Will the School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) of the century-old University of Mysore get the Centre of Excellence tag in urban design, planning and architecture?
The Union Ministry of Urban Affairs and Housing, under the initiatives of the NITI AAYOG, is identifying five urban planning and design academic institutions in the country and plans to upgrade them into Centers of Excellence with endowment funds of ₹250 crore for each center.
With the UoM’s SPA being an institute of repute, considering its work and research in the field, Mysuru MP Pratap Simha has urged the Centre to upgrade the School of Planning and Architecture into a Centre of Excellence in Urban Design, Planning and Architecture.
In a letter to Minister for Housing and Urban Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, he said, “I am writing this letter to express my strong support for the SPA to the University of Mysore – based out in Mysuru city – to be recognised and designated as a Center of Excellence in Urban Planning and Design.”
He said the SPA, under the UoM, deserves the excellence tag for a multitude of reasons. The SPA is located in Mysuru, a heritage city, that holds the distinction of being one of the first cities in Asia to undertake planned urban development with the City Improvement Trust Board in 1903. Ever since the city has followed the best urban practices, it has become a role model for other cities to emulate, the MP said.
The University of Mysore is one of the century-old universities in the country which has been accredited by the NAAC with an ‘A’ grade.
The UoM started the urban planning course in 1972 and the urban design course in 2002 at SPA. Hence, it has the requisite academic experience to scale up the demand.
For collaborating with reputed institutions and industries, the Center of Excellence tag to SPA Mysuru can leverage the proximity to the tech hub of Asia, Bengaluru, he argued.
Also, the SPA, Mysuru, has been ranked all India 6th in 2023 by GHRDC. The SPA has been involved in extensive research, capacity-building, training, consultancy for projects and collaborations with other eminent institutes.
It offers incubation to startups and has signed MoUs with CSE, New Delhi, ATI, Government of Karnataka, MUDA and Liverpool University, UK for excellence.
“Having closely followed the remarkable work carried out by the SPA Mysuru over the years, I am genuinely impressed by its unwavering dedication to fostering excellent education in urban planning and design. The institution’s commitment to producing highly skilled professionals and conducting cutting-edge research in this field is truly commendable,” he said in his letter.
Mr. Simha met Gurjeet Singh Dhillon, Director, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, in connection with his suggestion for considering the CoE tag for SPA.
The MP urged the Minister to consider his proposal and initiate the necessary steps to designate the SPA Mysuru as a Center of Excellence. He said that acknowledging and nurturing the exceptional work of the SPA Mysuru can be a significant step towards creating sustainable, inclusive and well-designed urban environments that will benefit our community for generations to come.