In an interesting development, the Board of Management at CEPT has appointed eminent urban planner Barjor Mehta as the new president with effect from January 20, 2024. Barjor Mehta replaces Bimal Patel. Patel is heading the new Parliament and Central Vista project in New Delhi and will continue for the interim period. Mehta’s tenure will be of five years. He currently holds the position of Lead Urban Specialist at the World Bank.
Making the announcement, Sanjay Lalbhai, chairperson of the CEPT governing body, said, “The CEPT University is renowned for its rich legacy as a leading institute of higher education in the field of human habitat. It has been blessed with professionals contributing to its success and it has always been led by professionals from the beginning. (First) With BV Doshi, then Hasmukh Patel, followed by Dr RN Vakil and since 2012, Dr Bimal Patel. I would like to congratulate and welcome Mr Barjor Mehta as the new president of CEPT University.”
Lalbhai said that Mehta was a “a successful professional with global experience in urban planning and development”. “I am confident that he will carry forward the legacy and lead the institute to newer horizons. Though it is not yet time to say goodbye to Dr Bimal Patel, I would like to thank him for his immense contribution to CEPT University.”
The CEPT University has followed a rigorous process of selection for the president’s position. As the first step, a committee was set up by the CEPT University chairman that reviewed the nominations and applications received. The selection committee had a detailed consultation with the CEPT
University faculty members and other relevant stakeholders and conducted the round of interviews. Based on the Search and Selection Committee’s recommendations, the chairman announced the appointment of Barjor Mehta as the next president and acting director for the University, during a concurrent meeting of the Board of Management and the governing body held on Monday at the CEPT University campus in Ahmedabad.
Barjor Mehta, an architect and urban planner, is the World Bank’s Lead Urban Specialist for East Asia and the Pacific Region based in Singapore. Prior to this, he was based in World Bank’s country offices in China (2016-2020), India (2012-2016), and Tanzania (2009 – 2012). Before that, he was in Washington DC between 2002 and 2009 from where he worked on urban development initiatives in Eastern and Southern Africa, South Asia as well as the Middle East and North Africa.
Before joining the World Bank, Mehta served as associate professor of urban planning (1990-1995) and as director of the School of Planning, CEPT (now called Faculty of Planning, CEPT University) from 1995 to 1997. Working with different organisations he has also resided and worked as a planner in Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan, and the United States.
Mehta holds a Diploma in Architecture from the School of Architecture, CEPT, and a Master’s in Human Settlements Planning from Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok. Like Bimal Patel, Barjor Mehta is also a CEPT alumni, having done his architecture in 1974. Patel went to CEPT in 1984.
CEPT, earlier known as Centre for Environment Planning and Technology, is India’s top most academic institution for architecture and urban studies. Barjor Mehta already is a member of the CEPT Board. The CEPT Board is headed by Sanjay Lalbhai of Arvind Mills as the chairman. Other prominent members include Sudhir Mehta of Torrent and Pankaj Patel of Zydus.
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