They join profession of architecture under the illusion that, like a doctor, a lawyer and a CA, the legal recognition they have will allow them to work ethically without getting overpowered by forces of commerce. But, when they start working in real world, they quickly realise that profession of architecture has turned into a free-for-all fish market where survival of professional ethics is impossible because sanctity of their qualification is not recognised by the market players.

While disillusioned architects are silently struggling to find a way to compete with plethora of engineers pouring in the market every year on price front, policy-makers of the sector are not realising that the nation is paying a huge price.

Unnoticed by all, the demise of architect as a professional has removed the only moral regulator of the real estate and infrastructure sector. Architect was expected to have moral authority to take care of human interest in habitat building, but he is completely undermined by short-sighted understanding of his role by policy-makers and judiciary.

The net result is, we are a lawless nation in terms of real estate and infrastructure building, where builders and contractors call the shots instead of a professional. As commercial interest drives development, our cities are now built solely on the logic of making more money for the builders and developers. With guardian of human interest set aside, the urban development in India is a soulless chaos.

The story of the architect is not completely unique as we are a nation hell-bent on self-destruction by turning professions into businesses. We have eroded profession of medicine and law substantially by allowing monetary greed to replace sense of social contribution; but, they still have powerful regulating bodies with a voice, so there is some hope.

Unfortunately, in case of architecture, the issue is completely muddled up by a Council of Architecture making doubtful claims of architects’ having competence of doing engineering.

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India desperately needs enactment of Engineers Act and rephrasing of the scope of work of architects in Council of Architecture’s manual. Architects and engineers must make peace and reclaim their separate professional roles if we want to build cities that are suitable for humans.