Professor Uday Gadkari, president, Council of Architecture, is upset with corruption charges on granting approval to many institutes. He tells HT Education about the steps the Council has taken to safeguard the interests of the students.
What do you have to say to allegations against CoA compromising its norms to grant approvals in 24 hours?
These are baseless allegations. There may be few institutions which do not follow the minimum standards. However, our inspections do not leave scope for hiding anything.
Your take on schools with fake names on their faculty lists?
We are aware of it and now we have started asking for Form 16 and bank statements of the institutes to find out the exact number of their faculty. You will be surprised to know that in one of the cases, an institute provided us a forged Form 16. We have come across such cases and issued warnings to the institutes not to indulge in such practices.
What about allegations of architects with bachelor‘s degree teaching PG students?
Due to dearth of faculty, the Council believes that if an architect with a bachelor’s degree has been active in the profession for over 25 years, he should be allowed to teach PG students for his immense practical skills.
Then why are you allowing schools to start every month?
The number of architects required is not sufficient. However, the approval norms are strictly verified.
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There may be exceptions but the Council is vigilant.
Why don’t you initiate surprise checks on institutes?
We have started doing that and have caught many institutes red-handed. We don’t withdraw approvals because it jeopardises the interests of the students so we give them the opportunity to rectify the mistakes. If the institutes fail to fall in line we debar them from admitting students.
You are the president of the CoA and principal of a private institute in Pune. Isn’t this a conflict of interest situation?
Yes, but I hold both positions because the Council Act of 1972 allows this.
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The matter is sub-judice. I have nothing to say on the issue.