The HRD Ministry had strongly opposed the proposal to transfer control of architecture education to MoUD.

Apart from losing power to regulate architecture education, the HRD Ministry could also be forced to give up control over all Schools of Planning and Architecture (SPAs) to the Ministry of Urban Development (MoUD). MoUD Secretary Rajiv Gauba is learnt to have written to Cabinet Secretary P K Sinha on March 7, seeking to bring all three SPAs in Delhi, Bhopal and Vijayawada within the purview of his ministry. The proposal has been made on the ground that the transfer of SPAs is “mutatis mutandis” — a Latin term that translates to with the necessary changes having been made — once the power to regulate architecture education is allocated to MoUD.

According to sources, the proposal has been accepted by the government and the School of Planning and Architecture Act, 2014, in addition to the Architects Act, 1972, will be taken out of the HRD Ministry’s ambit through a gazette notification. This may come as a rude shock to the HRD Ministry as it was confident of retaining the SPAs even after giving up the Architects Act, 1972.

As first reported by The Indian Express on March 9, the HRD Ministry had opposed the proposal to transfer control of architecture education to MoUD at a meeting among Sinha, Gauba and former higher education secretary V S Oberoi last month. Oberoi retired on February 28.

Oberoi is learnt to have defended his ministry’s control over architecture education on the ground that it falls within the meaning of “technical education”, which is regulated by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE).

Sinha, however, prevailed over Oberoi and the minutes of the meeting issued to the HRD Ministry last week clearly stated that the Council of Architecture (CoA), set up via the Architects Act, 1972, will be brought under the MoUD as architecture education would be best served under a ministry that deals directly with the subject.

The CoA is locked in a turf war with AICTE and the latter is backed by the HRD Ministry. The Cabinet Secretary has directed the HRD Ministry to hold a meeting with the president of the CoA and chairman of the AICTE to resolve differences. The meeting is scheduled on Friday. Meanwhile, Gauba has been directed to draft a roadmap to revamp CoA.