Students, alumni cheer as SPA Bill 2014 gets Parliament nod

  • Jeevan Prakash Sharma, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 17, 2014 11:29 IST

“I would like to expresses my gratitude towards the present government for passing the School of Planning and Architecture Bill 2014 which makes three SPAs institutes of excellence. This bill has given identity, endorsement and eminence to our studies and now we are able to apply for government jobs,” says Triveni Prasad Nanda, former student, SPA, Bhopal.

Nanda, till now, had an uncertain future despite securing all-India rank 640 in the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) in 2008 (replaced by JEE later) and all-India rank 5 in the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) in 2013.

He graduated from the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA), Bhopal in 2013 but since the institute, established in 2008 by the Central government, didn’t have degree-granting status, he was neither able to practice as an architect nor apply for a job.

“Once any student completes a five-year bachelor’s of architecture course, he/she is supposed to get enrolled with the Council of Architecture (CoA) and get a registration number. Since SPA Bhopal and SPA Vijayawada didn’t have degree-granting status, candidates admitted in 2008 and passing out in 2013, were unable to do anything because they could not get enrolled with CoA in the absence of any degree certificate,” says Nanda.

Now since the bill has been passed by both houses of the Parliament, hundreds of students from these two schools now expect that there won’t be any obstruction in the way of getting enrolled with CoA.

However, hundreds of students from other prominent architectural institutes continue to face problems as CoA is still refusing to enrol them, saying that the institutes from where the students had completed their courses were running without its approval.

Alleging that the study of architecture in these institutes was not at par with the CoA’s minimum standards of education, a competency test had been conducted by the council. However, the Delhi High Court had imposed a stay on the announcement of the result of the test. Not only that, even the Central government and a recent Calcutta High Court judgment of held that the CoA had no power to conduct any competency test.

“There is a fight between AICTE and CoA on the question of getting approval. Students from AICTE-approved institutes are not being recognised by CoA,” says an architecture student requesting anonymity. “I got admission to an institute which ran with AICTE’s approval. I even appeared in CoA’s competency test but now there is a stay on the announcement of its result. I hope MHRD takes note of this,” says the student.

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