In a major relief to the Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA), the ministry of human resource development (MHRD) has rapped the regulatory body, Council of Architecture (COA), for placing the college under no-admission category and refusing registration to its passout students without authority.
Based on the inspection report conducted in 2012, which highlighted staff crunch at the college, the COA had put the college in the no-admission category and also refused to register the passout students, thus leaving them in lurch.
Not taking the decision of COA kindly, the ministry in a letter to its president, a copy of which was sent to the Chandigarh administration on April 22, lashed out at the council.
Questioning the move, the ministry stated, “There is no provision in the Architects Act, 1972, to put institutions in noadmission category and to refuse registration of pass outs of such institutes unless the COA’s representation is considered by government under section 20 of the Act and a notification declaring derecognition is issued by the Centre after examining the recommendations of the state governments.”
The ministry further maintained that in the present case, the COA had not even submitted its representation to the appropriate gover nment. In the circumstance it was “not clear” as to under what statute the executive committee decided to put the college in no-admission category from the academic session 2014-15 and not to register the pass outs of the college.
The ministry has asked the council to provide a copy of inspection report submitted by one-member committee which inspected the college in May 2012.
COA VIOLATING NORMS?
As per norms, each institution imparting instruction in architecture should be inspected once in five years. In contrary, the council has conducted inspection thrice in past 10 years and on two occasions their request for inspection was not entertained by the college.
After 2005, the COA inspected the college in 2008. The council asked the college for another inspection in 2009, which was turned down following the directions of MHRD which stated that inspection could be done once in five years and was not an annual feature. Subsequently, a showcause notice was issued to the college and it was also asked to pay 35,000 fee for inspection/ extension of approval. In the Architects Act, there is no provision for levy and collection of inspection/ extension of approval fee.
In May 2012, the council carried out another inspection done by a single inspector in violation of the rules, which says that minimum number of inspectors for such inspections should be two. In 2013, the council again wrote to the CCA for inspection to which the college objected.
In 2009, the UT administration had lodged a complaint with the MHRD against the council for harassing and threatening CCA.
CCA principal Pradeep Kumar Bhagat said, “The letter of ministry has vindicated our stand. It makes it clear that the college was being targeted by the council.”
He further urged the student not to panic as there was nothing to worry.