The Council of Architecture (CoA) has been constituted by the Government of India under the provisions of the Architects Act, 1972. This Act was enacted by the Parliament of India and came into force with effect from 1st September, 1972. The Act provides for registration of Architects, standards of education, recognized qualifications and standards of professional conduct and etiquette to be complied with by the architects. The Council of Architecture is vested with the responsibility of maintaining the register of architects on national basis as well as regulating the Architecture education and practice of Architecture profession throughout India. For this purpose, the Government of India has framed Rules and Council has framed Regulations as provided for in the Architects Act, with the approval of Government of India.
Any person desirous of carrying on the profession as 'Architect' must have registration with Council of Architecture. For the purpose of registration, one must undergo the education in accordance with the Council of Architecture Minimum Standards of Architectural Education Regulations and possess the recognized qualification as appended to the Architects Act. The registration with Council of Architecture as an Architect entitles a person to use the title and style of Architect, for practicing the profession of architecture. If any person falsely represents or claims to be registered architect or uses any words or letters to suggest that she/he is an architect or misuses title and style of architect, such acts tantamount to committing of a criminal offence punishable under the Architects Act, 1972.
The practice of profession of an architect is regulated under the Architects (Professional Conduct) Regulations, 1989 (as amended in 2003), which prescribe the professional conduct, 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. There are about 465 institutions presently imparting 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) are prescribed and monitored by Council of Architecture by way of Regulations and norms & standards prescribed from time to time, which set forth the requirement of eligibility for admission, course duration, standards of staff & accommodation, course content, examination etc.
These minimum standards as prescribed by the Council are required to be maintained by all the institutions. The CoA oversees the maintenance of the standards periodically by way of conducting inspections. 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/or de- recognition of a qualification. As per the Minimum Standards of Architectural Education Regulations, qualifying in an aptitude test in Architecture is a mandatory requirement for admission to B.Arch. degree course. Hon’ble Madras High Court vide order dated 21.07.2003 in W.P.No.9707 of 2003, had upheld passing the aptitude test as a mandatory requirement.
National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA) is being conducted by COA since 2006, in terms of the provisions of CoA (Minimum Standards of Architectural Education) Regulations, 1983, published in the Gazette of India. It is implied that a separate aptitude test in Architecture should be conducted and such test should not be combined with the tests for admissions to Engineering, Pharmacy, Medicine and other disciplines. Being the competent authority for fixing the norms and standards for architectural institutions, COA has the necessary expertise to hold a Common Aptitude Test in Architecture, at national level to provide a single window system for appearing in aptitude test and to facilitate institutions, students and public at large for admission to First year of 5 year B.Arch. Degree Course at all recognized Institutions all over country. The purpose of conducting NATA is to provide a single scheme of examination for holding aptitude test and to facilitate prospective students all over the country to apply for admissions in architecture seats in institutions spread across the country and to avoid appearing in multiple aptitude tests. However, the actual admissions shall be carried out only by the concerned competent authorities of the respective states/institutions based on valid NATA score. The NATA also ensures that the eligibility criteria for admission to five year Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree course, as prescribed by CoA and duly approved by the Central Government, are strictly adhered to and followed all over the country in Architectural Institutions.
NATA measures the aptitude of the applicant for specific field of study, i.e. Architecture. The test makes an assessment of drawing and observation skills, sense of proportion, aesthetic sensitivity, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics at 10+2 level and critical thinking ability that have been acquired by the candidate over the past few years and are related to the specific field of study.
With the objective of attracting a greater number of bright aspirants for studying Architecture and practicing the same as a profession in future, CoA like every year will be conducting NATA-2020 for admission to B.Arch. in the academic session 2020-2021. NATA-2020 shall be conducted twice a year, thus giving opportunity to those students who miss out the first test due to some reason or other or wish to improve upon their NATA score in the first test by re-appearing the second test. Both the first and second test will be conducted on a different date as a one-day online examination all over the country. The test shall consist of two parts: Part A is on Drawing, which is paper based and Part B comprises of Multiple Choice Questions (MCQ)on Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and general aptitude which is to be answered online. This has been devised as a step towards producing competent architects to serve the society and to build the nation in coming decades, especially in view of the Govt. of India mission of Smart Cities, Housing for All and Green and Energy efficient Buildings.