According to the Council of Architecture Act 19-the Council (1) regulates architecture education (2) registers architects authorising them for professional practice and certification of drawings, and (3) regulates remuneration payable to architects and their professional ethics.
Concerned about teaching shops mushrooming in the country in technical education such as medicine, engineering and architecture, in 19-the Government of Indian enacted and Act constituting the all Indian Council of Technical Education to enforce disciple and standards in technical education including architecture. This has resulted in two statutory bodies AICTE and Council of Architecture performing similar functions. There is now a conflict of legislation that the lawmakers apparently overlooked. This is leading to conflicting directions form the two statutory bodies and discords in the management of architecture education and the profession. This paper attempts to propose a legitimate resolution of this conflict.
In the USA, each state has its own Council of Architecture for regulating technical education, registration of architects and monitoring of professional ethics. This enables each state to modulate education in architecture to suit its ecology and heritage. As a result, education in architect is not straitjacketed in one format but has special nuances in different states thereby nurturing creativity suiting the local social and ecological environment.
Taking cue from the above, it is suggested that whereas AICTE may establish basic minimum requirements and standards of education in architecture, the Council of Architecture Act may be amended to provide for State Councils that will (1) modulate architecture education to suit the ecology, heritage and social perceptions of the state within the overall framework of architecture education laid down by the AICTE (2) inspect architecture schools in the state based on norms laid down by AICTE, if need be, with a nominee of AICTE on the inspection committee, (3) register architects and firms of architects who possess requisite qualifications (such registration will qualify the architects and their firms to practice anywhere in India), and (4) regulate professional practice by dealing with complaints of professional misconduct and disputes between architects and clients. The State Councils will manage their affairs with the resources generated by the fees for registration of architects and other charges they collect. There will thus be no financial implication on the state. The present Council of Architecture at Delhi can be assigned the jurisdiction of Delhi state or the National Capital Region, as considered appropriate. At the time of independence, there were few architects in India and they too practiced mostly in the metropolitan cities. The profession has now spread out into all the states and is practicing in good numbers not only in the State capitals but also other cities in the states. Many states also now have some of the best architects and schools of architecture in the country. Such being the case, centralized management of the profession form Delhi is not proper as it tends to curb sound development of and creativity in the profession. Constitution State Councils will help in proper development of the profession and nurture its penetration in small towns and villages where it is badly needed.
It is indeed unfortunate that after 56 years of independence, most of our small towns are mostly in shambles and most of our six lakh villages are worse than urban slums. The only good village that we have built in 56 years is perhaps the Asiad Village in Delhi! We can only hope that decentralisation of the management of the profession of architecture will contribute to better management of our small town and villages and some day, our villages will have the quality of the villages in Switzerland, if not better. This can be our homage to Gandhi.

SK Sharma, Honorary Fellow
Indian Institute of Architects

JR Bhalla, Former President
Council of Architecture

Sumit Ghosh
Senior Architect

Ashok Dhawan
Senior Architect