Architecture, planning colleges likely to come under urban development ministry

Government is planning to bring all architecture engineering colleges including all Schools of Planning & Architecture (SPAs) under the Union urban development ministry. Currently all  architecture institutes such as Mumbai’s JJ School of Architecture and Ahmedabad’s CEPT University are under the purview of the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).

“The panel felt the urban development ministry, which deals with urban affair issues is better equipped to cater to the needs of architecture education since bulk of planned building activity and main employment space of practising architects and planners is in urban areas,“ said a government source.

The council of secretaries headed by cabinet secretary PK Sinha last month recommended that these institutes should be brought under the Union urban development ministry. The step will ensure better synergy between what is taught in the institutes and how they are getting translated on the ground.

Any building activity in urban areas is regulated through various building bye-laws which are standardised by the urban development ministry.

The recommendations by committee are under reallocation of Architects Act, 1972 from MHRD to the urban development ministry. The Act provides for registration of architects, standards of education, recognition of qualifications and standards of practice to be complied with by practising architects.

“The proposal will now go to the cabinet for final approval,” a HRD ministry official said.

“The 52 member council is mandated to regulate not only architectural education but its practice throughout India, besides maintaining the register of architects,” an SPA official said.