In a significant order affecting a large number of aspirants for masters degree in architecture, the Delhi high court on Thursday quashed the 'minimum standard of education rules' laid down by the Council of Architecture for three prestigious courses in the stream of town planning.
The council, which affiliates hundreds of universities across the country, has also been refrained from making rules for masters courses as it had “no jurisdiction”. They have been asked to stick to diploma and graduate courses.
The court said only the All India Council for Technical Education was empowered to lay down guidelines for master courses.The courses affected immediately are M. Arch (urban and regional planning) M. Arch. (Transportation Planning & Design) and M. Arch. (Housing). The court, however, said the order will be prospective and students currently perusing the courses guided by the council will not be effected.
“The council of architecture is not empowered to lay down or prescribe minimum standards of education for qualifications other than recognised qualifications mentioned in the Schedule of Architects Act. Accordingly, the Guidelines insofar as prescribing the minimum standards of education for the three courses are quashed / set aside,” Justice R S Endlaw ruled.
The court gave the verdict on a petition filed by the Institute of Town Planners, India (ITPI).
ITPI lawyers Rakesh Khanna and Pramod Gupta said: “The court recognised ITPI's status as the apex body of Town and Country planning professionals and has clipped the wings of COA which had forayed into prescribing minimum standards of education for Masters Courses which were beyond its scope and powers under the Architects Act”.