The decision means that students from Arts and Commerce streams will not be considered for admission to BArch course.

A NEW mandate issued by the Council of Architecture (CoA) has come as a huge shock to Arts and Commerce students, who were planning to pursue Bachelor of Architecture (BArch).

As per Minimum Standards of Architectural Education Regulations 2015, issued by the CoA, which will come into effect from the academic year 2018, only HSC pass-outs from Science stream with minimum 50 per cent aggregate in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry will be eligible for the BArch course.

The decision means that students from Arts and Commerce streams will not be considered for admission to BArch course. In academic year 2008, students from Arts and Commerce stream having Mathematics as one of their subjects were made eligible for admission to BArch course.

However, for the past few years, representatives of technical courses and the engineering lobby claimed that with the entry of Arts and Commerce students to BArch course, the faculty has not remained “technical” anymore.

A demand to make aggregate of Maths, Physics and Chemistry as a mandatory criteria for admission was put forth before the council. This led to the decision.

Earlier, from 2008, those from Commerce and Humanities streams were also allowed to get into architecture, provided they studied Mathematics in Class XI and XII. According to the members of the then Council of Architecture (CoA), only having studied Maths in Plus Two is essential to apply for Bachelor of Architecture contrary to the perception that those who haven’t studied Physics, Chemistry and Maths (PCM) can’t dream of becoming architects.

However, Minimum Standards of Architectural Education Regulations, 2015 states : “No candidate, other than a candidate possessing 50 per cent marks in aggregate and with Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry as subjects of examination at the end of 10+2 scheme of Senior School of Certificate Examination or equivalent examination, shall be admitted to the architecture course.”

Dr Rajiv Mishra, dean, JJ School of Architecture, said the decision to implement the criteria from 2018 onward was intended to make students studying in Class X this year to rethink on the choice of their subjects from this year itself.

Mishra said, “A student intending to pursue a degree in architecture will have to plan well in advance and opt for science stream in junior college post SSC. The decision will come into effect from academic year 2018, so as students are not inconvenienced at the last moment.”

“Despite scoring a minimum 50 per cent aggregate in Maths, Physics and Chemistry, students will have to appear for the prescribed aptitude test based on scores, of which seats are allotted in colleges. The weightage of aptitude test score for admission too will be minimum 50 per cent,” added Mishra.

The regulation further states: “The institutes shall admit only such candidates who qualify National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) or any aptitude test in Architecture, drawn on the pattern prescribed in these standards, conducted by a competent authority in the country.”

The aptitude test in architecture shall have two papers — Aesthetic Sensitivity that will carry 100 marks and has to be attempted in an hour while the second paper will be drawing that will also carry 100 marks and will have to be answered within a duration of two hours.

Meanwhile, student unions are planning to protest the CoA’ decision.

Yuva Sena activist and former Mumbai University senate member Pradeep Sawant said, “We have decided to protest against CoA’s decision and have demanded for the withdrawal of this new eligibility clause from the 2015 regulations.”

Advocate Manoj Tekade of Prahar Vidyarthi Sanghtana said, “Since 2008 many candidates took up BArch courses and were awarded the degree. Has the council or those who demanded to change the eligibility criteria restricting Arts and Commerce students from opting for BArch done any survey that those coming from Arts and Commerce stream are not good enough to study architecture or are not able to complete the course? I don’t see any logical reason behind the decision yet otherwise and hence it will be unfair.”