A Parliamentary panel has decided to shoot down government's plan to have greater control over the Council of Architecture, which regulates the profession. The Parliamentary Standing Committee on HRD has asked the HRD Ministry to redraft the Architects (Amendment) Bill.The Council was constituted under the Architects Act, 1972. The Bill, introduced in the Rajya Sabha in the Monsoon Session last year, has provisions to give government power to supercede the Council if it felt "that the Council is unable to perform" duty imposed on it by law. A little over a year ago, the HRD ministry had asked the CBI to probe alleged repeated violations of norms by the Council. The demand for a CBI probe was seen as a result of a six-year-long tussle, including legal battles, among different arms of the government to wield the power to recognise institutions and courses concerning architecture. After a series of deliberations, the Committee, headed by senior Congress MP Oscar Fernandes, is understood to have decided to ask the Ministry to redraft the Bill and come up with a comprehensive legislation. The report of the Committee is expected to be submitted to Parliament in the upcoming Budget Session. Section 10 B of the Amendment Bill seeks to give powers to the government to supercede the Council for a period not exceeding two years if the body fails to comply with the directions of the government, abuses its powers, and underperforms "persistently". During the period of the supersession, the Council's entire property will be vested with the government. This provision came under a lot of criticism from the members of the Committee. "How can the government say that a body fails to listen to it will be superseded," said a Committee member. But the HRD Ministry has made its position clear on the issue. "It has come to notice that the Council of Architecture has exercised certain administrative and financial functions beyond those stipulated in the said Act and also did not adhere to the advice of the Central Government in certain cases," HRD Minister Kapil Sibal had said while introducing the Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The Act provides for registration of Architects, standards of education, recognised qualifications and standards of practice to be complied with by the practicing architects. The Council is charged with the responsibility to regulate the education and practice of profession throughout India besides maintaining the register of architects..

On 25-Jun-2009, at 9:00 AM, Architexturez. wrote:

NEW DELHI: Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal on  
Wednesday said it would be his endeavour to implement the report of  
the Yash Pal Committee within 100 days.

All of higher education cannot be detached from general education.  
Professional education cannot be detached from general education. It  
would be, therefore, imperative that all higher education, including  
engineering, medicine, agriculture and law be brought within the  
purview of a single, all-encompassing higher education authority.

Rather than acting as bodies giving licences to professional  
institutions, professional bodies such as the AICTE, the NCTE, the  
Medical Council of India, the Bar Council of India, the Council of  
Architecture, and the Pharmacy Council of India should be looking at  
whether the people who wish to practice in their respective fields are  
fit to do so.

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