In order to deal with the shortage of skilled urban planners in the times of dire need, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has requested all the universities and colleges under its administration to introduce undergraduate or postgraduate course on Urban Planning. It has written officially to all the universities and colleges to include the subject from the very academic year of 2016-17.
The directive of the UGC has been resulted due to the decision of centre of implement smart city project in the country. The members of UGC had shown presentations to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the benefits of developing towns and cities which could help manage the economic growth and result in capacity building through urban planning.
The Chairman of the UGC, Jaspal Sandhu said, “It was proposed that colleges and universities should start subject/courses on urban planning. Accordingly, you (VC of universities) are requested to start a subject/course on urban planning in your university and also convey relevant instructions to the colleges/institutes affiliated to your university to take urgent steps for starting of this new subject course at graduate and post graduate level.” The country is heavily affected by the lack of good urban planners and thus there is dependence on the municipal bodies. Many of the engineers in the municipal bodies are not planners and thus there is a need to upgrade their skills.
Appreciating the move of UGC to initiate urban planning as a subject, the South Asia Regional Director of the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, Shreya Gadepalli said this move would produce more professional who are trained in urban planning. She said, “There are few institutions in India which produce competent urban planners. This step will help mitigate the shortage.”