The Central Government of India on 21st December 2023 has officially designated four institutions throughout the country as Centers of Excellence (CoE) within the domain of urban planning and design, as per sources familiar with the announcement made on Wednesday. These institutes are set to receive a grant of INR 250 crore (INR 2.5 Billion) to be used towards the development and training on India specific knowledge in Urban Planning and Design over the next 25 years. The Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has handpicked these institutions to spearhead the cultivation of India-centric expertise in the field, stated a government official.
The selected institutions named as Centres of Excellence (CoE) are:
- Centre for Environment Planning & Technology (CEPT) University in Ahmedabad,
- Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, West Bengal
- School of Planning and Architecture (SPA) Delhi
- National Institute of Technology (NIT) Calicut
These CoEs were identified following the proposal announced by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman during her budget speech. These institutes will be given around six months to identify their area of expertise and also prepare a team. The team will then train urban planners and also work with cities to solve critical issues related to urban planning. The institutes have been asked to take necessary steps as per the guideline that was circulated last year as per the information given to The Print by a senor govt official.
History & Context:
The Union Minister of Finance, in the budget 2022-23 speech, has announced that “for developing India specific knowledge in urban planning and design, and to deliver certified training in these areas, up to five existing academic institutions in different regions will be designated as centres of excellence. These centres will be provided endowment funds of Rs. 250 crores each.”
In order to steer the process of identifying and designating institutions as Centres of Excellence (CoEs), Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) has constituted a committee comprising of officials from MoHUA, Department of Higher Education (Ministry of Education), All India Council for Technical Education, NITI Aayog and leading domain experts. Terms of Reference of the aforementioned Committee are as under:
- To identify the parameters for evaluating the institution’s capacity to undertake training and capacity building programmes.
- To lay down the process for selection of institutions to be designated as CoEs.
- To recommend five CoEs, one from each region, based on the challenge competition.
- To suggest list of subjects on which India specific knowledge may be created and training and capacity building may be provided by the CoEs.
An indicative list of subjects is given below:
- Transit Oriented Development.
- Transferrable Development Rights.
- Micro level planning through Town Planning Schemes.
- Micro level planning through Local Area Plan.
- Urban water supply.
- Sewage management, treatment and disposal.
- Urban greening to mitigate heat island effect and tackle air pollution