With its current total population over 1.2 billion people, India is the second most populous nation in the world. What’s more, current demographics show that, rather than being concentrated, India’s population is spread throughout its states. In demographic and statistical terms, then, India is ideally situated to provide architecture students with new insights into Ekistics, or the science of human settlements.
Founded in 2001 in response to the ongoing shifts in the urban landscape, the Faculty of Architecture and Ekistics at Jamia Millia Islamia, a Central University, grounds students in the ways that nature interacts with human needs/ethics in order to produce professionals instrumental in advancing a better built environment.
The school offers nine different Architecture degrees that include two B.Arch degrees, five M.Arch degrees—Architecture Pedagogy, Medical Architecture, Architecture Building Services, Recreational Architecture, and Urban Regeneration—in addition to a Master’s as well as Ph.D. in Ekistics. Their specialty in Ekistics means that students are trained in economic, political, and social issues that directly shape the development of urban life.
In other words, their approach to education encompasses analytical thinking and skills, not simply design. Thus for example, students might explore what the impact of zoning and mixed land use has on the goal of urban regeneration. Other faculty and students may investigate the psycho-social factors that continue to impact urban residents who must deal with congestion, pollution, and a lack of adequate housing. By delving into these matters, students understand how to contextualize their designs so that they serve the real needs of their clients.
To hone their skills further, students are required to participate in real projects that are run by faculty. This Consultancy aspect of students’ education tackles institutional, conservation, and landscape projects, such as a medical center and a children’s development center to name but two. Moreover, students benefit from the experience of twenty-six faculty members. Students also have access to a construction yard that is run by the faculty.
For Indian nationals, admissions is based on a written test, an aptitude test, and an interview; foreign nationals do not take the admissions test. Each year, 100 seats are available for all of the M.Arch degrees; there are 80 total vacancies available for those pursuing a B.Arch. Finally, 20 openings are available for the Master’s in Ekistics. The application period ends in October for the following school year, and there is a notification board listing those who are admitted.
Image of Jodhpur courtesy of shutterstock.com