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Art college mulls course revamp

The College of Arts and Crafts wants to bring down the Bachelor in Fine Arts (BFA) course by a year, much to the glee of aspiring artists.

Atul Aditya Pandey, the principal of College of Arts and Crafts, said: “The college administration has prepared a proposal that aims at downsizing the five-year BFA degree course to four years.”

He added that it has been found that students after getting the five-year degree had to face problems in applying for the masters.

The proposal will be submitted to Patna University (PU) administration in a day or two. After getting the approval from the varsity’s academic council and the PU syndicate it will be sent to the chancellor’s office for the final nod.

Pandey said: “Once the Raj Bhavan gives its nod, the college will issue advertisement for admission. We are planning to introduce the course from this academic session.”

With the introduction of the four-year BFA course, the college will increase the specialisation subjects. At present, the college offers specialisation in sculpture, painting and applied art. From the next academic session, it would provide specialisation in print making as well.

The college, of which eminent artist Subodh Gupta is a former student, was in a dismal state a year ago with massive shortage of teachers and infrastructure facilities. In 2011, during the college foundation day on January 25, the college recruited nine permanent teachers after more than two decades. Patna University vice-chancellor (VC) Shambhu Nath Singh has taken keen interest in reviving the college’s lost glory. Introducing the four-year BFA degree course is part of the college image makeover plan.

If the four-year degree course plan gets the Raj Bhavan go-ahead, the eligibility criteria would be tougher. Students who cleared the Class XII or Intermediate would be eligible for the BFA course. At present, the college offers the five-year degree course with matriculation being the minimum eligibility criteria for getting admission.

The VC said: “From 2013, the college will also have masters degree course in fine arts apart from courses in performing arts such as dance, instrumental and vocal music.”

During the five-year degree course students have to appear for annual examinations. Only after completing the two-year preparatory course, the students were eligible for selecting a specialisation subject.

Pandey said the college would also introduce semester system from the next academic session and students will have to clear eight semesters. After completing two semesters (one year), students will be eligible to pursue a specialisation in any of the four courses. The principal added: “Introduction of semester system means that the syllabus will be revised suiting the requirements of students with respect to the present context.” The syllabus was not revised for around two decades.

If the four-year course is implemented, the College of Arts and Crafts would come on a par with premier institutions imparting BFA degree such as Delhi College of Art and The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda in terms of duration. Pandey said: “The idea behind the four-year course was to match steps with premier institutions such as Delhi College of Art, MS University Baroda, Faculty of Visual Arts (Banaras Hindu University) and Jamia Millia Islamia.”

Dipak Kumar, a final-year sculpture student of the college, said: “We have come to know from our seniors that when they applied for admission in the masters course in premier institutions, they faced problems because many universities don’t accept a five-year bachelor degree. Though I will not gain anything from the duration change, our juniors will. It’s a positive change.”