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Architecture: HC says AICTE can’t fix exam norms
Ananthakrishnan G

New Delhi, July 28: The All-India Council of Technical Education will no
longer be able to set admission criteria for students of architecture.
The Delhi High Court has held that the Council of Architecture was the
‘‘final authority’’ to decide the norms and course content for
architecture courses.

Justice Gita Mittal quashed the eligibility criteria AICTE had set for
the five-year architecture course in this year’s All-India Engineering
Entrance Examination. The court also set aside an April 7, 2004
directive of the Union HRD Ministry asking CBSE to consider only AICTE
norms for admission to the 2004-05 course.

The court rejected the contention that the AICTE Act of 1987 repealed
the older Architects Act of 1972. The order puts a question mark on the
fate of students who took the AIEEE this year and have completed their
counselling. Students who joined the Bachelor of Architecture course
last year are also under cloud as the AICTE norms differ from COA

The daggers are already out with COA President Vijay Soni saying
recognition will not be given to students who have not fulfilled the
criteria laid down by the council. ‘‘We have written to all state
governments and universities to ensure that COA directives are
followed,’’ he said.

AICTE, meanwhile, has approached the Supreme Court, said its Deputy
Secretary (Legal) B L Rama.

The spat
The variations in COA and AICTE norms are at the root of the present

According to COA, candidates needed 50 pc marks in the plus two scheme
with English and Mathematics as compulsory subjects. An AICTE
notification in January altered the admission requirements for B Arch
courses. The notification did away with the 50 per cent criteria and
changed the compulsory subjects to Physics and Mathematics.

A student, Sharmishta Das, who had chosen her subjects in Class 12
keeping in mind the COA norms, challenged AICTE’s legislative competence
after her application for the All-India entrance was rejected. The court
had allowed her to take the exam, but held back the result till a
judgement was delivered.