Architecture & Polytechnic Bid Adieu

Within less than a month after losing the fort of Architecture Education to the Urban Development Ministry, the HRD Ministry faced another bouncer. It was asked to hand over reins of four schemes that fund to the Ministry of Skill Development. This decision was communicated to HRD Ministry through an order dispatched by the Cabinet Secretariat last month. Initially the HRD Ministry headed by Prakash Javadekar was hesitant in handing over the four schemes — ‘Setting Up of New Polytechnics In Unserved & Underserved Districts’; ‘Scheme of Community Development Through Polytechnics’; ‘Construction of Women’s Hostels In Polytechnics’ and ‘Upgradation of Polytechnics’ — to the Ministry of Skill Development headed by Rajiv Pratap Rudy by April. Later on it gave in to the demand.

Setting up of polytechnics comes under the purview of the state governments and the Centre assists them financially through the four schemes covered under the ‘Sub-mission on Polytechnics’ started under the 11th Five Year Plan. If setting up of a new polytechnic is to take place in Unserved & Underserved Districts’, the HRD Ministry invests Rs. 12.3 crore in each set up across 300 districts. Similarly, the Centre also provides a financial aid of Rs. 500 crore to state governments under the ‘Construction of Women’s Hostels in Polytechnics’ scheme.

After Architecture Giving A Slip, HRD Ministry Loses Polytechnic

architecture and polytechnic bid adieu

At present the country has over 4,000 polytechnics where skilled manpower is produced to aid the organized, unorganized and service sectors after a three-year diploma course in conventional disciplines such as civil, electrical and mechanical engineering. Since the last 2 decades, have ventured into other emerging streams, such as electronics, computer science and medical lab technology to offer value added courses.

Currently, the running of polytechnics is handled by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) which sets minimum standards of education to be imparted by them. Still it has not been made clear that the handing over of polytechnic schemes also means that these institutions will now be regulated by the National Council for Vocational Training under the Ministry of Skill Development.

After an interaction with The Sunday Express, K P Krishnan, Secretary, Ministry of Skill Development, confirmed of receiving the transfer order of the four schemes. He said that the order is being looked into before its implementation. The Education Secretary K K Sharma did not revert to the questions emailed on Friday. Once the change has been formally notified, HRD Ministry will lose the authority to regulate architecture education through an amendment to the Allocation of Business Rules 1961, which enlists responsibilities of each ministry under the union government.

The transfer of the four schemes has been done on the grounds that polytechnics will be provided the best of services by the concerned ministry which has that subject under its belt. The decision to take the Council of Architecture out of the HRD Ministry’s purview and hand it over to the Urban Development Ministry was also made on the same grounds.

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