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BArch aspirants’ fate hangs in balance

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 27: The unresolved differences between the state government and the only private architecture institute in Odisha over the eligibility criterion for admissions have left B.Arch. aspirants on tenterhooks.

While Piloo Mody College of Architecture, Cuttack, wants to admit students on the basis of the National Aptitude Test in Architecture (Nata) score, the Odisha Joint Entrance Examination Board wants to do it by taking both Nata and OJEE scores into consideration.

The disagreement has stretched for the fifth successive year now and there seems to be no respite in sight for architecture candidates with the OJEE-2013 scheduled for May 12. The apex court is also yet to deliver a final judgment in this regard and the next hearing is likely to take place on February 15.

“Although we would include B. Arch. in our brochure, everything will depend on the outcome of the court case,” said OJEE committee secretary Priyabrata Sahoo.

The state government had not conducted counselling for the B.Arch. aspirants last year following a stay order on the architecture admissions following a petition filed by the Council of Architecture regarding the eligibility criteria for admissions. As a result, all the 40 B.Arch. seats at the government-run College of Engineering and Technology, Bhubaneswar, went abegging.

In 2011, the counselling for this branch of studies was delayed by months leading to problems in completion of the course in time. The tussle between the government and the private college has taken a toll on students, including those who are currently pursuing a degree in architecture. Interestingly, this has hardly affected the number of students applying for the course. As many as 10,000 students had applied for the branch for the academic year 2012-13.