What is Architects Act, 1972 ? “The Rise of Architectural Practice In India “

  • The start of modern architecture practice in India dates back to 19th century when British firms came in and settled here. Within few years Indian architects who studied in UK came back to  set up their practice in India mainly in the metropolitan areas. Most government buildings like Victoria Terminus or Municipal Headquarters were build by the British architects who incorporated Indian Architecture and style also using features such as domes , arches, brackets to give rise to a new “Colonial Style”. The examples of the same can be found in works of Edwin Lutyens such as India Gate , Rashtrapati Bhawan, etc.


Long after the Independence their was no such strong law to safeguard the rights of an architectural professional . Late in the year 1972 the Parliament enacted The Architects Act.Since independence and more particularly with the implementation of the five year plans, building construction activity boomed in our country. With the increase in the construction industry many unqualified individuals came into the profession who worked on lower cost and wanted to make huge profits undermining the quality aspect of construction thus bringing a bad name to the profession.

In order to maintain quality of construction and safety of people the government passed the Architects Act, 1972. The main purpose of this act is to protect the general public from unqualified individuals working as Architects and to ensure professional conduct of practicing architects. The Council of Architecture (COA) was also powered by this act and it made regulations for standard practice and quality of education for architecture in India. However there is a very little awareness among people, students and architects.


The Architects Act, 1972 which came into force on 1st of September 1972 and had following objectives :-

  1. It focused on making a record of qualified professionals and maintaining it on the basis of approved qualifications of the same. Qualified registered architects were listed in order to help the common man from being cheated.
  2. To check the standard of architecture education in India and forming a “code of ethics” for the same to ensure quality control.

The above objective was maintained by forming a statutory body called Council Of Architecture or COA which consists of members from Indian Institute of Architects (IIA). The body has one president accompanied by 45 other executives.

With the passing of this law in the legislature it became illegal for any person to designate himself as Architect unless he is registered under the act and has required qualifications. There were many regulations under the act and some of which are mentioned below .

According to Section 45 of Architects Act, 1972 :

  1. An architect shall not advertise his professional services nor shall allow his name to be used for publicity purposes.
  2. He must not take people who’s name has been removed from Council’s register.
  3. Must follow the code of conduct of his country.
  4. Most important : In case of termination of work of an architect by the client the new appointed architect before accepting the project should check weather he is properly terminated with settling his dues. He must also notify the previous architect of his appointment.
  5. He must compete with others in fair manner.
  6. He also must not take or give any discounts, commissions,etc to take a project.
  7. He should make sure that his professional duty must not harm the environment or the society.
  8. He should not prepare drawings for clients free of cost .


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