The NDA government is taking all the necessary steps to take architecture education out of the purview of HRD Ministry and allocate it to the Ministry of Urban Development. However, the Ministry of Human Resource and Development opposed the decision of the Centre in a meeting that was held in February 2017. The meeting was held at Cabinet Secretariat and the Secretary of Higher Education V.S Oberoi attended the meeting.
The Cabinet Secretary Office communicated the decision to the two ministries last week and revealed that the change will be notified officially through the amendment of Allocation of Business Rules, 1961. On the other hand, through a gazette notification, the Architects Act, 1972 which was under the purview of Department of Higher Education as per AOB rules will be deleted.
Thus, with the transfer of Architects Act, the HRD Ministry will have no role in regulating architecture education through the CoA or Council of Architecture.
The government has justified the decision stating that architecture education will get a tremendous boost and be best served if it is transferred to a ministry that deals directly with the subject.
One of the officials of HRD Ministry indicated that CoA used to interfere in architecture education beyond its mandate on the role of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE). As per the ministry, the CoA has been responsible only for providing the registration of architects and other related matters.
Later, in the year 2010, the HRD Ministry introduced a Bill in Rajya Sabha to regulate CoA’s alleged transgressions and proposing amendments to Architects Act. However, Prakash Javadekar moved a note to withdraw the Bill from Rajya Sabha after assuming the charge as HRD Minister. He claimed that there is a need for wider consultation.
As of now, it is uncertain that whether the Urban Development Ministry will take the Cabinet note forward or redraft another note.