There may be more to the wrangling between the Council of Architecture (COA), the regulatory body for all architectural institutes in the country, and the Chandigarh College of Architecture (CCA) than meets the eye.
A number of letters exchanged between COA, CCA and the central education department, accessed by the Hindustan Times, indicate the regulatory body and the college has been at loggerheads on various issues for over six years now.
The letters suggest trouble began brewing in 2008 when the COA, after an inspection, pointed out, among other things, the college was short-staffed and accorded it a year’s extension to complete its admission process.
While the college has since maintained the next inspection could be conducted in 2013 according to COA norms, the latter contends the college has been refusing to facilitate an inspection as a follow-up of the 2008 exercise to check if it has complied with the regulatory body’s instructions.
The COA undertook another inspection on May 15 and 16, 2012, in which it again pointed out the staff crunch at the college but acknowledged the latter had improved on other parameters, including laboratories.
Interestingly, the letters also indicate while COA terms its May 2012 inspection as a “surprise check”, the college claims that it was a “planned exercise”.
When contacted, COA president Uday C Gadkari maintained the inspections planned after the 2008 exercise was to check on compliance at the college.
Another point of contention between the two is whether the college has been mandated to charge 50,000 as facilitation fees.
While a letter sent by the central higher education department makes it amply clear the COA cannot charge fees for inspection, the latter contends that CCA must also pay because like the other institutes.
“A regulatory body has to carry out its functions. We also need funds to conduct such inspections,” said Gadkari, when contacted in New Delhi.
CCA PRINCIPAL ON THE ISSUE
“The process for admissions is already under way. The COA can only recommend an action that requires to be taken to the government. Only the HRD ministry or the UT administration have executive powers. The COA’s move will only lead to insecurity among the students,” said CCA principal Pradeep Kumar Bhagat adding “it was a merely a technical problem and would be sorted out soon”.