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BITS changes admission mode, to challenge court order

By R. Ravikanth Reddy

HYDERABAD, JUNE 27. The administration of the Birla Institute of Technological Sciences (BITS), Pilani, has changed the admission mode for this year on recent directions from the Rajasthan High Court for some courses. However, for other courses it plans to continue with its own admission mode.

According to the court order, the admission for this year should be based on the ranks obtained in the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE). For the time being, this would be complied with. The BITS would be challenging this order to protect its autonomy, according to Vice-Chancellor, S. Venkateswaran.

In view of the judgment, admission to the integrated first-degree programmes for First Semester 2004-2005 will now be done by two different processes. Admissions for Engineering and Pharmacy courses such as B.E (Hons.) Chemical, Civil, Computer Science, Electrical & Electronics, Electronics & Instrumentation, Mechanical and B. Pharm (Hons.), both at Pilani and Goa campuses, will be based on the score obtained in the AIEEE-2004. However, for all the other degree courses such as M.Sc (Hons.), M.Sc (Tech.), and MMS, admissions will be made based on normalised aggregate percentage of marks according to the procedure already announced in their advertisement released in April 2004.

Prof. Venkateswaran told The Hindu that a new schedule would be announced within two days as discussions were on over the modalities and the time to be given to the students. The admissions were likely to start within a week of the announcement of new schedule.

He said they were going ahead with the admissions though a review petition had been filed. "We don't want the academic year to be thrown out of gear and it is difficult to say how long the court will take to decide," he said.

Prof. Venkateswaran said: "We will not surrender our autonomy that easily. We have filed a review petition and it is likely to be taken up after the vacation in July."

Asked about the students who had prepared for the Board exams keeping the institute's original admission mode in view, he expressed his helplessness and said the court orders had to be obeyed. A division bench of the Rajasthan High Court gave a judgment recently asking the institute to fill its seats only through the AIEEE ranks and not on marks obtained in the Board exams.

Meanwhile, the change in the admission mode has caught by surprise the students from Andhra Pradesh who had already made arrangements to join the institute. The last date for submitting applications is June 30.

Students, who secured more than 96 per cent this year in the Intermediate public exam, were confident of getting into BITS and many of them do not have a good score in the AIEEE as they concentrated more on the Intermediate marks.

With the new norms, the representation from the State in BITS is likely to drastically come down. Last year, more than 400 students joined the institute for the 900 available seats.

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