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Lok Sabha passes School of Planning and Architecture Bill

The Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s Parliament has passed the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) bill in a bid to turn it into an institute of national importance. With this newly awarded heightened stature, SPA will be allowed to grant its own degrees.

It is important to note here that SPA, Delhi had already been declared a deemed university long back. However, its sister wings in Bhopal and Vijayawada were not permitted to award degrees. Therefore, both these institutes had to issue provisional certificates to their graduating students.

Established in 2008, SPA, Bhopal has so far produced 282 graduates. “After graduating, many of our students were unable to start private practice because that re quires registration with the Council of Architecture, which is not possible without a degree,” explains Ajay Khare, former director, SPA, Bhopal.

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Many of these students were eligible to pursue postgraduate programs in institutions run by the Union Ministry of Human Resource and Development (e.g. the IITs), the overwhelming proportion of the passing students could not secure a seat in overseas universities for the lack of a full-fledged degree.

“Some students managed to enroll for courses abroad due to letters of recommendation from senior faculty but for most others, this has been a roadblock,” adds Khare, as reported by the Times of India.

The bill now has to be approved by the Rajya Sabha, upper house of the Parliament.

“Being an institute of national importance, we can now make our ordinances and statutes. Further, we are not under the vigilance of any third-party regulator any longer,” says Khare.

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