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All Posts on Architecture, Indeed

All posts on this blog, in order of appearance:

This is reverse of ‘Last few posts…’

I will come back and mark them in categories viz.: Most visited, most shared, most popular, my favourite, receives most spam comments, updated, and perhaps even add notes.

  1. Building, dwelling, thinking. on September 7, 2012
  2. Tenders and Bidding 101 on September 12, 2012
  3. A curious case: Project in a new place on September 13, 2012
  4. What has Rahul Gandhi done for me? on September 24, 2012
  5. Subversion at CEPT Campus on September 30, 2012
  6. Lower That Lowest Quote on September 30, 2012
  7. Underbelly of Museum Business on October 8, 2012
  8. When in doubt, show underarms on October 8, 2012
  9. Delhi Glows on WordPress on October 13, 2012
  10. Turtles in White China on October 15, 2012
  11. In Memoriam Louis I Kahn, State of Union and Roosevelt on October 22, 2012
  12. Mixing Education With Business on October 29, 2012
  13. Survival, Without Brain… on November 3, 2012
  14. God’s letter to Indians I (White Skin, Dark Hair) on November 7, 2012
  15. If Crime Doesn’t Pay Architects on November 7, 2012
  16. How to grab government land on November 19, 2012
  17. Rich Folks, Poor Folks on November 24, 2012
  18. If Honesty Pays Architects on November 24, 2012
  19. (How it goes) When you start young on December 3, 2012
  20. Countdown starts for SA50 on December 17, 2012
  21. SA50 is here… (Re-sign) on December 26, 2012
  22. More SA (Calender) on December 26, 2012
  23. Grand Alumni Dinner? on December 27, 2012
  24. Multi-percussion & Saxophone at Campus (27.12.2012) on December 28, 2012
  25. A headache is a headache, but Architecture is more complex on January 1, 2013
  26. Where are values? on January 6, 2013
  27. Values are at the back (of your mind) on January 7, 2013
  28. Eight Minutes at Tagore Hall (Multi Kulti, 28.12.2012) on January 8, 2013
  29. SA50 1st Day (26.12.2012) on January 13, 2013
  30. SA50 2nd Day (27.12.2012) on January 14, 2013
  31. 10 Architecture Firm Blogs to Watch in 2013 by Architectural Record on January 17, 2013
  32. SA50 3rd Day (28.12.2012) on January 18, 2013
  33. SA50 4th Day (29.12.2012) on January 19, 2013
  34. Have Faith in Unknown: Redirecting to an interesting view, and person… on January 20, 2013
  35. A headache is a headache, but Architecture is more on January 25, 2013
  36. You are your business card on January 27, 2013
  37. SP40 is here on February 9, 2013
  38. Century’s Worst Advert, TVC featuring Colgate on February 13, 2013
  39. Riverfront = Wall on February 15, 2013
  40. EMD, another name for extortion money on February 20, 2013
  41. More from SP40: Movies (10.02.2013) on March 2, 2013
  42. In memoriam: Henri Labrouste, Father of Modern Library on March 16, 2013
  43. Empanelment: Better Than a Business on March 3, 2013
  44. It is Ito on March 17, 2013
  45. Who is right? on April 6, 2013
  46. The why of it all (Internship for students of planning) on April 9, 2013
  47. Question of the day: To teach or not to teach on April 9, 2013
  48. Here’s What It Would Look Like If Paris’s Houses Could Fly on April 13, 2013
  49. Sympathy for Boston (and others) on April 16, 2013
  50. Ellis Bridge is not what Ellis Bridge was on April 29, 2013
  51. Architect, Developer, Father in law on May 16, 2013
  52. Story of CEPT Logo on May 16, 2013
  53. Dabbawala scam: Case of life imitating advertising on May 20, 2013
  54. Northwest Washington Bridge Collapse: Reminds me of Ellis Bridge on May 24, 2013
  55. In Memoriam: Beloved Brooklyn Bridge on May 25, 2013
  56. A month of SPAM, and how to get a closure: Learn from Peter Cartier on May 27, 2013
  57. More on Dabbawala Scam: Too many people are missing the point on June 11, 2013
  58. Cost of the Building: 155,000… Architect’s Fees; 8,000 on June 13, 2013
  59. Scavenger Hunt – MoMA Landmarks of Modern Architecture on June 19, 2013
  60. Toilets for women: mirrors of imbalance on June 23, 2013
  61. CEPT University Official Page on Facebook on July 4, 2013
  62. New New CEPT Logo on July 4, 2013
  63. In Memoriam: Kurula Varkey on July 15, 2013
  64. School is a place to give not to take (To teach or not to teach II) on July 19, 2013
  65. It’s been done by the women in academics on July 23, 2013
  66. Enough about Chennai Express on July 24, 2013
  67. No need to shout: M/s. Prabhakar B. Bhagwat on August 3, 2013 (Taken down, somehow came out wrong)
  68. Poster War is on at CEPT (Who supports B Plan?) on August 16, 2013
  69. How BHP Conquered CEPT: A simile on 67th Independence Day on August 17, 2013
  70. CEPT to CEPT CO PVT LTD: Shame on all involved on August 19, 2013
  71. Christopher replies to: An appeal from CEPT students on August 29, 2013
  72. Marissa Mayer controversy: Its all about perceptions on August 30, 2013

After finishing a year of blogging:

 73. Remembering Rishi on September 12, 2013

 74. Advertising creativity goes around in circles on September 14, 2013

 75. Crime pays Council (of Architecture) on September 25, 2013

 76. Garba garbad at CEPT: Part I on October 10, 2013

 77. Garba Garbad at CEPT: Part II on October 11, 2013

 78. No fun being a contractor anymore on October 17, 2013

 79. This post on November 13, 2013 (Sticky – but not particularly popular)

 80. Welcome Mr. Chhaya on November 17, 2013

 81. New Google Search Adverts: Warm, fresh, after our own hearts on December 2, 2013

 82. Amending Architects Act, 1972 on December 10, 2013

 83. May be CEPT shouldn’t wait another 100 years on December 23, 2013 (Most liked so far)

 84. Fees for project: 200 crores, Kickbacks: 50 crores on January 10, 2014

 85. CEPT Logo Design Competition, Again on January 16, 2014

 86. Garba Garbad Part III: The real story of CEPT Navratri on January 17, 2014

 87. RIP, Piraji Sagara on January 24, 2014

 88. MHRD’s Design Manifesto: Towards a better design future (And what about CoA?) on January 25, 2014

 89. Architecture in Doshi Family on February 15, 2014

 90. Now the Code of Conduct on March 5, 2014

 91. Dirt on WAPCOS on March 7, 2014

 92. CEPT Logo, Final Final on March 13, 2014

 93. Shigeru Ban and Pritzker explained by Conrad Newel on March 25, 2014

 94. The Best Architectural Websites 2014 by Bob Borson on April 21, 2014

 95. Are CEPT students smart? on May 12, 2014

 96. Pissing Tanker Advert: Missing the point by a mile on June 8, 2014

 97. Rishi (Remembering you again) on June 19, 2014

 98. Elena Shumilova and her lovely photos on July 5, 2014

 99. RIP Ajay Gandhi on July 14, 2014

100. New Idea TVC, Not So Smart on August 19, 2014

 

 

Gender parity at CEPT: Better late than later

You don’t have to be a woman to think gender.. And bias is a shared burden, so hope things will change and get better for all students and faculty at CEPT with efforts towards gender parity and a conscious push towards liberal values from grassroots level.

. News about CEPT - Gender Parity.2015

So what has changed in the meanwhile?

Recalling this old reference among architects: If you have one, you are Correa. If you have two, you are Raje, and if you have three, you are Doshi.

Daughters growing up to enter the vocation of their fathers has had no small role to play in changing the perception about architects/ engineers/ planners. Even if they were sometimes encouraged to settle down with good catches, or be a backdrop of their spouses’ more illustrious careers… This along with generations of bright girls and boys who entered the campus as teen-agers and grew up fighting biases; so many even grew out of it.

It was not easy to imagine a situation where a woman was a dean, biased or otherwise. At present all the deans are new faces. Except Anne, all women: Anjana, Krishna, Manvita, Darshini. The next layer of teachers has a good balance too. Students body comprises more women. Any which way, more and more women entering the equation has helped. It has certainly brought dignity to the struggles and loneliness faced by their previous generations. To twist Friedrich Hayek’s expression slightly, after years spent trying to make genders equal, CEPT is finally coming to treat them equal. Well, not exactly, but this is a start as good as any.

Steven Holl Lecture and Kalp at Nirma University, new beginnings for many, many things

Kalp at Nirma University School of Architecture

Steven Holl and B V Doshi at Nirma Kalp 2015

Steven Holl and B V Doshi at Nirma Kalp 2015

Kalp begins

Kalp begins…

Steven Holl at Nirma University _ Urban Hopes 18 Mar 2015

‘Urban Hopes’ lecture by Holl

Urban Hopes

Surprising to Nirma, by not surprising to others, there was quite a large turn out of academic and professional architects. Linked Hybrid, his housing design in China, is a favourite of many. And now he is designing an art gallery in Mumbai.

Welcome to India, Steven Holl; all the best with your project in Mumbai.

More photos @ http://www.nirmauni.ac.in/ianu/Urban%20Hopes%20Lecture%20by%20Ar%20Steven%20Holl%20and%20%20KALP%202015%20-%20Inauguration/115/Photos

Ilha De Calma adverts, a thing of beauty

Ogilvy and Mather, take a bow.

For your brilliant print ads for the Union Territory of Daman and Diu to start with. The two merging symbols such as Nature and Heritage… Beautiful graphic work.

For your new campaign for Diu Tourism.

For the TVC.

For the initial suspense. Showing Diu and not revealing the place, thereby making many think of Portugal, and leaving many wondering. It did peak everyone’s curiosity.

For Ilha De Calma TVC. For transporting the viewer into a different world altogether. Bull’s eye.

For the music, now I love Chopin even more.

@ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6lHdYhCpNNU

or @ http://youtu.be/Q2gx0cWkpRA

See the photos used in the print campaign @ https://www.behance.net/gallery/23331241/ILHA-DE-CALMA-

Thank God, for the Isle of Calm.

Enjoy the ad. VISIT DIU.

Design and Architecture Awards, finally coming of age

Design and Architecture Awards are finally coming of age…

Recently NDTV brought in focus what many outsiders consider glamourous, and, as many insiders consider to be judged unfairly in Awards: Architecture. Grohe tied up with NDTV to bring us the design and architecture’s largely glossed up effort that is actually hard work. Going by the NDTV’s preference of luxurious lifestyle and telegenic and presentable designers, this was a good departure, really.

My thoughts on Grohe NDTV Design & Architecture Awards 2014

@ http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/ndtv-grohe-design-architecture-awards-2014/355124

Find more @ http://sites.ndtv.com/daawards/design-and-architecture-awards-categories/

The awards have turned out to be rather fair, and winners are generally held in good esteem by the architectural community. Commercial awards, but not gone to commercial firms.

These awards were well advertised even in 2013. They got even better this year. The award function was well organised, the sponsors and presenters were agreeable and articulate; architects understated as expected, and themes generally relevant. It was a happy surprise to see students holding their own, and pegging down a problem that plagues all architectural students these days so precisely.

There were a few familiar faces, but aside from the expected categories of hotels and commercial interiors of other awards, there were good categories like Infrastructure Architecture, Structure and Heritage. A little bit like the Oscars – better liking towards projects with a cause, and especially like this year’s Oscars: setting aside the big names to recognise some hidden gems known more in the design fraternity, and not so much seen in the advertisements in construction magazines.

SPA and CEPT alumni shine, as they are beginning to in recent times, and some from the Gen X-Y and many of Z/ the millennial generation also shared the limelight. No ghosts of past haunting the present. No representation from the 50 and 60 year olds, like they didn’t matter anymore. Everyone talking about how young architects and designers are brilliant and terribly inspiring.

So speaking from an architect’s view point, NDTV and Grohe has had the sense to do this well: tying up, bringing on board a respectable jury (even younger and more expansive than 2013), and trusting them to choose well from the over 1000 entries. There is the facet of marketing, branding, and media, but it is value focussed, not crass. Just the hype this community needs. After J. K. Cement, this is another good award platform, just more alive. What more can a decent designer ask for?

Christopher Benninger gets a life time achievement award, and is the only one to mention B. V. Doshi.

The only thing I would say the self-critical architectural and designer community doesn’t do well yet is: to thank or recognise their teachers in a decent manner.

World Developmet Report 2015: Insights on Mind, Society and Behaviour

Sometime back the World Bank brought out Development Report 2015, and it sure contains some interesting insights.

Notice India’s graphic: Not sure about connecting puzzle solving with problem solving in general, and also about an appropriate way to remind someone of their caste identity, but caste is a mental model for many still. Love the use of windows to explain the idea of mental models. Models frame what we see, understand and base our decisions on. Designers and decision makers need to be aware of the huge impact of

Mental Frames

What frames our (world) view

Full report is available @ http://www.worldbank.org/content/dam/Worldbank/Publications/WDR/WDR%202015/WDR-2015-Full-Report.pdf

The brewing crisis in architecture

1. Too many colleges (over 300 in India)

This means that there are or will soon be many young professionals looking for too few jobs. It is often said that half of the architects in India would not be running their practices if they found a good job. Many colleges are not able to find good teachers. Senior practicing architects don’t find it worth the while to teach if they are not paid well, as is the case in many private colleges. And most colleges are not able to do enough to attract them for various reasons. Hence a lot of recent graduates and post graduates join teaching. But architecture being a building profession, experience of building gives a perspective – missing at quite a few places. As so many graduates join their Alma Mater, in-breeding will happen, marring the health of an academic institution as far as new ideas are concerned.

2. Going to college is not sufficient

Not enough skills are transmitted at college level to hit the road running. This is a problem at majority of university level institutions in India. So when graduates come out with high expectations, they can’t meet the demands of the market, and find it very frustrating to go through the two years of learning that makes them ready. Even more so if they are post graduates. The employers themselves have very high expectations from architects, where who don’t know enough are competing with those who do.

3. Not enough buildings going on

Rather, not enough buildings where an architect’s role is clearly understood are happening. Clients are either smart and know a lot, or don’t know what to expect. Government, the biggest builder, has no capacity to hire architects or get work done professionally.

4. Low fees because of the fierce competition

Not enough money for the practitioners, and so often not enough money for the employees. So, a life of insecurity or drudgery for the best years of an architect. Or, architects moving to design-build, or to compromise by charging the contractors what the client doesn’t pay. Or to bribe their way into getting many a corporate or public projects. In the vicious circle where one ought to have done a project to get a project, the quoted fees are going lower and lower.

5. Clients are often incapable of distinguishing between one architect and another

Procurement of services, even architectural, is still a field largely played by engineers, and many with a 40 year old training. Often architects are unable or unwilling to understand the problems faced by a client due to the gaps between various professions. Although this is changing fast, many clients still end up hiring the wrong person or getting the wrong product.

6. Not enough support from construction professionals

Civil engineers, good ones, are in high demand. And there is a reason for it. Sadly, there aren’t enough of them around. At least to build buildings.

More later. Will update and add.

Who’s the youngest of them all? (Its Smriti, again)

Smriti Irani is the youngest minister in Mr. Narendra Modi’s mid sized ministry.

Not only in the ministry is she the youngest, but also at many other aging decision making bodies.

For one, look at http://www.spa.ac.in/management.aspx… At the helm is Smriti Zubin Irani, Chairperson. Followed by the senior professors and heads at School of Planning and Architecture Delhi. All older than her. The chair, at 33, is demographically still in the bracket called youth. Shockingly, the only one amongst the whole list. The next youngest person, Mr. Meshram, is easily 38, having graduated in ’95. Youth is supposedly India’s biggest asset, but is it getting a farthing’s worth of chance? Right training and incubation? Obviously, those on the councils are old hands, solid as oaks. But. With all respect due to the seniors, I hope more young people would be inducted in SPA, and given room for errors and disruption. (Hope the same for CEPT, and, India in general)

Capture from School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi’s About page:

MANAGEMENT
GOVERNING BODIES

GENERAL COUNCIL
Chairperson

Smt. Smriti Zubin Irani
Honorable Minister of Human Resource Development
Government of India, New Delhi
EXECUTIVE COUNCIL
Chairman

Prof. Ram Sharma
ACADEMIC COUNCIL
Chairman
Prof. Chetan Vaidya
Director, School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi


ADMINISTRATION

Director
Prof. Chetan Vaidya
Master of City Planning IIT Kharagpur, B. Arch.
(c.vaidya@spa.ac.in)

Director’s Profile

Dean of Studies
Prof. Nalini M. Thakur
Professor of Architectural Conservation
M.A. Cons. (UK), B.Arch.
( nm.thakur@spa.ac.in )
Registrar
Dr. P.S.N. Rao
Professor of Housing
Ph.D., M.P.(Housing), Cert. A. App, Cert. U. Mgt., B.E.(Civil),
AIIA (by Examination), FITP, FIV
(drpsnrao@hotmail.com )

Controller of Examination

Prof. Dr. Vinay Maitri
Professor of Programming
M.Sc.(Stat.), Ph.D.,
MCP, MCSD, MCILT (UK), MIUT, MIRT,
(v.maitri@spa.ac.in)
Coordinator Placement Cell
Prof. Dr. Sewa Ram
Associate Professor
Ph.D., M.T.P. B.Tech. (Civil Engg., IITD)
AITP, MIUT
(spadelhiplacement@gmail.com)
Honarary Warden
Shri Parag Anand Meshram
Assistant Professor of Industrial Design

Make in India: Is Indian Autodesk around the corner?

The new government of India tells it’s ministries and government departments to buy IT products which are made in India (government-asks-its-wings-to-procure-made-in-india-goods). There will be a central website to track this procurement to help the departments and show to top bosses the total consumption.

Is a software a product?

Does this include services? If yes, this idea may be loosely interpreted, because not all that much innovation happens here as far as IT services are concerned. Many are me-too attempts. Some of the companies are too young or unorganised to go for government departments with their tedium of processes and other unmentionables. So versions of reverse engineered products and service packages will crowd the scene with genuine, well-baked, home grown ones.

Imagine this: The government departments that were themselves using pirated (and often outdated) software will magically find, pay for, train in, and utilise Indian products. More and more tenders will invite vendors “Providing Genuine Indian Software for the Computers at so and so (department)” Indian equivalents of Chinese keyboard will replace the foreign imports everywhere. AutoCAD will be replaced by ???

If it is understood in spirit and letter both, it will step up the struggle of ‘foreign’ companies and their legitimate Indian subsidiaries to convince the often rigid mindsets. There will be more and more contracts to write softwares or create packages specific to client needs. And local companies will learn to step up and provide solutions as best as they can.

It’s also scary: In some ways, it will become like Defence services. The earliest movers would have the best opportunities, irrespective of the merit of their offerings. At many places, there will be deterioration in performance. For a host of products and services, there appear no indigenous alternatives in sight. E.g. Drawing, designing or human resource management softwares. What about Operating Systems? Even Google is struggling to get Chrome up. Does everyone know how to successfully use open source or Freewares? I don’t know how it will work in a place with too many options and too many levels of decision making.

Get better or get eliminated

To make in India, huge sacrifices are required. And, to make it well, it will suck the life out of the maker. Some will work in a room without a fan, toil their entire lives to create a water cooler that works without power, when most top scorers of her/ his school will run to join, and buy from, companies making A/Cs. Having more of the former type is the only way to move this big wheel. You need good education, and you need good skills. We also want parity with the rest of the world. So, the Government has to back it up with a system of thorough knowledge, and merit based reward. Support all the ‘good’ people. Hope that will follow.

This is not nationalism. This is common sense, of improving the economy where you operate, making your immediate surroundings a little better. One could call it social movement, not only economic. But only if you could make it genuine, and, Indian. Then it will be beneficial to India by using Indian brains, generating and keeping money in and for India.

Tourism Ministry finally hits the bottom (with their new safai advert)

The horrible advertising so often coming out of radio has found a new low: The Swachchh Bharat or Safai advertisements from Tourism Ministry.

‘Singing a dirty song’

When I heard the first one, it started with someone singing in a really pathetic manner (they dragged on for a while too), and then the narrator came in talking to the audience about the song being ‘ganda’. Which is supposed to imply bad as opposed to ‘saras’ which would mean great in such a context. At that moment I couldn’t guess where it was going. Then came the twist… “The song may ganda (un-clean, the other meaning of ‘ganda’), but at least keep your surroundings clean.” Issued in public interest (read torture) by Ministry of Tourism. Bad copy writing, and nothing more added by the way it was made.

‘Giving safai to others’

I survived that one, somehow. Then last week, came one even worse. Like the first one, it had the element of surprise, about a person having to give ‘safai’ (explanation) to others and to self all the time. So it started better than the earlier one. But again, the twist feels like being hit by a moving train. “If you are so interested in giving safai (offering explanation of your acts), why don’t you clean your surroundings?” Issued in public interest, again, by the same guardian of public interest-the tourism ministry.

It doesn’t connect to the audience, it doesn’t connect to the core content of cleanliness, it doesn’t brand the advertiser – Simply put, it just doesn’t make sense.

So?

So, there is a tiny chance that this campaign was an oversight of massive proportions – in which case, we wonder why it is still allowed to continue. Or, more probably, it was made on half a shoe string budget. By a team that didn’t spend on that ad even that half a shoe string worth of effort or money. It is oh so sad to be out of money and out of talent at the same time. There is, also, a third possibility – that this is an orphan forced onto someone who didn’t care much about it. Just afraid of, or, trying to please the superiors, by spending the budget.

I give better marks to the young team that made Swachchh Bharat ad, reviewed @ https://architectureindeed.wordpress.com/2014/11/02/swach-bharat-ad-there-is-hope-for-a-clean-india/

How to clean up: Thanks Ugly Indian, Schools of Architecture at Karachi and Ahmedabad

This news from Karachi is making waves through out social media. And it has an Indian angle to it.

Indus valley school of art and architecture wall painting

Tribune has covered the news about Clean Up Initiative @ http://tribune.com.pk/story/787908/painting-it-green-ivs-students-give-their-street-a-facelift/

Community Service

Painting walls is not new to Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (http://www.indusvalley.edu.pk/), where community service is a part of FP curriculum. Like School of Architecture, CEPT Ahmedabad students cleaning up Gulbai Tekra area to make a play space for children (see links at the end of this article), they have adopted a garden in 2010 through the city’s ‘adopt a garden’ scheme. Apparently they have a foundation program with activities similar to IITs. It is good to see their other initiatives, only much bigger:

I quote from their website:

“The Department of Architecture was awarded a project of the Karachi Port Trust for the development of Sands-pit as a resort. Work on the project is expected to commence soon with several architecture faculty involved. In addition, the Department of Architecture has initiated a project for the development of the shrine at Sehwan Sharif, Sindh in collaboration with the Centre for Social Sciences set up by the Alliance Francais in Karachi. The project will be carried out by students, but will be jointly managed by the faculty of the Liberal Arts program and the Department of Architecture.”

http://www.indusvalley.edu.pk/PDFs%20FP%20Student%20Week%202014/Pres-GBS-Paradigm%20PDF.pdf

http://www.indusvalley.edu.pk/PDFs%20FP%20Student%20Week%202014/Green%20Shield%20School%20PDF.pdf

For Aas Trust, an NGO working for rehabilitation of drug addicts aged 6 to 16, FP was requested to paint the walls of the rehab center situated in PECHS @ http://www.indusvalley.edu.pk/PDFs%20FP%20Student%20Week%202014/Aas%20Trust%20PDF.pdf

But this is a clean up initiative, in addition to painting the pretty pictures on walls that so many cities now have. Kudos to these kids.

Indian Angle

As the students have posted, the drive is inspired by The Ugly Indian, my long time favourite. Thanks Ugly Indian. And thanks Mr. Modi, not for being the inspiration behind the event, but for bringing this issue to attention of all and sundry.

Indus Valley Clean Up Initiative-Fareeha Nanjiani Fb Post

I am ever glad to see architects jumping into activities relating their environment. Starting voluntary organisations, organising citizen movements, leading heritage drives, and basically, being a part of the society by bringing positive change. Let us wish for more of this, what with over 300 colleges in India alone.

Students at Ahmedabad

Every other school and college ‘launched’ a campaign to clean up theeir surroundings on October 2, no mistaking that. But here are a few who have done it with a slightly longer perspective.

More about School of Architecture, CEPT’s recent work at Gulbai Tekra, Ahmedabad:

In a bid to give Gulbai Tekra a facelift, CEPT students conducted a two-day workshop where 28 of them cleaned the slums and engaged slum children in activities:

@ http://dnasyndication.com/dna/dna_english_news_and_features/Play-area-for-Gulbai-Tekra-kids-courtesy-Cept/DNAHM76607

@ http://dnasyndication.com/showarticlerss.aspx?nid=EnV7PCeVCfABml9sia5co74OqQPEqgO0sSfOT5593Ds=

and @ @ http://epaper.dnaindia.com/story.aspx?id=56051&boxid=103777&ed_date=2014-11-01&ed_code=1310009&ed_page=3

And at Gandhinagar

http://www.bilkulonline.com/gujarat-news/general-news/education-news/6510-iitgn-to-launch-month-long-cleanliness-campaign-on-gandhi-jayanti

Anti corruption clauses-hidden silver lining in government contracts

Anti corruption clauses are the hidden silver lining in government contracts.

 

Came across these clauses tucked within a Request for Proposal (RFP) for a project near Neemrana in Rajasthan. (RFQ-cum-RFP For Programme Manager For New Cities (PMNC) For Khushkhera- Bhiwadi- Neemrana Investment Region Under The Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC) Project Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor Development Corporation Limited (DMICDC)

(ii) will reject the Proposal for award if it determines that the Applicant has engaged in corrupt or fraudulent activities in competing for the contract in question;

(iii) will declare an Applicant ineligible, either indefinitely or for a stated period of time, to be awarded a contract if it at any time determines that the Applicant has engaged in corrupt or fraudulent practices in competing for and in executing the contract.

 

I have often felt that contracts with governments are lopsided in favour of the government. And despite all the hue and cry about private sector being powerful, governments are vested with all decisions, and often cling to power and money with the tightest grip. Once a person has taken up work, and men and machines are deployed, there is little one can do except to hope that the payment comes. When there are delays and revisions, one is at the mercy of whims and fancies of any officer in charge. Often there are sensible people in charge. But at times, not. If there are transfers, as is common in present government structure, one needs to start all over again… It is a dark, burdensome place.

Specially in Rajasthan, where quality is difficult to achieve in any project remotely public. They have done international tendering for museums, restorations and heritage precincts. They have some beautiful hospitality projects. Their roads were once their pride, and some still are. But their rural infrastructure is in shambles. Their public agencies, municipalities, panchayats, PWD, RnB are in poor shape, mired by lack of capacities and by corruption. And mainly because the rot reaches all the way to the top. Poor infrastructure reflects an inherent weakness in governance, even with RTI. This is a time when speed-money is a term of the past, even the pay for your payment era is largely over, and Rajasthan is leading the race for ‘Pay Before Procurement Starts’.

So at a time such as this, contracts such as this are a cause for cheer. Firstly, there are more professionally drafted contract documents around now. Secondly, because of clear definition of scope, and the homework done on client side, there is less chance for confusion and more chances of success of contracted task. Finally, because such clauses are appearing clearly within contract documents, they can be taken up for implementation by any officer desirous to do so.

As a senior bureaucrat once mentioned: “It is up to us to enforce a behaviour once we have defined the rules of the game. We may not go by the letter in every case, and we may not have the mechanism to go after the rogues now – but once it is written in the contract, we can start any time.” With nearby Neemrana being pom-pomed as a future smart city, this appears as a ray of light at the end of a tunnel for Rajasthan.

 

 

 

Video

Swach Bharat ad: There is hope for a clean India

Here comes a new advertisement for Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Clean India Mission’.

Between the ups and downs created by an astute politician engaging with masses in a nation wide agenda, uppity politicians and government servants getting down to clean (at least in crowded photos) the public spaces, the discourse bringing back Gandhi’s ideas; where many genuine activities and a whole lot of tokenism that has started, it is great to see that the advertising community finally has found something worthwhile to do. The new question is, how to talk about Swachchh Bharat – In theaters, in posters, on TV and on social media, there are ideas – good, bad, and ugly. So even when a large number of un-cool people are still not affected by the idea of taking responsibility for their surroundings, it is heartening to see that the idea in this advertisement sticks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1s58gJZzT8

Even though they might not know how to spell Hindi words in English, the ad is reasonably well executed. I only wish they were not forced to include the clip with Prime Minister Narendra Modi talking about this. But this is certainly one of the better ads to come out of government with their lowest quote bidding for selecting creative agencies.

Let’s hope for success of Swachchh Bharat. The campaign makes sense, and the advertising shows promise.

The city of bauhaus spirit

Newspaper article today about this exhibition, to be inaugurated by CEPT president. Hope we could stop sounding like politicians when we talk about architecture/ architects.

More details not readable. People behind curtains ought to be mentioned.

the city of bauhaus spirit

Beauty at CEPT: Navratri 2014

Navratri 2014 at CEPT

It is indeed beautiful at CEPT campus. Students prefer, as always, not to have intrusions by strangers, but the appeal of NID and CEPT garba continues.

Glad to see the lights – muted, subtle and elegant. Such a contrast to many other places around the city.

Lights beautifully captured by Vishal

Lights against brick wall, captured by Vishal

More photos on CEPT University fb page.

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