The decline in the standards of the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), it seems, is visible to everyone except the authorities of the institution.
Students, alumni and even faculty members corroborate most of the inadequacies pointed out by the recent review report brought out by a UGC Expert Committee.
“There’s always a constant need for improvement of infrastructure, especially in an institution imparting technical education. But nothing much has changed here in the last decade,” said Ratna Kiran, a third year student of architecture.
"The institute gets its grant from the MHRD but we don’t see it being used here,” he added. Kiran’s complaint also finds a mention in the UGC report. The report states: “There is adequate financial allocation by the government. However, the utilisation of the funding has to be carried out more effectively.”
When asked to comment on the lack of facilities at SPA, HRD Minister and chairman of SPA’s general council Kapil Sibal said, “There are many institutes of higher learning under us that do not have any quality certification or quality infrastructure because of inadequate funding. We are changing all this, but it cannot happen overnight.”
SPA alumni and renowned architect Kuldeep Singh — who has works such as the NDMC City Centre and the Saket District Centre to his credit — feels the root of SPA’s problems primarily lies in absence of a permanent director.
“A director with a longer
term can chalk out a proper vision for the institute and stay on to realise it. But right now, what the SPA needs
immediately is a new campus,” he said.
Though Director Ranjit Mitra disagrees with most of the observations of the committee, he admits the deficiencies in infrastructure and the school not making any effort to initiate the process of accreditation by National Assessment and Accreditation Council .
“Our building is almost 50 years old. There are problems with the infrastructure and I can’t hide that. But we are making an effort to renovate it,” he said.