‘Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India’ : NITI Aayog

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    In News

    • The report, titled ‘Reforms in Urban Planning Capacity in India’, was released by NITI Aayog.
      • It has urged all central universities and technical institutions states to offer postgraduate degree programmes (M.Tech. Planning) to cater to the requirement of planners.
        • The report noted that only a little more than 1000 students every year pursue this degree in India.

    Key Challenges faced by Planning Courses as per the Report

    • Lack of Enrollment in Planning Education
      • 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. 
        • It also noted 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.
    • Less appealing from employment perspective
      • 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 due to following reasons.
        • Unclear future employability, 
        • Low return on investments, 
        • Lack of awareness in the employers and 
        • Quality of education/infrastructure.
    • Lack of Knowledge/ Awareness among General Public
      • Also, urban planning as a profession is not widely known to the general public.
      • It can be another reason for the low application level in the degree programmes at undergraduate levels.

    Opportunities for the Government to Rope in

    • Market Size and Requirement
      • It has been estimated that currently, approximately 17,000 urban planners may be available in the market while the actual need may be much higher.

    Solutions to increase Enrolment and increase Awareness

    • Synergize Educational Institutes with Different Ministries
      • All institutions offering such course should synergize with 
        • the Union ministry of rural development
        • the ministry of panchayati raj and 
        • state governments.
      • It will help  to develop demand-driven short-term programmes on rural area planning.
    • Regulation by All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)
      • The AICTE may retain the names of specializations based on industry requirements while limiting them to an appropriate number.
    • Need to resolve faculty shortage
      • Faculty shortage for conducting degree and PhD programmes in planning need to be resolved in a time-bound manner by 2022.

    Conclusion and Way Forward

    • There is a need for increased interaction between planning agencies and citizens.
    • By promoting planning courses, the government can boost Skill India and AtmaNirbhar Bharat Project.
    • These Urban Planners can help in better management of towns, municipalities and smart cities.

    All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE)

    • Released annually by the Department of Higher Education.
    • Recently, the 10th series was released as the report of All India Survey on Higher Education (AISHE) 2019-20.
    • This Report provides key performance indicators on the current status of Higher education in the country.
    • It is the 10th in the series of AISHE 

    All India Council for Technical Education

    • It is a statutory body, and a national-level council for technical education, under the Department of Higher Education.
    • It regulates technical education in India.

    Source: IE