Indian Council of Architecture

The Architect’s Act 1978 leads to the formation of the Council of Architecture under its provisions. It is a body corporate, which provides for the following things:

1. Registration of architects;
2. Educational standards;
3. Practice standards for practicing architects; and
4. Recognized qualifications.

All over India, COA maintains a registry of architects and regulates the profession and educational standards. Following points enumerate the responsibilities, powers and functions of COA:

Maintaining Registrar of Architects – When a person gets the requisite qualification and undergoes the necessary education under the regulations of COA’s minimum standards, that person is eligible to get registered. Registration is necessary if the person wishes to practice and perform all other duties that an architect performs as without registration, all the above qualifications would be useless, and the person would have no authority to practice. False registration or misusing the title of an architect is a punishable offence, which equals to the seriousness of a criminal offence.

Prescribing Minimum Architectural Education Standards – For institutions and colleges in India to have the authority to grant qualifications, certain minimum educational standards have to be upheld, and these standards are prescribed by COA. These standards also specify and prescribe admission eligibility, duration of the course, staff standards, accommodation, content of the course and course structure, and examination rules and regulations. All the colleges and institutions of architecture can be called upon by COA for information about their courses. COA does this to ensure that the highest standards of education prescribed by the Act are upheld and many inspections are conducted for the same reason.

Recognition of Colleges and Institutions of Architecture in India – The architectural institutions in India grant certain architectural qualifications, which need the approval of Central Government in order to be recognised. The COA appoints a number of inspectors who inspect the institution for recommendation purposes.

Withdrawal of Recognition of Colleges and Institutions of Architecture in India – The COA has it in its power to make a representation in front of the Government when it believes that the recognition of an educational institution or college should be withdrawn. This can happen when the inspection (by inspectors appointed by COA) reveals that education standards set by the act are not being followed by the institution. The investigation would include examination of course structure, training, staff, equipment and all other facilities that the institute provides.

Governing Profession of Architects – There are certain regulations which govern an architect such as professional conduct, guidelines for architectural competitions, professional etiquette, professional ethics, and engagement conditions. The Architects Regulations, 1989 enumerates these points, and every architect has to observe and follow the guidelines of professional conduct stated by the Act. Disciplinary action could be instigated against the architect if the guidelines are violated, and their behaviour would also fall under professional misconduct as per the act.

Make Regulations – COA has the power to make regulations even if the new regulations are not consistent with the provisions of the act. It has to obtain approval from Central Government for the same.

Appoint Officers and Manage Fund – In order to carry out its functions, COA can appoint officers and fix their allowance. It also manages the fund through which all its expenses are incurred. This fund includes money received from the Central Government.

Every 6 months, the Council has to meet at least once to transact business.

How Architects are Taught in India

Architecture is a delicate and fine art that should be taught by educators who are both knowledgeable and have exceptional design skills. Not all schools focus on the same aspects of architecture. Thus, it is important to clarify the different schools of thought and teaching methodology to ensure that the program of study is conducive to what students hope to accomplish in their careers. Here is what you may need to know about the teaching methodology for architecture in India.

How Indian Teachers Approach Education

Indian teachers, in general, will focus on developing the creative side of the mind to promote innovative and novel designs. Teaching concentration rather than a mere memorization of facts helps educators to mould students and encourage this type of thinking. Studies have shown that this method can lead to independent thinking, which may yield more creative and robust designs or more in depth research.

Logical thinking is a big part of how architects and other students are taught in India. Experts, however, believe that no form of education is to be conducted in isolation. Collaboration and conference are encouraged to build better designs faster. This approach to teaching architecture seems to yield graduates who are prepared to perform as professionals.

Types of Coursework Required in India

While the focus in India is on obtaining skills and knowledge in the field of architecture, students must emerge from a program of study ready to design and plan projects. They must have a certain level of management skills to be able to oversee projects and see them to fruition. A formal education in India must prepare students to obtain a professional license to lead projects safely.

Students typically require five years to complete a Bachelor of Architecture and become licensed through the Council of Architecture to practice architecture in a professional sense. In India, most programs of studies will require one semester of practical training with a professional architect beyond the 10 semesters of in-classroom instruction.

If an architect chooses to pursue additional education, this will require specialization in a particular area. Common areas of specialization may include urban planning, environmental planning, building engineering and management. Once an area of specialization is mastered, architects can secure work in their field.

Indian Architecture Professors Focus on Creativity

Independent thinking and creativity are the focal point of Indian philosophy and teaching. The way architects are taught has evolved over the years, but the methodology is still entrenched in the philosophies of greats in the industry. The best practices of these architects are explored in the classroom to generate and spark new thought. When new and innovative designs emerge that are also structurally sound, professors have achieved success with their students.

Codes of conduct for Indian architects

A code of conduct is a set of rules that outlines the duties and responsibilities of a particular person, groups or organization. All professions are bound by these codes, including architecture which is a process of designing, planning and construction of buildings and other structures.

In India, just like other countries, architects do have codes of conduct. Indian architects are required to register with a government body called the council of architecture so that one can be able to carry out the professional practice. It is illegal to conduct any architectural activities without getting registered by this body. When they register with this body each architect gets a unique registration number. They also have to follow the Indians architects act 1972, which states the following.

•All architects are to be bound by this act and are to follow it.
•The council of architecture shall be the body responsible for all architects. Through this body contracts can be made. One can sue or be sued.
•The head office shall be in Delhi unless stated otherwise by the central government, which will be put in the gazette.
•Specifies the number of members who are to be on the council and there mode of election.
•It talks about the registration of architects. That with them they should have their birth certificate, national identification card, relevant school documents and a degree from a known institution.
•Punishments to those who give false representation are also stated.

The Indian government also did establish a code of conduct in the Indian constitution. It is under the professional code of conduct 1989. It states that:

1. Every architect who’s either employed or practicing is subject to the provisions of the central civil services.

2. An architect should make sure that his professional activities do not conflict with his responsibilities and what he is entitled to do, his responsibility to the society and environment.

3. He or she should apply and use his skills’ responsibly for the economic development of India.

4. The architect shall provide professional services of high quality and to the best of his ability.

5. Should always inform the client on the conditions of engagement and the terms of agreement especially if one is on private practice. These are to form the basis of an appointment.

6. One should not sub commission work to another or other architects without an agreement with his client.

7. He should not give or take discounts, gifts, commissions or any form of inducement for introduction of a client or work.

8. He should act with impartiality and fairness when administering a contract.

9. The architect should maintain very high standards of integrity.

10. Should promote the advancement of architecture, research, training, architectural education and also training.

11. He should respect and recognize professional responsibilities of consultants.

These are just a few codes of conduct stated in the Indian constitution. Architects are to live by the above regulations so as to have quality output in the services they deliver. There are also consequences to breach of these codes. One is held liable by the law.

The History of Indian Architecture

With thousands of years of history, India’s architectural structures continually evolved to suit the needs of the culture. The first known physical proof of architectural structures dates back around 6,000 years. Archeological evidence discovered near Chotta Nagpur and in Brahmgiri indicates that the people first used stones for building shelters during the Mesolithic period. Primitive Neolithic structures dating possibly as far back as 4000 BC were uncovered close to the Narmada River.

By 2500 to 1500 BC, construction materials evolved from stone to brick. The ancient Indus Valley civilization constructed complex buildings, and evidence of community structures emerged. Excavating the Harappa site in Punjab revealed multi-storied buildings with private bathrooms, drainage systems, sanitary sewer systems and reservoirs. Archeologists found similar architectural features at the Banwali, Chanhudaro and Dholavira sites.

Around 1000 BC, the sacred Hindu text known as Adharvana Veda makes mention of using iron in construction. The culture incorporated Hellenistic and Roman styles into their designs during the third century BC. Dome shaped structures similar in appearance to the Sanchi stube served as commemorative monuments that held sacred artifacts. Remnants of rock cut wells, stepped ponds and unusual cave temples also came into existence during this time.

During this era, King Ashoka, emperor of India, also commissioned the construction of hospitals. Multi-storied buildings featured large doors, arched windows and high walls. During his reign, Ashoka also constructed a series of pillars throughout the northern region. Each structure stood between 40 and 50 feet tall, weighted up to 50 tons and each had carved edicts. Today, 19 survive bearing the carvings.

The Golden Age of Indian architecture spanned from 230 CE to 1200 CE. The southern regions adopted the complex structures found in the northern regions. Additionally, the various empires began constructing temples. The Chola king, Rajaraja Cholan, constructed the Bragatheeswarar Temple complex. The main temples features five divisions that included the Aradhana Mandapam. Along the dark corridors of this portion of the temple, archeologists discovered floor to ceiling frescoes. The Pala empire constructed the Buddhist Odantpuri Vihar and the Jagaddal Vihar. Impressed with the structural features, architects from China, Japan and Tibet adopted the building styles of the Pala.

The Classical Age followed and lasted until 1526 CE. The Hoysala Empire built various large and small temples that included the Chennakesava temple, the Hoysaleswara temple and the Kesava temple. The Vijayanagara empire constructed the Vijayanagar Raya Gopura during this time. From 1526 CE to 1857 CE, the Mughal Era began. Through this era Islamic and Persian influences merged with traditional architectural styles. Examples of multi-influenced structures include the Fateh pur sikiri, the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal that rulers commissioned during this time. The holy Sikh shrine known as the Golden Temple was constructed in 1604.

The Colonial Era lasted until 1947 and introduced British and European architectural styles that included extended roof overhangs and free standing pavilions. Government buildings, railway systems and roadways predominantly featured the combination of styles. Rastrapathi Bhavan located in New Delhi represents an example of the merged designs.

The Modern Era, or Post Independence phase saw architectural changes based on the needs of the population after 1947. Small villages evolved into urban and industrial regions. Economic increase along with modern globalization, immigration and tourism sparked the introduction of secure government buildings and public structures that allowed the country to compete with developed world countries. One of the most modern architectural structures in recent decades includes the Chennai, Tamilnadu government building. While the county continues advancing in their architectural structures, historical buildings remain well-maintained and treasured.

Reference or for more details please visit :