PATNA: The fate of 160 Bachelor of Architecture (BArch) students of Birla Institute of Technology-Mesra (Patna) hangs in the balance as the institute failed to get approval to their course from University Grants Commission (UGC) and Council of Architecture (CoA). The COA's affiliation to the institute expired in 2015. The students also claimed that as per the UGC directive, a technical institute can open six off campuses but BIT-Mesra Ranchi had to take approval from the UGC for that.
When the agitated students tried to barge into the director's office on Friday, police locked them in the seminar hall of the institute. The protesters alleged that the authorities of both BIT-Patna and BIT-Mesra kept them in the dark despite knowing well that the architecture course affiliation had been pending for the last two years. "We called off our protest on March 29 on vice-chancellor M K Mishra's assurance that we will get our licence from the CoA. Now, only two weeks are left for the last semester examination. After that we need CoA licence to practice in a firm. We don't even get a valid degree as the institute is not approved by the UGC," a final year student said.
BIT-Patna director B K Singh and HoD (architecture) Anamika Nandan did not respond to repeated calls made on their mobile phones to take their views on the issue.
"We can't fight a legal battle against the institute because it will be too late for us by the time we get justice from court. We have spent Rs15 lakh for this course," said another protester.
In November 2015, UGC directed ten institutions, including BIT, to immediately shut down their off-campuses, saying these were unauthorized and had been set up against the rules. Later, in February 2016, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) directed the universities to run up to a maximum of six off-campuses.