With all the talk on the various forums about the role of the CoA in the
maintenance of professional standards and its tussle with the AICTE on the
Architectural Education issues, here are some points to consider.
As mentioned in your quote from the CoA's website about the role of the
council in regulating the Profession and preventing 'Misconduct' by the
practising professionals, the council is empowered by law to control the
professional conduct of Architects, as...
"governed by the Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989 (as
amended in 2003), which deals with professional ethics and etiquette,
conditions of engagement and scale of charges, architectural competition
guidelines etc. Pursuant to these Regulations, the Council of Architecture
has framed guidelines governing the various aspects of practice. An
architect is required to observe professional conduct as stipulated in the
Regulations of 1989 and any violation thereof shall constitute a
professional misconduct, which will attract disciplinary action as
stipulated under section 30 of the Architects Act, 1972."
However, as all professionals will agree, the Coa has failed in its role as
a regulatory body, and cannot get most Architects to follow the guidelines
mentioned above. Most architects including several reputed ones, do not
observe the various clauses of the Regulations especially the 25 clauses of
sub-regulation (1) of regulation (2) of the Regulations mentioned above, or
follow the prescribed scale of fees and the Conditions of Engagement. Yet
the council is unable to take any action against these defaulting
architects. Even the various government and semi-government departments and
PSU's who use the services of Architects do not pay the prescribed fees of
the council, and it can take no action against this, even where it is a case
of the government violating provisions of its own laws.
Yet the council goes about making a hue and cry about its other role, that
of regulating Architectural Education, and its tussle with the AICTE has
been treated as if Architectural Education is its only mandate. This is in
contrast to the RIBA, which says "The RIBA exists to advance architecture
and promote excellence in the profession." The concept of professional
excellence is conspicuously absent from the CoA's agenda.
What we do
The RIBA exists to advance architecture and promote excellence in the
It does this via an unrivalled programme of lectures, exhibitions and
events; works in schools, community architecture projects and community
It also runs a prestigious awards programme, the most significant of
which are the the Royal Gold Medal, which goes to an individual for a
distinguished body of work, and the annual £20,000 RIBA Stirling Prize,
for the building making the biggest contribution to British architecture.
For its 30,000-strong membership in the UK and abroad, the RIBA provides
specialist information and advice, practice promotion (via Client
Services), professional support, commercial products (via RIBA
Enterprises) and many social and cultural events.
The powerful collective voice of its membership is in constant dialogue
with government, clients, users and the construction industry (via the
policy department). The RIBA campaigns in defence of professional
It consults widely via its system of expert committees on issues from
energy and conservation to planning and procurement (practice department).
To maintain competence in the profession the institute validates courses
in schools of architecture, both in the UK (education department) and
overseas. And chartered members, who commit themselves to life-long
learning, are served by the institute's programme of continuing
professional development (CPD department).
All members have access to the world's finest source of architectural
data - the British Architectural Library - with its 2,000 journals,
135,000 books, 800,000 photographs, and over a million drawings,
manuscripts and portraits.
Role of COA
The Council of Architecture (COA) has been constituted by the Government
of India under the provisions of the Architects Act, 1972, enacted by
the Parliament of India, which came into force on 1st September, 1972.
The Act provides for registration of Architects, standards of education,
recognized qualifications and standards of practice to be complied with
by the practicing architects. The Council of Architecture is charged
with the responsibility to regulate the education and practice of
profession throughout India besides maintaining the register of
architects. For this purpose, the Government of India has framed Rules
and Council of Architecture has framed Regulations as provided for in
the Architects Act, with the approval of Government of India.
Any person desirous of carrying on the profession of 'Architect' must
have registered himself with Council of Architecture. For the purpose of
registration, one must possess the requisite qualification as appended
to the Architects Act, after having undergone the education in
accordance with the Council of Architecture (Minimum Standards of
Architectural Education) Regulations, 1983. The registration with
Council of Architecture entitles a person to practice the profession of
architecture, provided he holds a Certificate of Registration with
up-to-date renewals. The registration also entitles a person to use the
title and style of Architect. The title and style of architect can also
be used by a firm of architects, of which all partners are registered
with COA. Limited Companies, Private/Public Companies, societies and
other juridical persons are not entitled to use the title and style of
architect nor are they entitled to practice the profession of
architecture. If any person falsely claims to be registered or misuses
title and style of architect, such acts tantamount to committing of a
criminal offence, which is punishable under section 36 or 37 (2) of the
Architects Act, 1972.
The practice of profession of an architect is governed by the Architects
(Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989 (as amended in 2003), which
deals with professional ethics and etiquette, conditions of engagement
and scale of charges, architectural competition guidelines etc. Pursuant
to these Regulations, the Council of Architecture has framed guidelines
governing the various aspects of practice. An architect is required to
observe professional conduct as stipulated in the Regulations of 1989
and any violation thereof shall constitute a professional misconduct,
which will attract disciplinary action as stipulated under section 30 of
the Architects Act, 1972.
There are 108 institutions, which impart architectural education in
India leading to recognized qualifications. The standards of education
being imparted in these institutions (constituent colleges/departments
of universities, deemed universities, affiliated colleges/schools, IITs,
NITs and autonomous institutions) is governed by Council of Architecture
(Minimum Standards of Architectural Education) Regulations, 1983, which
set forth the requirement of eligibility for admission, course duration,
standards of staff & accommodation, course content, examination etc.
These standards as provided in the said Regulations are required to be
maintained by the institutions. The COA oversees the maintenance of the
standards periodically by way of conducting inspections through
Committees of Experts. The COA is required to keep the Central
Government informed of the standards being maintained by the
institutions and is empowered to make recommendations to the Government
of India with regard to recognition and de-recognition of a qualification.