I have sent the following to request access to the SPA
enquiry report. A news report about the report is
I think those within SPA should insist on a
discussion. I think those outside SPA should write –
as young professionals who went through what has now
been exposed, as older ones willing to ascribe their
achievements at least in part to SPA, as ones in
public sector who believe in public institutions, as
professional educators elsewhere – anything that says
there is more to us than this.
Please make time for this. Please also ask others.
Please post to the list.
---Letter of today---
Mr V.K. Shunglu (Formerly CAG)
c/o EDCIL House, 18A, Sector-16, NOIDA
Sub: School of Planning and Architecture
Ref: Yesterday's media reports about SPA enquiry
report and my letter of 28.10.03 (enclosed).
According to media reports the SPA enquiry report has
been submitted to MoHRD. Since SPA is closed for
vacation I have not been able to ascertain from
faculty or Students' Council if a copy is available
with them. Media reports dwell only on corrupt
practices of recent years – which is no news to many
of us who have been pointing them out for long,
including to MoHRD in specific instances and to media
as and when it quoted as experts the unqualified and
moonlighting faculty that the enquiry has exposed.
What is of interest to those concerned about SPA as
public institution for professional education is:
· what has survived through mismanagement in recent
years and how it is being underscored to make premium
on professional academic competence and integrity
central to reform
· how corruption in SPA connects to corruption exposed
earlier this year in DDA, HUDCO/HSMI, NDMC/DUAC, etc,
and how these ‘nexuses’ are being eliminated in public
/ professions’ interest
· whether all matters, especially those raised with
MoHRD, are covered in the ‘clean-up’ and reflected in
whatever is to be the basis of further action
While I, and I am sure others, are glad MoHRD
instituted this enquiry and grateful to you for the
obvious thoroughness with which it was conducted, I do
hope that the fact of a few in positions of
professional trusteeship having been found guilty of
unforgivable misconduct will not be misconstrued to
mean that the whole profession is corrupt, incompetent
and indifferent. This is by no means the case. It
would be a great pity if, even after your enquiry,
those (especially within and also outside SPA) that
have been marginalised by the corrupt and incompetent
in it continue to be denied opportunity to discharge
their responsibility vis-à-vis professional education
– which, without doubt, must be viewed primarily as
the responsibility of the professions.
I request access to the SPA enquiry report.
Gita Dewan Verma
B.Arch (SPA, gold medalist); M.Planning (SPA, gold
medalist); PG Dip-Research (IHS-Rotterdam, top rank);
Formerly: Senior Fellow (HUDCO-HSMI), Visiting Faculty
(SPA, TVB SHS), Consultant (DfID, IHSP, Nuffic,
Currently: Independent planning researcher and writer
and planning consultant to citizens’ groups
cc: with same request
Students’ Council, SPA
President, CoA (and with request for information of
CoA 'policy' re professional corruption exposes)
---HT report of yesterday---
Ex-Chief of architecture school abused power
New Delhi, December 25
A FORMER director of the School of Planning and
Architecture has been found guilty of appointing
faculty members who did not have the requisite
qualifications. He is also accused of assigning
consultancy work worth lakhs by overruling the
Former Comptroller and Auditor General V.K.Shunglu,
who conducted the inquiry and found Dr. A.K.Maitra
guilty, on Thursday submitted the inquiry report to
HRD minister Murli Manohar Joshi. The minister said
appropriate action will be taken only after a detailed
study of the report.
The school is a deemed university and enjoys autonomy.
But this autonomy is “within rules”. And since the
institution is totally funded by the Centre, its
administrators had to be held accountable for
overruling the norms, the minister said.
The inquiry was initiated in July, following
complaints of “misuse of power” by Maitra, who was the
school director for seven years.
The school “ignored” the guidelines of the All India
Council of Technical Education and Council of
Architecture, the report said. It found that “the
appointment of the core faculty was made in an
arbitrary manner. Of the 32 professors, only 11 had
the requisite qualifications”.
“The qualifications were prescribed after a great deal
of debate at the highest academic level and,
therefore, did not fall within the purview of the
school. But the director did not adhere to the norms
while making the appointments. Maitra appointed 11
professors who did not possess the requisite
qualifications. Likewise, four assistant professors
and two lecturers were recruited without following the
qualification norms,” the report said.
The minister said, a faculty member, S.D.Jordar,
appointed the director’s wife as a guest faculty
member, a post already held by another person.
There is more to it. The school, with an annual budget
of Rs.8 crore, followed no rules on consultancy
contracts. “Some faculty members were found to be
running their own consultancy firms. Even some members
were in the payroll of leading consultancy firms,” the
One senior professor was running an NGO and had
undertaken 40 tours abroad funded by the NGO, it said.
“The staff of the Department of Architecture were
practicing their own architectural work rather than
performing the academic function of the school,” it
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