B.Arch students to get 3-year exit option

CoA mulling professional qualifying exam

August 11, 2020 08:49 pm | Updated 08:49 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Architectural students exhibit their drawings in Chennai. File

Architectural students exhibit their drawings in Chennai. File

Undergraduate architecture students could soon have the option to exit the 5-year degree programme after three years with a basic degree, according to the Council of Architecture’s (CoA) new norms released on Tuesday. The Council is also considering the possibility of a professional qualifying exam for architecture to license practitioners.

The Minimum Standards of Architectural Education Regulations (MSAR), 2020, released through a webinar by Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, are being revised after 37 years.

“There are cases where a student realises partway through the course that they don’t have the aptitude or interest for the programme and wants to change fields. Also, there may be financial or other compulsions where a student needs to exit. The framework of the National Education Policy providing exit options and credit security allows us to make this viable,” CoA president Habeeb Khan told The Hindu . He said universities could choose what to call the 3-year degree -- a Bachelors in Draftsmanship, Building Science, or Architectural Science were some options.

Asked if these three-year degree holders would be allowed to practise as professional architects, Mr. Khan said the Council was planning to conduct an exit examination, which would be a professional qualification test for architects.

“Currently, to be registered as an architect, the qualification is the B.Arch degree itself. We want to delink the educational degree from the professional qualification or licensing process. That is how it is done everywhere else in the world,” he said. This means that both five-year and three-year degree holders may have to pass a separate examination before beginning professional practice.

The CoA currently regulates both architecture education and professional practice. That may soon change as the NEP proposes to move all educational regulation under a new umbrella body.

Apart from introducing a choice-based credit system, the MSAR 2020 also wants to include more hands-on training in the 8th and 9th semesters of the B.Arch programme. Apprenticeship-based learning will be encouraged, along with a practice-oriented, industry-led approach. In order to facilitate the involvement of senior architects in the teaching process, faculty will be encouraged to continue private practice and research.

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