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  • LSAC Global announces winner of the 2021 Shamnad Basheer Access to Justice Scholarship

    Published on July 21, 2021

    Delhi:  LSAC Global is pleased to announce that Mr. Aditya Panuganti is the winner of this year’s Shamnad Basheer Access to Justice Scholarship.

    His essay, ‘AI in Law: A case of caution,’ was skilfully crafted and presented very thoughtful arguments on artificial intelligence and how it does not mitigate bias or increase access to justice. Indeed, Mr. Panuganti’s ability to weave various examples of AI and its intersection with law into his text helped illustrate a comprehensive viewpoint through researched references, thus standing out as the winning entry. The winner is entitled to receive an award worth ₹4 lac.

    In 2020, LSAC Global instituted the Shamnad Basheer Access to Justice Scholarship to honour the memory of Professor Shamnad Basheer, an influential lawyer and pioneering academic, who shaped the course of IP Law and Policy in India. Prof. Basheer initiated ground-breaking measures to increase diversity in the legal fraternity and founded IDIA, a non-profit organization which empowers underprivileged children in India by granting them better access to quality legal education. The Shamnad Basheer Access to Justice Scholarship is based on an essay competition which awards up to a maximum of ₹4 lac to a winning essay entry from a registered LSAT—IndiaÔ candidate who takes admission into a LSAC Global Alliance college.

    LSAC Global received an overwhelming response from aspiring law students with 260 essay entries this year. While all the participants presented some valuable insights and disruptive suggestions, Aditya’s presented a balanced and well-articulated point of view.

    Excited about the news Aditya states, “I am thankful for the opportunities and lessons LSAT—India has presented to me. The Shamnad Basheer Essay Scholarship Competition was delightful; the competition reaffirmed my affection towards the subject of law and provided an opportunity to prove my mettle.”

    Additionally, LSAC Global also congratulates the runners -up Ms. Devangi Dube (First Runner Up) and Ms. Dayaanitaa G (Second Runner Up) for their brilliant essays. Ms. Devangi states “The topic for the Essay Scholarship was well thought out and relevant. I thoroughly enjoyed researching and writing about the same. The valuable support provided by LSAT—India is highly appreciated.

    Ms. Dayaanitaa, who was equally excited to receive an honorable mention, shared her experience of taking the LSAT—India exam, “ I faced no difficulties on the technical level thanks to the prior test checks and a very supportive team who responded to my queries at the earliest. While talking about the actual test, it was comparatively moderate. All the sections were very interesting and required complete focus.

    The essay competition aims to spread awareness amongst students about access to legal education for talented students across various socioeconomic groups in India. The theme of the essay this year was the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on the legal profession and whether it promotes justice and diversity in the society. The participants had to submit an essay either for or against the claim ‘How might the introduction of artificial intelligence tools in the legal profession mitigates bias, increases access to justice, and promotes diversity in the society?’

    We congratulate Aditya on winning the scholarship and Devangi and Dayaanita for their effort in articulating their point of view and giving Aditya a tough competition. We extend our sincere appreciation to all the participants for submitting their essays. The competition this year reiterated that the youth of today has sharp awareness about how technology impacts our society and ready to lead from the front to bring a substantial improvement in the standards of life for the diverse sections of our society,” said LSAC vice president Yusuf Abdul-Kareem.

    The essays were evaluated based on originality, relevance to the topic, comprehensiveness, structure, analysis, understanding, interpretation, and conclusions regarding diversity in the legal profession. An esteemed panel of judges representing the legal fraternity reviewed the entries:

    ·         Mr. Abhishek Dubey Partner, Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co, Advocates & Solicitors

    ·         Dr. Ananth Padmanabhan, Associate Professor and Dean, School of Law, Sai University

    ·         Adv. Angesh Panchal, Independent Legal Practitioner

    ·         Prof (Dr.) Kanu Priya,  Professor and Associate Dean, School of Law, Sushant University

    ·         Mr. Kazim Rizvi, Founding Director – The Dialogue

    ·         Dr. Nachiketa Mittal, Professor of Law & Director at Faculty of Law, Jagran Lakecity University, Founder – Virtual Law School | Judicial Preparation & Advisory Center.

    ·         Prof.  Padmanabha Ramanujam, Dean, IFIM Law School

    ·         Prof. (Dr.) R. Venkata Rao, Former, Vice Chancellor of the National Law School of India University, Bangalore.

    ·         Mr. Sumeet Malik, Director, EBC Group of Companies

    ·         Mr. Tanuj Kalia, Founding CEO, Lawctopus

    ·         Prof. (Dr.) V.C. Vivekanandan, Vice Chancellor, Hidayatullah National Law University

    Through this scholarship, LSAC Global looks forward to opening doors and providing increased opportunities for talented students and law school aspirants in India, thus, carrying on the Law School Admission Council’s (LSAC) mission to promote quality, access, and equity in law and education by encouraging diverse and talented individuals to study law and by supporting their enrollment and learning journeys from prelaw through practice.


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