Architectural education has a peculiar arrangement. While universities recognised by the University Grants Commission may issue degrees, they cannot entirely determine the education norms.
It is the Council for Architecture that mostly regulates the education. This dual control has now created a catch 22 situation for colleges.
According to the university norms, faculty positions, especially the post of assistant professors and above, can be filled only when candidates have a minimum qualification of Ph.D. The Council of Architecture, on the other hand, has lenient norms.
For the post of lecturer, the council recommends that any person with Bachelor’s degree in Architecture or equivalent with two years of experience can be recruited.
For the post of Assistant Professor, Master’s degree in Architecture or equivalent with one year’s relevant professional experience is sufficient.
The universities find these norms unacceptable. As a result, some of the teaching posts remain vacant.
A reputed college had a poor turnout of applications for its recent faculty recruitment advertisement. The situation of colleges outside the urban centres is worse.
There are 133 colleges in the country that offer the architecture programme. If we assume that the average intake is about 25 to 30 students per college then the total intake is about 3,500 students per year.
Going by the Council for Architecture norms, a 1: 8 teacher-student ratio is required and in the institutions that have student strength of 100, there should be a minimum of 12 faculty members. This should put the total faculty figure roughly as 1,500.
Adding to the woes of the colleges is another Council norm. Colleges must have a ratio between the professors, assistant professors/readers and lecturers in the order of 1:2:4. This condition is hardly met.
The architecture profession is witnessing a never-before demand for architectural assistants. The salary levels have gone up and fresh graduates are offered nothing less than Rs. 20,000 a month.
Neither the salary levels nor the norms are favouring the colleges. Many try to tide over the problem by having visiting faculties. Students seeking admission to architecture and wanting to choose a college may find this not so encouraging.A. SRIVATHSAN