New Delhi, Dec 4: Lok Sabha has passed a bill for converting three Schools of Planning and Architecture into centres of excellence, with the government assuring that reservation policy would be in place for them.
The School of Planning and Architecture Bill, 2014, will also enable the three institutes to award degrees. Winding up the discussion on the 'The School of Planning and Architecture Bill, 2014', HRD Minister Smriti Irani said that reservation policy would be "applicable" to these institutions similar to what is being done in IITs and NITs.
Its passage will especially benefit students of SPA Bhopal and Vijayawada who are still awaiting their degrees. The third institute is in Delhi. Allaying apprehensions on whether the finances of the institution would be audited, the Minister said it would done and the annual reports would be tabled in the Parliament.
The institutes in Bhopal and Vijaywada were set up in 2008-09. To confer degree to graduates, the institute has to be so authorised under an Act of the Parliament or declared a 'Deemed to be University' by UGC.
The SPA campus in Delhi, set up in 1959, was conferred the status of deemed university in 1979. Earlier, speaking on the bill, K C Venugopal (Cong) attacked the government for not informing members in advance before taking up the legislation.
Congress leader in the House Mallikarjun Kharge sought a ruling from the Deputy Speaker, claiming that the Chair was not "fair" to them and it should question government in a similar way as it does with opposition parties. Congress members said government had adopted similar tactics in past and it should not become a norm, prompting the Chair to direct government to note concerns of members.