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GS Paper II – Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education, Human Resources.

Urban Development, not HRD, to regulate architecture education

What’s Happening-
The NDA government is set to take architecture education out of the Human Resources Development (HRD) Ministry’s purview and allocate it to the Urban Development Ministry.

Key Points discussed were:

  • The change will be formally notified through an amendment to the Allocation of Business Rules 1961, which enlists responsibilities of each ministry under the Union government.
  • The Architects Act, 1972 under the Department of Higher Education in the AOB rules will be deleted through a gazette notification.
  • This law provides for registration of architects, maintaining standards of architectural education, recognition of qualifications and standards of practice to be complied with by practising architects.
  • With the transfer of the Architects Act, HRD Ministry will no longer be in-charge of regulating architectural education through the Council of Architecture (CoA).

Reasons:

  • According to the HRD Ministry, the CoA, on several occasions, has interfered in architectural education beyond its mandate and encroached on the role of AICTE, which is expected to maintain standards of technical education, including architecture.
  • The CoA, the ministry has maintained, was set up through the Architects Act only to provide for the registration of architects and related matters.

Background-
To curb CoA’s alleged transgressions, the HRD Ministry, under the UPA II government, had introduced a Bill proposing amendments to the Architects Act in the Rajya Sabha in 2010 to allow the ministry to take over the Council in case it oversteps its brief.
However, the ministry, after Prakesh Javadekar took charge, moved a Cabinet note to withdraw this Bill from the Rajya Sabha citing a need for wider consultation.

GS Paper II –  Statutory, regulatory and various quasi-judicial bodies

Narendra Kumar is new Central Water Commission chairman

What’s Happening-
Narendra Kumar, a Central Water Engineering Service (1979 batch) officer, is the new Central Water Commission (CWC) chairman.He assumed the charge of the post up on superannuation of GS Jha.
Key Points discussed were:
Kumar had become a CWC member (river management) in October 2014.
Prior to that, he served in the Commission as its assistant director in Design Organisation, deputy director in Project Appraisal Directorate and director in Dam Safety Organisation and Project Monitoring Directorate.
He has served as senior joint commissioner in Union Water Resources Ministry’s Command Area Development wing from 2002 to 2005.
He was chief engineer, Brahmaputra and Barak Basin (Shillong), between 2009 and 2011.     Kumar has also worked as commissioner, Brahmaputra and Barak wing of the ministry from 2011 to 2014.
Born on October 11, 1957, Kumar holds a master of technology degree in structural engineering from IIT-Delhi.
He has also a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from IIT-Roorkee.

Background-

  • Central Water Commission is a premier Technical Organization of India in the field of Water Resources and is presently functioning as an attached office of the Ministry of Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation, Government of India.
  • The Commission is entrusted with the general responsibilities of initiating, coordinating and furthering in consultation of the State Governments concerned, schemes for control, conservation and utilization of water resources throughout the country, for purpose of Flood Control, Irrigation, Navigation, Drinking Water Supply and Water Power Development.
  • It also undertakes the investigations, construction and execution of any such schemes as required.

Composition:

  • Central Water Commission CWC is headed by a Chairman, with the status of Ex-Officio Secretary to the Government of India.
  • The work of the Commission is divided among 3 wings namely, Designs and Research (D&R) Wing, River Management (RM) Wing and Water Planning and Projects (WP&P) Wing.
  • Each wing is placed under the charge of a full-time Member with the status of Ex-Officio Additional Secretary to the Government of India and comprising of number of Organizations responsible for the disposal of tasks and duties falling within their assigned scope of functions.