Urban Planning Courses in India – What to Expect?

We receive a lot of requests to provide information on the planning (B. Plan/ B. Planning) course in India. There is not much awareness about this the planning profession. There are a very few colleges offering planning as a course. Students who complete the course are known as Urban Planners, Town Planners, Urban and Regional Planners, City Planners, Spatial Planner, Physical Planners depending on the country, course and institution. Urban Planners are employed by various government and private organisations and play a number of roles. You can read more about Urban Planning Job Description also if you wish to understand the role of planners.
In this article we cover some of the question about the B. Planning course, also known as B. Tech (in planning). This is the undergraduate course being offered in India which deals with Urban Planning. A person can do a master’s degree as well which is referred as M. Plan or M. Planning. The master’s degree can be done by people from multiple disciplines and not necessarily be from B. Plan. Students who completed their bachelor in Architecture, Civil Engineering, Sociology, Geography are also eligible to pursue the postgraduate degree in planning. Here are the frequently asked questions about the B. Plan course and planning profession –
  1. Is Planning a promising career in a country so densely populated like India.
  2. Are there enough opportunities to practice this abroad?
  3. Do students get placed or not if yes are their salaries tremendously low?

Urban Planning Courses in India B. Plan M. Plan

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You might be surprised to know there are actually around 40 colleges and universities offering courses in Planning. A general trend is found that Undergraduate courses of planning (B. Planning) are usually found in the colleges and universities offering an Undergraduate course in architecture (B.Arch). While the gamut of colleges of planning is not as wide as engineering and medical, it is still widening as more and more private universities are also joining. Current proposals of creating new School of Planning and Architecture (SPAs) would also increase the list of colleges offering planning courses in the country. Now answering your questions one by one :-

 

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1. To answer this question we would say that planning is probably the most promising course in a densely populated country like India. Managing highly dense cities of India surely put up a challenge. But this challenge could only be taken and resolved by a planner. Our holistic approach and our interdisciplinary knowledge makes us highly capable in improving the lives of people. The need of proper planning is quite evident in our country and you would agree to that. However we would also accept the fact that the lack of decision making powers and poor implementation by the concerned authority is the one of the main reasons for the current status of our cities. Planners do have the expertise, but we lack the decision making powers. Indian System has yet to realize the importance of our profession but slowly and steadily things are getting better from where we started. Smart City, AMRUT are very few examples where we could demonstrate our true potential as a planner.

2. Honestly, the planning profession as of now is more respected in the west than in our country. They focus on people and improving the quality of life of their residents. For practicing abroad you need to get the license from the concerned planning authority of that country before practicing. In India we ITPI, Institute of Town Planners India which issues membership (though not mandatory but helpful) in India, however ITPI is not statutory, But in other countries the authorities are statutory.

3. In a college like SPA Delhi and Bhopal which are the frontrunners of the course, usually every year 1 to 2 companies come for on campus placement exclusively for Undergraduate students. It’s hard to say the same for other colleges. The salaries are not tremendously low but if we compare to other technical undergraduate courses like Engineering then yes. As a fresher with only a B.Plan degree, you can expect a job in the range of 15K to 30K depending on your skills and the company. Completing Post graduation with specialization opens more gates than just B.Plan. SPA Delhi has also started an integrated Masters course for B.Plan students which tries to solve these issues.

 
We have posted some blogs covering some of these questions. You can check them out at on the following links:
 
  1. Urban Planning Job Description
  2. B.Planning course in India
  3. What is Environmental Planning?
  4. Why You Should Consider a Master’s Degree in Urban Planning
  5. Regional Planning – Need, Importance & Implementation
  6. Changes and History of Regional Planning in India
  7. Is Urban Planning meant for you?
  8. Tips before starting a Planning degree 
  9. Reasons why Urban Planning is important for cities   
The course and the whole planning profession in undergoing major changes right now. Lately the government and concerned agencies are starting to understand the need of profession and the role which Urban Planners play in the development. Starting with a standalone entrance exam (JEE Main – B.Planning | Planning Tank Communitywas one such step, since earlier the exam was combined with the B.Arch test. Though the course might not appear to be very lucrative in terms of what it has to offer immediately, the nature and scope of work is what people really enjoy. The positive change which planners can bring is unmatched with other professions and bound to increase further.
 
You can also visit Reader’s Choice and Editor’s Pick page for more articles covering various aspects about Planning. You can also post your questions on our Discussion Forum where many other aspects can be covered for aspirants like you and others. In case you wish to know more about the course in general, we have compiled a list of articles which focus on different aspects, they are available on this link Urban Planning Academic & Awareness SU
Do let us know and contact us if you have any additional questions and queries.

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