Surprise Changes To All India Bar Exam Syllabus (For Tenth AIBE In March 2017)

Abhyuday Agarwal
6 March 2017 7:16 AM GMT
Surprise Changes To All India Bar Exam Syllabus (For Tenth AIBE In March 2017)
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We noticed that the syllabus for the All India Bar Examination has been changed, relatively quietly. There is no new notification on the website for the exam (, but those who click on the syllabus link on the homepage and go through the syllabus carefully will notice that there is some difference. We are not clear exactly when this change took place, owing to absence of a formal notification. Further, on first glance you would not notice a change, since the total number of subjects stays the same at 19, so if you visited the site earlier and took down the old subjects, you might not notice there’s a change until you go through each subject.

We don’t want there to be any chances of you missing it, hence we are writing about the new syllabus.

There are four new subjects which were not there in the earlier versions of the exam -  Public Interest Litigation (4 marks), Law Related to Taxation (4 marks), Land Acquisition Act (2 marks) and Intellectual Property Law (2 marks).

The subjects omitted are:

  • Jurisprudence

  • Limitation Act (however, note that Code of Civil Procedure and Criminal Procedure Code have certain provisions around limitation which may still be asked)

  • Environmental Law ( questions around Constitutional Law and environment can still be asked)

  • Corporate Social Responsibility (one cannot rule out the possibility of questions around corporate social responsibility featuring inside the Companies Act quota)

While you may not have questions about jurisprudence, and the scope of Limitation Act and environmental law is severely restricted, questions around Corporate Social Responsibility can feature under the Company Law head, even though it is not a separate subject.

For your reference, here’s a quick comparison of what has happened.

S. No.SubjectWeightage (i.e. number of questions)
1Constitutional Law10
2Indian Penal Code8
3Criminal Procedure Code10
4Code of Civil Procedure10
5Evidence Act8
6Alternate Dispute Redressal including Arbitration Act4
7Family Law8
8Public Interest Litigation (NEW)4
9Administrative Law3
10Professional Ethics and Cases of Professional Misconduct under BCI Rules4
11Company Law2
12Environmental Law2
13Cyber Law2
14Labour and Industrial Laws4
15Law of Tort (including Motor Vehicles Act and Consumer Protection Law)5
16Law Related to Taxation (NEW)4
17Law of Contract, Specific Relief, Property Laws, Negotiable Instrument Act8
18Land Acquisition Act (NEW)2
19Intellectual Property Laws (NEW)2
20 Corporate Social Responsibility (Omitted)-
21Jurisprudence (Omitted)-
22Limitation Act (Omitted)-
23Environmental Law (Omitted)-

The four new subjects of public interest litigation, taxation, intellectual property laws and land acquisition act will carry 12 questions. Another subtle change we thought worth pointing out is the weightage on Family Law, which will carry 8 marks now. It makes Family Law an important subject from the exam preparation perspective.

How does this impact your preparation? Free Tips

You can deal with this change in two ways.

  1. Option 1: As the total percentage of marks changed is 12 percent, you can completely skip this out, provided your preparation for the other subjects carrying 88 percent of the marks is extensive. Those who have taken the BarHacker program and are participating in different tests can be assured of this.

  1. Option 2: You can study those subjects which are relatively easier to prepare (based on their complexity - i.e. number of bare acts and case laws involved, and number of questions in the All India Bar Exam). On this basis, we recommend that you prepare for Public Interest Litigation and Land Acquisition. Public Interest Litigation (4 marks) can be studied through a book and you can prepare a list of the important cases for yourself (BarHacker learners will be provided a proprietary Hacksheet for the same). Similarly, Land Acquisition Act is relatively easy to prepare as there is only 1 bare act and limited landmark case laws. We suggest you learn the names of 5 most important land acquisition law cases and be familiar with the Bare Act. Laws Related to Taxation (4 marks) and Intellectual Property Law (2 marks) is vast, and you can skip them.

Family laws

Whatever you do, you cannot forget the increasing weightage on Family Laws (8 marks). We gave the subject low priority earlier because it carried 4 marks, but it is now an important subject for preparation. One way to prepare for this is to a) familiarize yourself with different bare acts through the Central Civil Acts manual and b) read a little on Islamic Law, just in case there is a question on Muslim Laws.

Abhyuday Agarwal is a Co-Founder of

[The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of LiveLaw and LiveLaw does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same]
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