The highest monitoring body of the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) should meet twice a year. That’s the rule.
But here’s the reality: The General Council hasn’t met at all in the last six years.
This anomaly, after years of having gone unnoticed, is finally in the spotlight as it finds a repeated mention in the recent review report prepared by the expert committee of the University Grants Commission (UGC).
The General Council — with eminent academicians as members and the Union HRD Minister as it chairman — is responsible for reviewing broad policies and functioning of the school and also ratifying annual accounts.
“It plays a guidance role and helps the institution keep up with changing times,” said a university official, on condition of anonymity.
“We have been writing to the Ministry since 2004 asking them to convene a meeting, but, it seems, the Ministers have been too busy. The complete absence of meetings has obviously affected the functioning of the university,” added the university official.
The school has already written twice to the ministry during Kapil Sibal’s term.
“I have hundreds of autonomous institutions under me and I haven’t been informed why the SPA’s general council meeting hasn’t be held yet. But I will look into it,” said the union
The UGC report has found SPA, a centrally funded deemed university and the leader in architecture, not being up to set standards.
Ironically, this report comes just two months after the HRD ministry decided to divest 44 deemed universities of their status for similar charges.
Many deficiencies, according to the UGC report, can only be corrected once the General Council is resurrected.