law entrance exam. They work to ensure that institutions like the National Law Schools and National Law Universities fulfil…


IDIA raises Rs 72 lakhs as Mohan Gopal says diversity initiative should become redundant

05 May 2014

The Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA) initiative, which aims to help students from non-traditional lawyer backgrounds to apply to national law schools, has fund-raised Rs 72 lakhs at an event in Delhi on Saturday attended by 150.

IDIA founder Shamnad Basheer said that donors had pledged Rs 12 lakh in donations, which would be used to support the ongoing activites of IDIA.


O’Melveny to offer annual internships to Indian law students


14 Apr 2014

O’Melveny & Myers’ (OMM) Singapore office is to offer annual internships to Indian law students in association with a Bangalore not-for-profit organisation.
The US firm’s Singapore base, which has a focus on Indian capital markets led by counsel Pooja Sinha, has agreed to take one student per year from India for a four to six week period, with all expenses and a weekly stipend paid.
The scheme is backed by an Indian project which trains and mentors underprivileged law students in the country, known as Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access (IDIA).

Political Business Daily, Odisha

Film Festival at NLUO

31 Mar 2014

Times of India, NIE

Films can be a tool for Social Change

25 Mar 2014


The Indian Express

An IDIA that democratised law

 25 June 2013

 This special IDIA was born of the eternal need to inform,educate and empower the voiceless. The problem it faces is as common as it is frustrating — lack of funds.
IDIA or Increasing Diversity By Increasing Access is a student-powered movement that aims at picking out the bright sparks from marginalised communities and training them to become leading lawyers and..

Legally India

CBSE schools to teach law to kids. Early dis/advantage?

9 Apr 2013

“To my mind on a preliminary level it seems a pretty okay move but it does disadvantage students who are not going to a CBSE school,” commented Diptasri Basu, executive director at Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access to Legal Education (IDIA) – a non-profit initiative training underprivileged CLAT aspirants.


Aishwarya Rai honors Karthika Annamalai at IBN7 Zindagi Live Awards

21 Feb 2013

Eight fearless women Ami B Shroff, Hema Aziz, Kiran Thakur, Sabeena, Amita Sharma, Ummul Khair, Karthika Annamalai, Hena Nafis and Uzma Nafis were honoured at Zindagi LIVE Awards.

The Hindu

Providing legal education to everyone

2 July 2012

It began as a chimera, a Utopian dream. Equal opportunity for all, irrespective of their caste, class and creed, is a constitutional dream. The team of IDIA (Increasing Diversity by Increasing Access) found this dream worth chasing.
Shamnad Basheer, Professor at National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata, was the pioneer of IDIA, which sees participation of students of national law universities around the country in reaching out to the less advantaged students, to make law education accessible to them.

The Hindu

Against all odds

23 June 2012

Among those who made the cut to the 11 prestigious law schools were two bright students, one from Hosur and the other from Manipur.
Tangminlal Haokip (20), who belongs to an underprivileged family in Gamnom, Manipur, made it to the most-preferred National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore. The high score of Karthika Annamalai, whose mother is a quarry worker in Hosur, secured her a seat at the National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata.

The Indian Express

GNLU tweaks its rules to admit bright ‘poor’ boy

20 June 2012

Changing its rules that denied admission to students who had not cleared their Class X or Class XII examination in one attempt, the Gandhinagar-based Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) has decided to give admission to every deserving student who makes the cut in Common Law Admission Test (CLAT).
The law university on Tuesday apprised the Gujarat High Court (HC) of its decision in connection with the petition filed by a boy, one Donnie Ashok from West Bengal, who was denied admission by the university because he did not clear his Class XII exam in the first attempt.

DNA India

Guj law univ grants admission to previously rejected student

20 June 2012

The institution finally admitted the Kolkata boy who was earlier refused on the grounds that he had passed his Class 12 examination on the second attempt.
The Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) on Tuesday finally gave admission the Kolkata boy who was earlier refused, on the grounds that he had passed his Class 12 examination on the second attempt. The boy, Donnie Ashok, is the son of poor painter of Kolkata.
The boy’s lawyer, Mukul Sinha, said that the GNLU had informed Justice KS Jhaveri of the Gujarat high court that it had granted admission to the boy.

The Times of India

Kolkata boy fights law school bar in Gujarat HC

13 June 2012

The jury is still out on whether he will become a lawyer. But young Donnie Ashok is already in court, fighting to keep his dream alive.
On Tuesday, the Gujarat high court blocked a seat in the Gujarat National Law University (GNLU) in favour of the 19-year-old house painter’s son from Kolkata and asked the law school for a written explanation on why it had denied him admission. The explanation must be submitted by June 19 when the next hearing will happen.

The Times of India

Quarry worker’s daughter makes it to top law school

19 July 2011

‘My past can’t tie me down’, wrote Karthika Annamalai, who cracked the Common Law Admission Test (CLAT) 2011, on her school website. Following that post is the inspiring story of a girl who beat severe odds to join an elite group, that of CLAT achievers.
In her childhood, Karthika followed her mother down into the steep quarry where the latter worked. She would sit a few metres from her mother, watching her frail body shatter stones with a heavy hammer. A heart-shaped mark on Karthika’s forehead, formed when a piece of stone hit her, is still a reminder of what life might have held for her.

Hindustan Times

Why Karthika Annamalai wants to be Prime minister

16 July 2011

There are three things Karthika Annamalai misses at home — a bed, a toilet and English.
Home for the slim, articulate 19-year-old is the village of Marenahalli Bunde, an untidy collection of unpaved lanes, rudimentary open sewers and one water source on the windswept eastern edge of India’s technology heartland, Bangalore. There are two “rooms”, each smaller than a ping-pong table; the flooring is cowdung; the roof, dried coconut fronds; the walls, four granite slabs slammed into the ground.

The Indian Express

Raising the bar

28 April 2010

The law minister recently announced that potential aspirants to any of the law schools or colleges in India would be subject to a common entrance examination. Many are likely to question the feasibility of such a pan-India examination and the merits or otherwise of an exclusive entrance exam-based approach towards selecting students.