Naive indeed, prem. the hope, that is....


What we need is a peer based review system that enforces high standards in
architectural education.  The call should now be for a National
Architecture Accreditation Board that is staffed with people
who have a proven track record of scholarship in architecture and a
philosophical leaning away from top down control structures and
towards decentralised systems that are rich, alive, empowered, yet also
accountable.  Perhaps a naive hope given that we currently have a
government that is attacking the IITs and IIMs - those few
islands of excellence achieved through their own autonomy.


The cntext as i get it:

the AICTE act as the latter act supersedes the Architect's Act (giving AICTE
the powers do what they did), on the one hand. and at the same time, the
Architect's Act is a specific act pertaining to architecture whereas AICTE
is a generalized one. this gives the Architect's act some privileges --
things can swing either way and the game has just begun. and spin doctors
are at work on each side. both sides will exploit the ambiguities.

words spin, the world goes around! as we can see, the doctors are at work,
repairing wounds on prestige and ego(s). i have been hearing ...

a.. the hindutva wallahs are after architecture (English media spin)
b.. the engineers are out to get architects, so the AICTE is robbin' the
poor Council of Architecture (the official spin to academics)
c.. what to do! what to do! we just follow the letter of the law because we
are 'honest' (the official spin to friends and fellow travelers)
d.. (fill in whatever you can think of, so far as it makes horse-sense)
e.. (more of the same)...

so the ball is rollin', Joshi's got'em by the ball! or it is all balls!

Education, the CoA's role is ambiguous, the Act says Governments may consult
the council (ch-II/13), Council may make representations (ch-II/20). it is
unambiguous on minimal standards of education (ch-II/21) and professional
conduct (ch-II/22) - one may ask, what is the CoA's record on this? when
were the minimal standards last revised? what is the depth of consideration?
when was an architect pulled up for professional conduct related reasons?
what is the CoA's record on all this? is the CoA competent? has it ever been
competent? How seriously should Governments take its consultation! What
credibility does the CoA have in making representations?

IIA can take action as the professional guild and pressure group - CoA's
performance can be reviewed - and push for amendments to the Act, or AICTE
can ask the same questions, i guess their actions speak for themselves.
There is an Architecture Education Board (or bored) in place at AICTE, they
want to supersede the CoA, and the questions are

1./ what is the scope of the Board, more important, what is the duration
2./ what are AICTE's objectives, what can be obtained!

it is anybody's guess, i assume the AICTE wants to take control
only momentarily, and will gladly negotiate (and push its agenda) with the
next president - it wants to force structural reform on the CoA, in other
words.

seems the Education affair has thrown the door open -- i can't see the CoA
regaining its powers without some structural change. i would dream of
creating various registration types at the CoA (professional, educator,
etc.) and running two or more parallel processes, such that we have several
heads at the council, elected by each kind of a registrant, (so we see a
President/Practice; President/Education and so on) with roles and
constituencies that do not overlap.

Time to start a wish-list! I would like to see two CoA presidents,
a competent academic elected by academics; and a competent  professional by
architects. I want to see a greater specialization, and some differentiation
within the institution.

What is yours? Everyone?