NEW DELHI: A Niti Aayog report on urban planning capacity in India has urged all central universities and technical institutions states to offer postgraduate degree programmes -MTech Planning- to cater to the requirement of planners in the country in a phased manner.
The report noted that only a little more than 1000 students every year pursue this degree in India.
The report also recommended that all such institutions should synergize with the Union ministry of rural development, the ministry of panchayati raj and state governments to develop demand-driven short-term programmes on rural area planning.
A Niti Aayog committee that prepared the report also recommended that the All India Council for Technical Education may retain the names of specializations based on industry requirements while limiting them to an appropriate number.
It also said that faculty shortage in educational institutions conducting degree and PhD programmes in planning need to be resolved in a time-bound manner by 2022.
Based on available data, it has been estimated that through the urban planning education system in India, currently, approximately 17,000 urban planners may be available in the market while the actual need may be much higher.
The All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) in India shows that only 938 students were enrolled in undergraduate planning education in 2018-19 while 1028 were enrolled in M.Plan and only 8 candidates enrolled for PhD in planning.
The AISHE report 2019-20 showed a slightly better enrolment, particularly, in the Ph.D, noted the report adding that programme-wise enrolment at all the levels of degrees in planning remains a fraction in comparison to the other fields like arts, sciences, and business administration.
“As is evident, the urban and regional planning education courses offered in India do not appear appealing (in comparison to other fields) to a wide spectrum of prospective students. It is to be seen whether unclear future employability, return on investments, lack of awareness in the employers and quality of education/infrastructure are the causative factors behind the same,” it said.
Also, urban planning as a profession is not widely known to the general public, the report underlined, which can be another reason for the low application level in the degree programmes at undergraduate levels.
“This reinforces the need for increased interaction between planning agencies and citizens”