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Malegaon: Jagdeep DESAI, Architect and Academician, has authored a petition which has been published online on by Manish Mishra, urging Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create Indian Architectural Services "IArS" like IAS, IPS and IFS so that they can also contribute in nation building.1

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As an Architect and an academician with over thirty years experience, I though it best to write to you, and members of the Council of Architecture and those who are associated with issues and matters related to the profession and education in Architecture, to share a few thoughts on how best to utilise our huge potential of human resources of the highly trained Architects in India.

As you are aware, there are around 50000 plus registered Architects in India, with around 16000 Bachelor of Architecture graduates coming out of colleges each year.

This is a very big number, and there are chances that the existing employment opportunities in Architectural firms, individual practises, international companies, private and public organisations, etc., are not in a position to absorb all of them, even after taking into account self practise by some of them.

And from what is being given to understand, more colleges are being opened every year, which means more graduates.

In order to reduce chances of the situation like in engineering and management and even medical streams, that is, the reports of so many institutions and colleges closing down or being derecognised, with so many educated, but unemployed, young graduates, trained Architects can give good service and assist in Nation building.

India still lives in her villages.

In that sense, most of our development should focus on the rural areas, some thing to strengthen the Providing Urban Amenities for Rural Areas, PURA, the intitiative of former President APJ Abdul KALAM, where Architects can be very productive.

Though ideally, there should be a fixed term of public service during college term, the internship could very well be a few weeks of hands on training in villages, this could be structured by the Council of Architecture, in the guidelines and norms for Architecture education, the small steps for the Barefoot Architect.

As of now, it is very difficult to place students for the mandatory internship training in Semester Eight, because of many reasons, one of them being, shortage of openings.

To extrapolate this, and in order to assist in the Housing for All by 2022, announced by Shri Narendra MODI Ji, Prime Minister, around two years ago

I would strongly suggest, and kindly request your good office, to introduce new mandatory positions, by appropriate statute, as follows in various capacities, with appropriate criteria, of experience, qualification, and capabilities

01 Urban Local Bodies, about 3000, Chief Architect, and Deputy Architects, like the Chief Engineer, Deputy Engineer, etc
02 Districts, around 700, District Architect, like District Magistrate, District Collector, etc
03 Tehsils, around 5500

And specifically identified groups and clusters of villages, to assist the thousands of Gram Panchayats in their local development

Not to mention the 250 plus Central Public Sector Enterprises, as in house Architects, for their building projects, housing colonies, interiors of offices, etc., instead of appointing some, and same, celebrity Architects time and again.

In this respect, it is also earnestly requested, that a notification given to all government departments that the Architectural appointments of all public infrastructure projects, irrespective of value and scope, must be by open, free, fair, transparent competition, regulated by the Council of Architecture, without conditions like the applicants should have competed projects worthy Rs.10 Crores, or of so many thousand square metres, etc.

After all, if the design is not upto the standard, it will not even be short listed, let alone win, but the opportunity should not be denied to aspiring Architects who do have the ability and skill in them

Going further, and keeping in mind the Smart Cities Mission of the Government of India, it is imperative that Architects and Planners be included in the administrative positions and decision making process.

With due respect, the existing bureaucratic setup of the Indian Administrative Services are not in a position to give full justice to National Building codes, development control regulations and building by laws, etc.

For this, I would propose, a new Indian Architecture Service, and Indian Planning Service, which will give the nation some serious professional value addition in this.

Of course the above are as yet ideas.

Your positive attention and favourable consideration and with joint discussions with the council of Architecture and Architects interested and concerned, will give an impetus in implementing them effectively, in the appropriate manner to help India bridge the stride between a developing country to a developed one.

Thank you.

Jai Hind.

Jagdeep DESAI