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The Architects Act, 1972

An Act to provide for the registration of architects and for matters connected therewith. The Govt. of India enacted the Architects Act, 1972 under the act of the Parliament for the registration of Architects and for matters connected with their statutory. This statutory legislation had come into force w.e.f. 1st September, 1972. The main purpose of this act to regulate the practice of Architects and thus to protect the general public from unqualified persons working as Architects and ensure the professional conduct of the practicing Architects. As per the provisions of the Act only those persons "registered" with the Council of Architecture under Architects Act, 1972 can use title and style of the "Architect". The Government, therefore, can not recognize any person other than a registered architect or a firm of architects practicing as an "Architect" for any purpose whatsover. The Act provides for registration of Architects, standards of education, recognized qualifications and standards of practice to be complied with by the practising architects. It extends to the whole 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.

Council of Architecture The Central Government shall constitute a Council to be known as the Council of Architecture, which shall be a body corporate, having perpetual succession and a common seal, with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and to contract, and may by that name sue or be sued. 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. The President and the Vice-President of the Council shall be elected by the members of the Council from among themselves An elected President or Vice-President of the Council shall hold office for a term of three years or till he ceases to be a member of the Council, whichever is earlier, but subject to his being a member of the Council, he shall be eligible for re-election The Council shall meet at least once in every six months

The Council shall consist of the following members, namely:a. five architects possessing recognized qualifications elected by the Indian Institute of Architects from among its members; b. two persons nominated by the All India Council for Technical Education established by the Resolution of the Government of India in the late Ministry of Education; c. five persons elected form among themselves by heads of architectural institutions in India imparting full-time instruction for recognised qualifications; d. the Chief Architects in the Ministries of the Central Government to which the Government business relating to defence and railways has been allotted and head of the Architectural Organization in the Central Public Works Department; e. one person nominated by the Central Government; f. an architect from each State nominated by the Government of that state; g. two persons nominated by the Institution of Engineers (India) from among its members; and h. one person nominated by the Institution of Surveyors of India from among its members.

The executive committee

The Council shall constitute from among its members an Executive Committee, and may also constitute other committees for such general or special purposes as the Council deems necessary to carry out its functions under this Act. The Executive Committee shall consist of the President and the Vice-President of the Council who shall be members ex-officio and five other members who shall be elected by the Council from among its members. The Council shall a. appoint a Registrar who shall act as its Secretary and who may also act, if so decided by the Council, as its treasurer; b. appoint such other officers and employees as the Council deems necessary to enable it to carry out its functions under this Act; c. with the previous sanction of the Central Government, fix the pay and allowances and other conditions of service of officers and other employees of the Council.

Functions of COA

There are 237 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.