Unauthorized, But Practicing Architecture | How Justified Is It?
On Tuesday, The Supreme Court undermined the necessity to attain a professional degree of architecture bypassing the rule stating that any individual can undertake work related to architecture and the associated activities, unlike other white-collar jobs like doctors and lawyers who need registration under relevant laws to practice.
“While we have held that Section 37 does not prohibit the practice of architecture by unregistered individuals, it certainly does prohibit unregistered individuals from using the ‘title and style’ of an architect.” This statement in itself raises questions on the seriousness of the title itself. As professionals, this rule has forced the practicing architects to question their time and devotion sent in several years while attaining the requisite degree and knowledge to design and construct efficient buildings for the society. The unregistered practitioner will no longer be prohibited to take projects. This will legally enable them to make structures for the society without a supervised development approach leading to costly and dangerous buildings. This is almost like selling fraud products without even a stamp.
This apathetic situation is not at all justified for the professionals working in the field as well as the students opting for this course but is also a disgrace to the association. As opposed to the case of physicians or surgeons under the Indian Medical Council Act or advocates under the Advocates Act, the legislature consciously chose to employ a stringent measure in the case of architects, merely prohibiting the practitioner from using the title of an architect.
The aspects of architectural work are very technical and wide, which requires a person to be well educated and prepared. How fair is it to allow any non-technical person to practice such crucial work? How can any layman or a random person justify the experience of a trained individual in the market?
It all started with an appeal filed against the Allahabad High Court Judgement by the Architecture Council of India where the apex raised the question two questions. (1) Does Section 37 of the Architects Act prohibit individuals not registered as architects from practicing the activities undertaken by architects and (2) Whether a post titled ‘Architect’ can be held by a person not registered as an architect under the Architects Act? The High Court under the Promotion Policy 2005, allowed individuals not holding a degree in architecture being appointed to Class II, to fearlessly carry out the activities of an architect without using the title “architect”. Fundamentally, this merely takes the title granting the unschooled all the rights equivalent to an architect.
Architects are signing petitions to stand unitedly against the law of SC that anyone can practice architecture without a degree. In the end, the danger is mainly on the public using the designs without professional guidance. By merely protecting the title of “architect” one cannot restrict and regulate such illegal practices, risking the lives of innocent people.