A bill to convert three Schools of Planning and Architecture into centres of excellence and enable them to confer degrees to its students was introduced in Lok Sabha on Tuesday.

The School of Planning and Architecture Bill, 2014 was introduced in the House by HRD Minister Smriti Irani.

Its passage will especially benefit students of SPA Bhopal and Vijayawada who are still awaiting their degrees.

These two institutes were set up in 2008-2009. To confer degree to graduates, the institute has to be so authorised under an Act of the Parliament or declared a ‘Deemed to be University’ by UGC. The SPA campus in Delhi, set up in 1959, was conferred the status of deemed university in 1979.

“The proposed Bill seeks to confer the status of institute of national importance to all the three SPAs, thereby enabling them to emerge as centre of excellence and meeting national and international standards of planners and architecture in an ever increasing environment of urbanisation and industrialisation,” said the statement of objects and reasons of the bill.

The bill also proposes to set up a council for the SPAs similar to the IITs and NITs to advise the Centre on policy matters in the field of architecture and planning. The Union Cabinet had on October 30 cleared the Bill for its introduction in Parliament.

The campuses in Bhopal and Vijayawada were set up under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 to adapt to the ever evolving planning and architecture education system globally.