Saturday, 31 December 2011

Council of Architecture, Architect’s Act, Blah Blah Blah... Do we really care?

I may gently presume that all those who are caring to read this post are Architects (or thereabouts). If so, then after finishing five years of B.Arch education, many of you would have registered with the Council of Architecture (CoA). There was always an inkling of self pride when the rather shabbily and unimaginatively looking Certificate of Registration came from the CoA's office at New Delhi. In your heart, you convinced yourself, that now, whatsoever your true calibre towards design and execution of buildings may be... here was a piece of stiff paper, signed off by a Registrar that few knew of and even fewer met, that vouched that you were fit for carrying off the due functions of an Architect! You could design and sign off drawings, submit them to the Govt. and write in your resume that you are a “Registered Member of the Council of Architecture”. We Architects always adored fancy titles and recognition, and this seems proper enough.

There also remained a large number of “couldn’t-get-into-any-other-stream-hence-joined-Architecture” Architects, or some homely, studious and well meaning lady Architects who chose to throw her hard earned degree into the fire... for “family causes”. There are surprisingly a large number B.Arch graduates who became Pilots, joined Infosys as a Software Engineer, joined his father’s petrol pump business, became Journalists... became something else. They didn’t feel they needed to “practice” Architecture, and hence didn’t bother with the formalities and annual fees of registering with the Council of Architecture.

All in all, for a vast majority of annually churned out B.Arch graduates, the term “COA” would have crossed their mind at this threshold stage itself, and never again. Very few would have actually had the interest or patience in reading the Architect Act of 1972, a seminal piece of legislation, which defines our role in society and legally protects our interests. Those who have read the Act would know how the Council of Architecture was set up, and that its primary function was to uphold and enforce the tenets of the Act.

However, the bottom-line statement would be that COA has remained only a Regulatory Body, disassociated as an entity to a vast majority of regular working or practising young Architects’; an organisation whose merits and credits delve into the intangibles and the legal.

When visionary Architect-Politician Piloo Mody pushed for and got the Architects Act passed in 1972, it paved way for a proper way of educating and registering Architects competent to handle the design and building of a truly “developing” nation. It must be noted that the Act was instrumental for the time, and based on the needs of the time.

Hence, the COA has remained a body which primarily maintains a registry of Architects and monitors the minimum standards of architectural education in India. Unlike England’s RIBA or USA’s AIA, it is not an Institute that has a dual purpose of registering and regulating the profession, and also as a professional body entrusted with promoting the profession of architecture by organising and uniting in fellowship the Architects of India. This may be seen as a lapse in the way the Act was formulated. Hence in India, we have the regulatory COA and the more “club-like” IIA – with programs, “fellowship” cocktail dinners and workshop-conventions. These dualities have often playfully sparred with each other for recognition and a sense of “I-Know-More-About-the-Profession” ego. Yet, thankfully, all-in-all, they have remained mutually supportive (but not completely unselfishly).

Eminent academician, Prof. Akhtar Chauhan of Rizvi College, Mumbai has maintained over the years that the entire Act and focus needs to be reformulated to create an Institute of Chartered Architects of India, much in line with the established Institute of Chartered Accountants of India. He strongly feels that this merging of interests would be of better benefit to the profession. I, personally, feel the same. However, this idea may be quite radical for this point of time, and it would require a visionary leader with significant political clout to establish this Institute at any point of time, especially amongst a group of people who are notoriously infamous for harbouring great amounts of ego and dangerous brinkmanship.

In the recent episodes of The Architects (Amendment) Bill, 2010 and its counterviews (see here), on which I shall write in the next blog post, the architectural fraternity witnessed countless instances of protests and active lobbying. There was active propaganda from both sides of the coin to either support or protest the Amendments (in its present form), and Architects throughout India, asked for letters, signatures, votes, and participation in discussion debates and workshops on the same. I was part of this “propaganda” and I tried to look at this logically, rather than emotionally or egoistically. During this time, I noticed that the same old motley group of senior, battle-worn Architects were fighting away with diminishing strength and heavy hands, while 95% of all Architects, dangled their legs and twiddled their thumbs comfortably from the fence... oblivious to the impact that pieces of legislation can have on our lives.

Initially, I was upset at the careless disdain with which Architects chose to treat their profession. I was upset that 99.99% of all Architects bitterly cribbed about the state of affairs, yet only a few scores chose to participate in change. After the tide of disappointment had passed, and after I spoke to many, I realised that Architects (and I specifically mean those between 23-40 years of age; about 70% of all registered Architects) have a general disenchantment towards CoA. They plainly asked what they were fighting for. They asked what the Council actually and effectually means to them, what good they really do? Young Architects like finite tangibles – figures they can see, effects they can feel, moments of glory they can celebrate. This is where they felt alienated from the Council. The COA, by virtue of the limitations of the Act and its purpose, has not endeared itself to its Registrants. Some realised that they are not actually “members” of the Council of Architecture. The COA registers and looks over the control of education in countless schools of Architecture. The COA is not IIA. The IIA may not fare any better in any such unofficial public opinion poll. Unsurpisingly, only a small percentage of graduating Architects feel the need to join IIA, an organisation they feel is run by beer-bellied and whiskey guzzling Architects of lesser public standing. The problems of Architects have remained and increased. We still get paid less. We still get scant acclaim for our efforts in society. We still have to beg for our dues in Govt. projects. We still do not get recognised as Architects on foreign shores.

We tend to fight for things that endear themselves on us. If the COA was to be fought for, this hasn’t happened. Despite COA’s intentions, it has remained a memory of a strict, unsmiling Teacher who gave us a Good Handwriting Certificate in Kindergarten, and who may or may not be in the best of health in a faraway land. We just couldn’t care less.

Yet the actual truth is that the Act and the COA are the only legitimate things that we have; the only instrument of power and recognition that can actually protect and improve the lot of our fraternity. Hate it or love it, but please do not ignore it. Change is needed. And Change is but ‘round the corner. But to truly make it count... for changes to have tangible effects on our profession and identity as Architects, we cannot afford to be distant from it. Read about it, criticise it, protect it, cherish it and participate with it. That’s the only way, such that some years in the not-so-distant future, our apex body will be a body OF Architects and truly representative of our profession... a body we may yet learn to love.

Author - Dwaipayan Chakravarty, is Sr. Architect - Urban Designer at Asso. Space Designers Pvt. Ltd., Pune. Click here to view his profile on LinkedIn

30 comments:

  1. If you mean COA.... Corruption of Architecture,
    You said it...

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  2. And if you mean IIA as pronounced by a mallu...
    in Malayalam the term stands for 'shame shame'!

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  3. Change will always remain 'round the corner' untill we round the corners that hurt... For this we need a version of IAC... IAACOA, Indian Architects Against Corruption of Architecture...

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  4. Mr. Pillai, I do not intend to raise issues of corruption here. That is not the purpose of this particular article, and can be a matter of later discussion if need be. The intent is basically two-fold... 1) that the COA has not evolved into a necessarily popular organisation in the minds of young architects throughout India, because of several limitations in the Act that binds it, and 2) yet still, only with active participation, discussion and energy can change be brought about the Architectural Legislations of our country, and thus, in turn, the role and functioning of the COA.
    Despite my sarcastic tone of writing, I remain positive that COA shall remain the well-intentful apex organisation in the country that will look after our well-being as Architects, and I remian optmistic that people will rise beyond petty squabbles and bring about real change.

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  5. Change is not possible if the same individuals play the musical chair for years together...

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  6. Look at the background of each individual occupying the musical chair in COA... any commendable achievement by any of them in profession or academics, the two aspects of architecture in India they are supposed to nurture? Achievers never indulge in petty squabbles...

    Seat sharing in COA and increasing seats in colleges cannot be the vision and mission of COA...

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    Replies
    1. Dear Harimohan,
      The fact is that the CoA is Representative of people aspiring to sit on the council for 'ages' together who are ready to do ANYTHING including maligning the characters of those ready to fight the corruption [AAP of Kejriwal V/s Congree and BJP].
      So the question is Are we architects ready to be sellessly motivated? If we do that then even the CoA would become Ideal and there would not be any need to bring about change as the change will automatically take place.
      Here we have a CoA that is not even following its own act which is in spite of the Parent ACT which is the Architects Act by virtue of which the CoA comes into existence!!!
      We have a Registrar sittingn since ages stuck as if with Glue!!
      We have members stuck their and aspiring to be there since the inception of the Act!!!
      Why the members on their own do not announce 'Sanyas' from the election etc?? [The answer to this is same as if asked to the polititians.. andthat is NO for we have becoem corrupt to the hilt!!]



      .
      its own act; is continuing
      !

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  7. So what is the way out of this impasse? Quite what Prof. Akhtar Chauhan has mooted. But that can be done within the framework of the Act and within the existing COA by rewriting the vision and mission and involving the younger generation of architects- post 1992 when architectural education opened the doors for private participation and the digital revolution replaced the T-square with the mouse.

    Is that possible in the current structure of COA which considers the most competent people to look after the interest of the profession and academics as the chief architects of 24 states (more in the offing if Bahenji has her ways) along with other representatives such as IIA, AICTE nominee etc. counting not even as much as the fingers on your hand, led by one smart alec among them who can keep the flock together through cheers and beers...

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  8. What I feel is that, insted of bleming any one who is & was in chair, we should pay attention to the main aim behind the formation of COA. We are represented by the people we are choosing. Therefore it is very necessary for us to choose right people to represent us with the govt. They may not achieved recognition in profession, but daring enough to fight with govt. for the benefits of the profession. Daring enough to take bold decisions and implement them. It is our duty to put our profession on right path, to achieve the dignity & respect we all are looking for. Therefore instead of ignoring COA, let us come together & clean up the mess.

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  9. well articulated article, indifference on the part of young architects is hurting yet is not the phenomenon unique only to architecture profession. 'Things just happen, let me be bothered only about myself and my pocket' is the disease with which entire India has been infected.

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  10. 'Things just happen, let me be bothered only about myself and my chair and position' is the disease with which people who get elected or selected have been infected...

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  11. In both IIA and COA it is time people who are elected perform only for the fixed duration, develop GENERATION NEXT leaders to take up the ongoing and unfinished tasks that benefit profession and academics and GRACEFULLY STEP DOWN instead of scrambling for the musical chairs...

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  12. Can we collectively declare a HAPPY NEW YEAR in IIA and COA?

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  13. Congratulations on this piece of writing. This comment box is definitely not a place to say beyond a comment but I am tempted to share the sheer joy I felt to see that we have peers such as DC in the profession. Architectural profession in India is plagued by a serious dearth of scholastic approach, little ability of thinking about the larger societal picture and so on. Hence the event of this writing by a young architect is as comforting as the content is thought provoking.

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  14. Thank you all for the comments. Thanks you Anand for the unabashed praises. Please do share this article with your colleagues if you find it worthy. Good day!

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  15. this was a good picture of the affairs and compiled very articulately.

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  16. DC,

    An interesting piece of writing indeed but it gives only a one sided perspective. Feel the need to clarify few pertinent issues raised by you and put things into the right perspective.

    We raise a point of “couldn’t get into any other stream architects”, lady architects who throw their degrees in fire for family causes, architects turned pilots, Infosians and petrol pump owners. We forget to add here photographers, film makers, actors, music composers, business executives, developers, project managers, valuers, landscape architects, Interior designers, animal welfare activists, social reformers, teachers, the list can just go on. I sense a strong feeling of scorn with which we supposedly belittle any qualified Architect who has consciously chosen not to practice core Architecture (read “needing a COA license”). Suddenly reduces the dependency on the COA and weakens the might of council on the lesser mortals. As a reference point we also need to remember here that the educational degree of any individual, whether engineering, architecture, medicine, accountancy, finance, etc, does not mandatorily bind them to be restricted within the limited realms of their bachelor degree. We will find enough and many cross professionals in this world who have made meaningful careers outside the boundaries of their respective degrees.

    In one of the narratives, we sympathetically speak of the COA as “one of the few organizations that people just love to hate” and we also use a phrase saying “suspicion of wrongdoing”. We make the COA sound like such a noble, well meaning and good intending, dedicated to the cause of the profession, but snubbed by the high handedness of the government and for some alien reasons – grossly misunderstood by the younger lot of Architects at large. . . alas !! You have a right to have your own perspective but for a moment just step outside into the dirt outside the office of the COA where you’ll find enough reasons and countless witnesses (teachers, students, parents, lawyers) who’ve suffered first hand at the hands of the COA’s high handedness and sheer autocratic ways.

    How I wish the COA was like the strict and unsmiling teacher, as we innocently portray it to be. We have conveniently missed mentioning the darker shades of this highly political, manipulative, malicious, resentful, fiercely controlled by few, dictator like organization which has over the years terrorized aspiring architects and teachers in the garb of controlling Architecture education and indiscreetly wielding the stick of de-recognition . It is the very deeds of COA over the years that has led to a strong sense of hate that it effortlessly deserves and shamefully commands from the younger lot of Architects.

    continued . . .

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  17. ..... continued . . .

    Architects act 1972 stipulates the COA with complete autonomy. COA reads it as autocracy. The act stipulates the council to register architects, give membership certificates and regulate the profession at large. The council diligently issues certificates but we are yet to see substantial measures that the council would have done for the betterment of the profession. Lets come to the third stipulation which talks of regulating the architecture education and this has been the playing field of the COA for the last 20 years. Colleges run by friends and friends of connected people can get away by 2-4 room colleges !! Colleges run by rival professionals who refuse to kneel down and lick their feet, get de-recognised due to the “signage that was missing on the workshop door”. Favour for a favour returned, ego trips, settling professional scores by the “come next year for recognition and we’ll see you rule” became the way it functioned for years. Students protested, parents begged and pleaded, teachers and administrators tried their best to comply, management tried to pull strings, governments tried to intervene, but the Council will not and did not budge and listen to any reason or logic. “Architects Act 1972” and “Autonomous body” were the 2 slaps which were thrashed to anyone who tried to reason out their drunken with power ways. Enter lawyers and Court cases, which we can separately discuss some other time, and Supreme court rulings were the only way to reason out and deal with the autocratic ways of the COA. Try and reason out with parents of aspiring architects who spent lakhs of rupees (on lawyer fees, in addition to college fee) and months running around the corridors of Supreme court trying to save their children’s careers and save them from the clutches of the strict and unsmiling teachers of COA. Try and reason out with professors and teachers who’ve spent the most productive 15-20 years of their lives in building an institution of repute, which the COA vows to destroy and eventually does !! Did’nt we tell you to appoint some friends of COA in the academic council, follow the favour for a favour rule !!

    Autonomy given by the Architects act 1972 was a very powerful measure given to the COA to rise above the ordinary and become a very constructive, meaningful, strong and well respected organization. However, over the years COA with its myopic vision has belittled itself and ‘chosen’ to remain just a regulatory body and hence disassociated itself with the ground realities of an evolving profession and the younger generation professional.

    . . . continued . . .

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  18. continued . . .

    The Architects amendment Bill 2010 speaks of 4 key provisions which have been specifically drafted keeping in mind very specific and repeated mis-use of its powers by the COA. The intention is to make the council accountable and create a robust mechanism to be able to do so, without impacting the autonomy of the professional body. In todays day and age where even the PM is being debated to be brought under the ambit of a lokpal and make him more accountable to improve governance, why are we fearing to take few steps to make the council more accountable. The very deeds and functioning of COA over the last many years is the reason which has brought the need for this amendment. I do not see the big hue and cry about the provisions in the bill, unless, once again there are power plays and ulterior motives at play, trying to protect personal fiefdoms. What makes you think that this Act will reduce the powers of the COA and affect or impact in any way an act of good intention that the COA wants to do for the betterment of the profession. COA is free to improve its functioning, clean up its act and do the good work that it has been waiting to do for many many years now. If the intentions are good, why fear some accountability in the process. And on an appreciative and sincere note, with some well meaning and intelligent professionals like you leading some of these initiatives, we can definitely look forward to a brighter future for the council in the years to come.

    The amended act (if approved) and COA will still be the legitimate thing that we as Architects have; our instrument of power and recognition that we can constructively use to protect and improve the lot of our fraternity. If our collective intentions are good and the focus is really on bringing a positive change in the functioning of the COA and work towards the betterment of the profession, then this amendment surely does not come in the way. So what is this hue and cry all about !!

    Regards

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  19. AG:

    Wonderful assessment of the malady COA suffers from. Reason for the malady is displayed unabashedly on the COA website:

    Past and Present Presidents

    Shri J.R. Bhalla 31-12-1973 to 14-11-1983
    Shri H.R. Laroya 15-11-1983 to 31-12-1984
    Shri Jeet Malhotra 01-01-1985 to 29-05-1986
    Shri J.R. Bhalla 30-05-1986 to 21-10-1997
    Shri Premendra Raj Mehta 22-10-97 to 19.07.2004
    Prof. Vijay Shrikrishna Sohoni 20.09.2004 onwards

    In 38 years of COA's existence, against the very provisions of the Act, 5 individuals seated themselves with Fevicol ka Bond at the helm of affairs...

    Do these names ring a bell anywhere in the annals of architectural education and profession in India as authors of any commendale single book or building...

    They all probably slept with the COA Handbook of Professional Documents Under their pillow as bedtime read and kept adding words of wisdom to it year after year...

    So far, it has been Kissa Kursi Ka... everyone knows.

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  20. I'm happy that some pertinent responses are being generated. Obviously, there seems to some great angst and pure anger targetted towards the COA. It's good to have strong views from across the spectrum. I do hope AG does not truly feel it is a one-sided approach to writing, as my intentions were far from so. The responses generated have more to do with those heading COA and the amendments to the Architects Act, which this particular article is not actually about. I think that passion of thought and expression put forth by some of the readers is clouding a more open way of analysing COA, but it gives great food to my thought, and sets the tone on my next article on the Amendment "hue and cry" itself. While AG some others may feel I need to be clarified with the "right perspective", I wish to clarify that I am well aware of most of the issues related to the COA, and while I have my personal dismay in the way COA has functioned repeatedly with regards to various aspects in education & practice of architecture in India, I would, as a person, be optimistic that ultimately, with greater concerted efforts, participation and critique from within the fraternity, the COA can be a better, loving and loved organisation. It is a sense of genuine hopefulness that permeates through my writing, not blatant, biased praise, neither a scathing, burn-to-the-groud apocalyptic witch-hunt. Otherwise, we all become like angry, grenade welding, highly-frustrated and demoralised Libyans out to lynch and butcher the evil dictator. Be angry, but route it through positive channels to bring about change; not just by being vindictive, but by having a larger rationale and perspective. Otherwise, after all the dust has settled, all we will see is but ruin.

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  21. The problem is no one has raised the dust, opting to steer clear of taking a stand. One reason is that COA has not walked that extra mile required to be proactive with both professionals and academicians, as is clear from AG's viewpoints.

    For most architects COA begins and ends with applying for a license and getting it, then waking up occasionally to renew the troubled sheet of paper that has to go through the travails of P & T department's handling.

    For most educationists like me it was the nightmare called filling Form A, B, and C to satisfy both the COA officials and the cynical members of the management of the school who go the extra mile in handling bottle openers, which brings cheers! The teachers and students are like pawns in the game, one doesn't get paid enough to perform and the others have to always cough up enough syrup to keep the management machinery well lubricated to start more and more institutions with intakes in packages of 20-20. No discounts here! In the last two years several colleges have started with intake ranging from 80 to 120 with not enough teachers or facilities. COA displays the statistics of intake proudly as STATUS on its website. There is no mention anywhere of the faculty positions and quality of these institutions. We educationists were made to burn the midnight oil several years ago to work out an accreditation system for architectural colleges, which was conveniently put into the cold storage.

    The above mentioned is a fraction of the Truth about COA.It is very easy to tell the TRUTH, but very difficult to act upon to set things right by COA as long as the musical chairs is limited to select individuals for a long duration, as has been the history so far...

    It is heartening to see Architecture Live with comments to begin with just when the state of affairs looked like Architecture is Dead... Long Live Architecture...

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  22. DC,

    I am in agreement with you in sharing your optimism that with greater concerted efforts and genuine participation and critique of the larger fraternity the COA affairs can be transformed into a much better and professionally meaningful organization. To that effect your efforts in bringing forth issues that encourage dialogue are not only welcome but much helpful to the larger cause.

    You’ve spent substantial time inside the COA and are witness to the functioning and maladies of the organization from very close quarters. Consequently there seems to be only a “mild dismay” and “general sympathy” in your feelings towards the functioning of COA. My comments and the “strong angst” that is felt towards the COA stem from the wrath and fire of the COA that has been witnessed from very close quarters standing outside the COA office. The difference in the intensity of our feelings largely lies in the position from where we’ve witnessed and have experienced the COA from, just like the “ruler” and the “ruled”. Also, when the protector himself turns tormentor, the trust that gets broken brings with it a lot of helplessness, pain and anger.

    I wish to re-iterate here that when you start to look at corrective measures needed and chalk out the directions of the tough road ahead, you have to be crystal clear in getting the context right and correctly map the gravity of the situation. We need to be unabashedly honest about how bad the situation is (even if it makes us very angry) and analyse where and to what extent the disease has spread, while diagnosing the treatment and yes, being optimistic about the improvement in health of the ailing organisation. Be aware of the intensity of the disease and be prepared to undergo strong treatment. Lets not fear the pain and anger that comes with it and be prepared for drastic changes. Lets be flexible for change and honestly introspect to ensure that we are not mistaken in classifying genuine strong treatment as witch hunt and vindictiveness.

    With such a long and dishonest track record, only regime change and superficial measures will not suffice, else, what is the guarantee that without any major policy level corrective measures, the new regime will not traverse the old beaten path.

    Lastly, the dust has already settled and there are enough ruins already lying in the southern suburbs of Delhi, as a painful witness to years of torture. I am sure we all agree that none wish to see more ruins.

    Regards

    AG

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  23. 1st of all i apologize for my lack of patience to go through all the comments, and hence apologize if i am repeating a certain discussion.

    From what i gather from summation of the article is that Dwaipayan is not ticked off with the COA as much as people giving up on it.

    This, i agree is the real problem. Lets keep aside the Goa episode with Sohoni, lets also keep aside his ardent claim "Architect's Act is to protect clients from architects not vice-versa" - Vijay Sohoni, at DesignXDesign Round Table, New Delhi.

    In the past one year i have had some pretty personal engagements with the CoA over the issue of Foreign Architects and 'Companies' practicing architect. Broadly, both entities are not permitted to practice in the country (Section 25 and 37). This issue is pretty cut and dry, unfortunately no one has tested the law yet.

    CoA has been pretty responsive, in terms of follow ups, taking legal opinions, firing notices. So much so, on 10th October 2011, a public notice was declared to all ROCs by the MCA to not register any Company where the MoA states architecture. (reminder only firms with all partners as registered CoA members can practice). Obviously, needless to say that it takes a few charged people at the CoA to have things done and moving. Point being CoA is ACTIVE body provided someone is ready to shake them up a bit. Amendment 2010, is also more about the operations within the CoA, purging out few lacunas.

    Long story short I am optimistic about their role. And as probably Dwaipayan, suggests, i strongly urge active participation/critique. 1st step read and understand the act and the amedment. 2nd step try and get the fee they recommend...hehehe!!!

    AB

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  24. Time for bottomlines now. This post has generated quite a few valid responses, which I'm personally extremely happy about. I think it would be time to make some clarifications and conclusions so that one can use this discussion to not just express issues, but to promote change.
    1) Let me be clear that I do not need to clarify how much "for" or "against" I am with regards to COA. Yes, I worked for COA for 2 years at NIASA, Pune. No, I was not involved in the aspects related to registrations, de-recognitions, legal matters, etc. etc. I am certainly not biased for the COA, but yes, I have seen from close quarters, genuine efforts concerted by the COA to bring about positive change, hence I have faith amongst the bad things, some light is also struggling to fight through.
    2) I maintain that there are strong issues with the usage of power within the COA. And its ad-hocness and lack of consistency across the board with regards to colleges and architects has been disappointing to me as much as anyone. Personal vendettas have been executed using the chair of the office, and certain privelages bartered to close quarters.
    3) This however should not take away actual good things that the COA has or may have done over the years. Work has been done behind the scenes, COA has fought FOR architects across States and borders, trying to unify admission processes, working to makes architectural firms recognised, working to regulate rampant practice of foreign architects in India when we are awarded scant respect in their soil, pleading with the Govt. to give Architects their due when it comes to Public Project. We don't hear about that in papers, NDTV may not find it newsworthy (similarly TV channels also do not find it newsworthy when premier institutes are shut down by COA), and thus, we imagine the works of COA being conducted in dark niches of political & judicial corridors and in the shadows of the backstage.
    4) Obliviousness is damaging; so is blind faith or biased motherly affection. Also simlarly damaging is any rage-induced mentality to level any institution to the ground, bringing down the "evil dictator" but leaving nothing left for credibility. This will leave our apex body as an Iraq or Afghanistan. A level head with skills of coercion and political tact is required. Will someone rise up to that challenge? Will someone read, write, profess and tell others all the sides of the story? Can a nationwide movement be created? Can we tie up with local architectural institutions - whether the IIA or a school of Architecture and debate towards a positive ending?
    Beyond the grudges and the vendettas, the debate needs to move forward. The Act needs to change and with it the COA, and thus raise hopes and a sense of positivity that all of us crave for in this big, bad, world. It is not as simply put, a case of "kissa kursi ka", but varied issues that need comprehensive amendments and debate.

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  25. I think it’s the knowledge which is the key & not the certifications. Since the world has changed to an extent they listen to you based on knowledge & not the certification since we don't carry it always. Moreover we are only concerned about our rights when we feel we are monetarily affected. Another reason we have grown in numbers & hence we look upon our competency only to the level of being paid rather than the real one of sharing the knowledge we possess. COA or IAA like any organization manage the records based on the credentials we have academically & then translate it into a law based binding that secure our rights to do business. They can grow like RIBA who in recent times of recession helped many gain their pride honestly get jobs or get paid. We need to have this issue quickly sorted by some immediate actions at right level.Ar Abijit Bhamare- Architect n Planner & I am still to get my PG degree certificate but that doesn't stop me.

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  26. heartening to see different points of view being expressed; somewhere I do sense entrenched positions? interesting !! I can think of 3 things that might benefit the profession . . .
    1. In an age of RTI & Lokpal; bring more transparency into the workings of the CoA. Minutes of meetings should be up on the website etc etc.
    2. If the essential purpose of the CoA was to regulate the practice of architecture then it should do so with prudence (or care, if you like), keeping rules & regulations simple, clear and easy to follow, and humility (CoA is not God).
    3. CoA should have a say in the way Architectural education is planned but not in the regulation. Leave the nitty-gritty of working out the details to babus and educationists, you focus on the profession.

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  27. Do you think that anyone will listen to voices in distress and things will change, unless people at the helm of affairs care?
    For information of those who did not know, following is the list of illustrious personalities who decide what is good or bad for architectural education and profession. COA displays this list and who is who on its site:
    http://www.coa.gov.in/home/members.htm

    Shri Vijay Shrikrishna Sohoni, Prof. Inderjit Singh Bakshi, Shri Subhash Chandra Swain, Shri R. Ramesh Kumar, Shri Sukrit Chatterjee, Smt. Usha Kasana, Prof. U. C. Gadkari, Shri Mohapatra Kunja Behari, Shri Rajesh Singh, Shri Bharat Seth, Prof.Jitendra Singh, Smt. Sumit Kaur, Mrs.Balvinder Saini , Shri C.Thanchuanga, Shri Prakash Deshmukh, Mr De Noronha E Souza Tulio Joao Teodoro, Shri Mihir Mitra, Shri Digambar Das, Shri Sonam Dadul Bhutia, Mrs. Sujata Anand, Shri G.K. Bysack, Shri Sanjiban Dutta, Shri R. M. Aggarwal , Shri Nepran Gitkumar Singh, Shri Nikhil D.Desai, Smt. K . N. Savithri, Shri Om Prakash Gurnani, Shri B.Ramagopal, Shri A.D.Shirode, Shri Pratap Singh, Shri Y. Gopalakrishnan, Ms. Agnes Suja, Mrs.K.M.Patil, Mrs.Mala Mohan, Shri Shashikant Nemade, Mrs.Sheela R.Thyagaraj, Mr.K.Patharachalam, Mr.Zavishio Khieya, Mrs.Geeta Khulbe

    You might recognize maximum six names... Can anyone enlighten me about other?

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  28. Dear friends and fellow intellectuals,
    Thank you for expressing your confidence in my abilities to lead the CoA as the next president.

    My agenda for CoA Elections is Research, Reform and Revival; please read more at: issuu.com/udaygadkari/docs/coa

    Join me at: www.facebook.com/ProfUdayGadkari

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