Council of Architecture take action after Government accusations
Reacting to accusations by the Indian Government, the Indian Council of Architecture (COA) has called on all architects to register with them or risk losing their title of ‘Architect’. Approximately 9,800 Indian architects have been stripped of their title following fears that the Government will crack down on the COA's maintenance of the register as required by the Architects Act of 1972. Many architects who 'defected' from the register have also been fined for contravening the Act.
The reaction follows Government accusations arising from the rejection of the re-nomination of the central government nominee from the Human Resource Development Ministry into the COA's board which is required to have a governmental representative. Local publication ExpressIndia published excerpts from a letter by the Ministry claiming this was “an attempt to block the central government role.” The letter added: “All of a sudden, the COA is now questioning the legitimacy of this ministry. It gives an apprehension... that there may be a hidden agenda for this about turn.”
The Architects Act requires ‘registration of architects, standards of education, recognized qualifications and standards of practice to be complied with by the practicing architects’ and states that the responsibility to do so is held by the COA. India has 135 education institutions imparting architectural education all of which are under the responsibility of the COA to maintain standards of education.
Approximately 9,800 Indian architects are currently classed as defaulters all of whom have now been removed from the register of architects and can no longer use the title of architect or practice the profession until they re-register. The COA urges architects to do so immediately with payment of fees or to surrender their Certificate of Registration.
Under the 1972 Act the COA is advising that any defaulters who wish to but have not yet handed in their Certificate will face a fine:
"If any person whose name is not for the time being entered in the register falsely represents that it is so entered, or uses in connection with his name or title any words or letters reasonably calculated to suggest that his name is so entered, he shall be punishable with fine which may extend to one thousand rupees." Any subsequent contravention of the Act could lead to imprisonment.
Niki May Young