I
agree with the idea of producing a white paper - but let it not become another
closed door meeting with a select few.  So I suggest some ground
rules:

1. A
core group agrees to take lead responsibility not so much in writing the paper,
but in moderating a process where such thoughts get generated and
crystalised.

2. The
writing of the paper takes place in an open, transparent and open source
spirit.  A first draft can be put onto the internet by the core group
(perhaps Architexturez can take on this role), and suggested changes editing etc
are open to all, including critique and deconstruction of what has already been
written.

3. The
writing process seeks to allow voices to be heard that are not typically heard
in most of the discussions going on - two particular constituencies one should
try to involve are students and young professionals.

4. The
strength of this effort is not purely in the wisdom of what gets written. 
It largely lies in the fact that the process seeks to build a network of
discource, a community of practice.

5. The
strength of this community of practice is that it builds ideas rather than
control structures.

6.
Moderators of the process need to win the respect of the community.  Should
we seek a structure similar to the slashdot site (read the article on 'open
source intelligence' by Stalder and Hirsh particularly the description of
slashdot moderation process in relation to nologo.org - http://www.firstmonday.dk/issues/issue7_6/stalder/)

7. If
the effort is successful, the size of the community should reach a level where
it is difficult to ignore.

 

Prem
Chandavarkar


-----Original Message-----
From:
[email protected]
[mailto:[email protected]]On Behalf Of AGK
Menon
Sent: Thursday, December 25, 2003 8:54 PM
To:
[email protected]
Subject: [in-enaction] Re Prem
Chandavarkar


I agree with Prem Chandavarkar.

The separation of the licensing and regulating
architectural education is of course, the key to devising a better system of
serving the needs of society. This has been discussed often, but there is a
great reluctance on the part of the people who administer the CoA and their
supporters, to even consider the merits of such a bifurcatin in the system.
For example, at a meeting convened by the CoA on 22/12/03 at Delhi, to discuss
the specific issue of the AICTE "taking over" the responsibility of monitoring
architectural education, specifically the setting up of new colleges and
granting permission to existing colleges to continue their programmes, the
entire focus of discussion was on the "hidden agenda" of the engineer's lobby
to undermine the rights of the architectural profession. One did not even
begin to discuss the merits or demerits of AICTE's action.

The CoA feels it discharges its responsibilities
by merely "controlling" education without really having to distinguish
between its twin responsibilities of ensuring minimum standards for licensing
on the one hand, and ensuring good/best standards of education in Schools
on the other. Hence if any one of those twin responsibilities is usurped,
then it feels that the profession as a whole is in danger. According
to me, it can still continue to monitor the standards of
education even as the AICTE takes over the responsibility of setting
up new colleges and granting permission to existing ones to continue their
programmes. Or, as Prem Chandavarkar suggests, one could have a separate Board
of Accreditation for Architectural Education. Incidentally, AICTE already has
an Accreditation Board with a broader mandate than what is being mooted for
Architectural Education by Prem Chandavarkar, but some entity with a specific
focus on architectural education could easily be evolved. Of course, the
problems of duplication and "double taxation" in the form of excessive
payments extracted from colleges for such privileges, will still need to be
sorted out, but if we put our heads together, and not get hot under the collar
about other's intents, I am sure things can be worked out.

At this meeting, however, everyone appeared
to be very hot under the collar, so nothing as productive as seeing the
"opportunity" in the "danger", as Prem Chandavarkar puts it, was
attempted. The point of this note is to suggest that with the present mindset
within the profession - as evidenced in the meeting on 24/12/03, and the past
performance of CoA - as I can amply document, it does not appear likely that
the wisdom of separating the objectives of licensing and ensuring good
education can be grasped by many. The seduction of "control" appears to
be an entirely self-justifying  administrative practice as far as
the administrators at CoA or AICTE are concerned. To change this mindset
is the first step

It is in this connection that I suggest that some
of us get together to prepare a white paper of the subject to be presented to
both the CoA and the AICTE, because it does not appear likely that under the
present circumstances, the worthies in either of the two institutions are even
remotely interested in anything of the kind. In the process the
profession, and society, is losing a good opportunity to proceed in a
constructive manner. The cause of architectural education is too important to
be left to the babus fighting over administrative turf, because, lets not
kid ourselves, the so-called technocrats at both the institutions have
only acted as babus so far, and to expect them to change their stripes seems
terribly optimistic.

 

AG Krishna Menon

Director,

TVB School of Habitat Studies,

email: [email protected]