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SPA fails UGC test

Just two months after it decided to divest 44 universities of their deemed status for not being up to set standards, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry now finds one of its own institutions facing the same charges, reports Ritika Chopra.

delhi Updated: Mar 18, 2010 01:54 IST
Ritika Chopra

Just two months after it decided to divest 44 universities of their deemed status for not being up to set standards, the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry now finds one of its own institutions facing the same charges.

A University Grants Commission review report has found the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) — considered a leader in architecture education in India — lacking on many counts.

“Professors don’t have PhDs or their equivalent certified by a competent authority. With dilution of qualifications…. research guidance of PhD and research activities will suffer,” says the report, a copy of which is with HT.

Terming the infrastructure inadequate, it says maintenance of the canteen, toilets, lecture rooms and studios is poor; also, there is no digital library or easy access to the Internet.

“The goals and objectives of the School... have not been fully achieved during the last 30 years as a leading deemed to be university funded by the MHRD,” says the report, which has been sent to the SPA for compliance within three months and to the ministry “for further action”.

“I only agree with the observation on maintenance of infrastructure,” said SPA director Ranjit Mitra.

“If we are doing so badly, how come our students are accepted at some of the best institutions in the world?”

But alumnus and famous architect Ram Sharma said: “SPA is not the same anymore. There is a shortage of faculty and I doubt if students are inspired by their teachers."

HRD Minister and chairman of the School’s general council Kapil Sibal did not comment as he hadn’t seen the report yet.