Architecture Education in India

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Dr. Seemin Rubab

The signature of any city is its vernacular architecture.  When conserved, it is heritage and when in ruins, it becomes archaeology. Architecture is the only discipline, which combines all the  major fields of human endeavour: Science, Art, and Technology. Architecture utilizes the logical rationalism of Science, the creative imagination of Art and the inexhaustible resources of Technology. The various specializations of architecture are Structural Design, Urban Design, City Planning, Landscape Architecture and Interior Architecture. Retrofitting of Buildings, Architectural Conservation and Construction-Management have also lately emerged as specializations. Urban Design is architecture of the cities, highly complex and gargantuan in scale. The primary aim of urban design is to imbibe and maintain a sense of identity and harmony among buildings, open spaces and other structures by means of a pleasant and memorable visual imagery throughout the length and breadth of an urban setting. Accessibility at city-level and the movement at all levels must be designed to operate smoothly. Volumetric relationships, harmonious spatial sequences, transition from buildings to open spaces, streetscape and the services infrastructure must together invest a townscape with an exclusive imageability. Landscape Architecture deals with the analysis, planning, design, management, preservation and rehabilitation of land and also determines the environmental impact. These days more thrust  is given to objective analysis and synthesis leading to an ecologically-sensitive design, which is self-sustainable. It integrates from the very conception, the elements of architecture, urban design and civil engineering for meaningful and practical solutions. Landscape architecture covers a wide spectrum of professional expertise, ranging from landscape planning at the regional and city scale on the one end, to the small and medium scale of public and private landscape at the other. It involves dealing with such sites as office plazas/ public squares, highways, city parks/ national parks, housing developments, institutional campuses, zoological and botanical parks. Ekistics is the study of human settlements. It includes dwelling design, community, regional and city planning.
Regulatory Body: The Council of Architecture (COA) has been constituted by the Government of India under the provisions of the Architects Act, 1972. 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. Any person desirous of carrying on the profession of ‘Architect’ must have registered him/herself with Council of Architecture. There are 135 institutions, which impart architectural education in India leading to recognized qualifications. The standards of education being imparted in these institutions, is governed by Council of Architecture.
National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA): – The National Aptitude Test in Architecture is an aptitude, test that measures the talent of the applicant including the aesthetic sensitivity, critical thinking that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are related to specific field of study, i.e. Architecture. NATA is required for admissions to 1st year B.Arch. at all institutes / schools / colleges of Architecture in India (including NITs, IITs, Government Institutions, Government-aided Institutions, Universities, Deemed Universities and Private Universities, established by a Central or State Legislature and other private institutions), offering courses, leading to Bachelor ’s degree in Architecture. National Aptitude Test in Architecture is conducted by the National Institute of Advanced Studies in Architecture (NIASA) Pune, an Academic Unit of the Council of Architecture. The COA is the final authority in India as far as regulating architectural education and architectural profession is concerned. Candidates, who are not admitted on the basis of valid NATA marks, will not be considered for registration as Architect.  It is a mandatory for every architectural Institution imparting 5-year B.Arch. degree course in the country to join the NATA and to admit students on the basis of valid NATA score. After the conduct of NATA, all architectural institutions in the country are required to submit a list of students admitted in the B.Arch. degree course, mentioning the total NATA score and total marks in qualifying examination, to the Council. NITs and SPA admit students for B.Arch./B. Planning through AIEEE Paper 2 which consists of Mathematics, Aptitude Test and Drawing Test
Post graduate Studies and Research: Though few in number, some architects prefer to go in for specialization at the post graduate level. The subjects of specialization may include urban designing, regional planning, building engineering and management, architectural conservation, industrial design, landscape architecture, naval architecture, architecture concerning traffic, Sustainable Architecture and transport planning etc. Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi offers few innovative courses in architecture which include M.Arch. in Architecture Education and Masters in Ekistics. Both of these are full time evening courses.
Career Prospects: Employment opportunities for architects are available in government as well as private sectors. Some of the government organisations include Public Works Department, the Archaeological Department, Ministry of Defence, Departments of Railways, Post and Telegraphs, Public Sector Undertakings, National Building Organisation, Town and Country Planning Organization, National Institute of Urban Affairs, Housing and Urban Development Corporation, National Building Construction Corporation Ltd., City Development Authorities etc. Besides these organisations, various other institutes and agencies like State Departments, Housing Boards, Local Bodies responsible for construction works also recruit architects. Openings in the private sector exist with the Builders, Architecture Firms, Consultants etc. Architects with some experience can even set up their own business as Consultants and Contractors.
Author is senior lecturer Physics, NIT Srinagar

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A journalist with seven years of working experience in Kashmir.

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