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[Regulating Profession] - Opening Remarks on sub section "How do we regulate the structural engineering profession?
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Location: Surat, Gujarat, India

PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2016 5:12 am    Post subject: [Regulating Profession] - The Way Ahead Reply with quote


We are halfway through the E-Conference.
There has been interesting discussion on subsection “Regulating the profession”.

Almost everyone who posted for this subsection felt the need for a regulating body.
Even, discussion in other subsection also revealed the need for a regulating body.  

Everyone on this forum would agree with views expressed by Er Alok Bhowmick. Currently, 3 institutions are appealing for registration of PE and there is a confusion, whether to register PE with IE(I), ECI or CEAI.

anjan_sen, rightly pointed out that, currently a civil engineer - even without PE registration from any of these institute/association can get a license to practise as structural engineer with local authority.

Several questions need answers:
<![if !supportLists]>1. <![endif]>Under current scenario, if PE from any of these institute/association carry any value (in view of point noted by anjan_sen)? Or it is just an additional suffix to our name?
<![if !supportLists]>2. <![endif]>Which institute/association should look after regulating the structural engineering profession? Or should it continue to be laissez faire as being practised currently.
<![if !supportLists]>3. <![endif]>IE(I) has a Royal Charter since 1935. Does this mean that we don’t need Engineers Bill enacted by the Parliament?
<![if !supportLists]>4. <![endif]>Through its royal charter, is there a clear understanding of IE(I)’s role in regulating engineering profession in India? If so, what role did IE(I) play in the past to regulate engineering profession?
<![if !supportLists]>5. <![endif]>All the institutes that currently offer PE are common for several branches of engineering. Do we need an institute that is exclusive to structural engineering? Jignesh V Chokshi, mentioned that role and liability of structural engineers is much larger as compared to other engineering services. He emphasised that there has to be a separate law for structural engineering profession. I have also raised same concern in my opening remarks.  

James Cohen inquired about existence of any industry-internal means by which allegations of unethical behaviour can be investigated, judged and published, even without legal backing to enforce penalties.
Perhaps the answer is NO.

Many have expressed their frustration that such discussions will go on for decades without a positive outcome.
It is high time that all individuals belonging to this profession and the institutes/associations should unite.
<![if !supportLists]> <![endif]>One of the national institutes may take lead for registration of PE and prepare frame work for regulating structural engineering profession. This may include standards for practice, fees, roles and responsibilities, performance criteria, model agreement, need for continuous education, etc.
<![if !supportLists]> <![endif]>The licensure and government shall be convinced that PE from such an institute shall be the minimum requirement for issuing license to practise as structural engineer with any local authority.
<![if !supportLists]> <![endif]>Any unethical behaviour, duly investigated by such an institute and reported to local licensure would result in forfeiting the license to practise structural engineering.
<![if !supportLists]> <![endif]>In case of a building mishap/collapse -if sought by the structural engineer- such an institute will conduct unbiased technical investigation and give technical opinion on his role, responsibility and faithful performance of duties.  

In lieu of above discussions, I request SEFIANs to share their views on regulating structural engineering profession.

Nilesh Shah
E-Conf Moderator
How do we regulate the structural engineering profession?

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 21, 2016 9:19 am    Post subject: [Regulating Profession] - Opening Remarks on sub section "How do we regulate the structural engineering profession? Reply with quote

Dear Sirs,In addition to internal ethics the legal binding has to bethere to be responsible for actions by the Engineers so that failure of a structure designed must be attributed to thestructural designer who shall be legally proceeded against. Unfortunately no such legal binding appears to exist.

On Wednesday, 10 February 2016, Dr. N. Subramanian <forum@sefindia.org (forum@sefindia.org)> wrote:
           Dear Er Cohen,

I am happy that a Senior Vice President of Thornton Tomasetti (which is a renowned consulting firm in USA) is participating in our e-conference.

Our Engg. Associations do have drafted code of Ethics. For example the code of ethics of Engineering Council of India is given in their website: http://www.ecindia.org/

Just for your info:

There is an Indian book: Professional Ethics, by R. Subramanian, Oxford Univ. Press, 2013, 520 pp, Rs. 350 [http://www.sefindia.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=61016]

My friend Er Vivek also drafted some Ethics for Structural Engineers:http://www.sefindia.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=21345-This link also contains the Code Of Ethics drafted by Institution of Engineers(India)

My friend Er N. Prabhakar and I have also posted an article showing high professional ethics shown by (late) Er. William LeMessurier, one of North America's most respected engineers, while designing the Citicorp Center Tower-http://www.sefindia.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=64069 & http://www.sefindia.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8986

Perhaps, many of us are observing it in our profession, without knowing it. We need to have articles on Ethics similar to those published in the Civil Engineering Magazine of ASCE.

Warm regards,

      James_Cohen wrote:                Dear SEFIANS,
A question from abroad, to add to the excellent suggestions already made. Does the Structural Engineering profession in India subscribe to a Code of Ethics and, if so, are there any industry-internal means by which allegations of unethical behavior can be investigated, judged and published? Even without legal backing to enforce penalties, this can be a powerful means to elevate the profession.


James S. Cohen P.E.
Senior Vice President
Thornton Tomasetti
744 Broad Street
Newark, NJ 07102-3802
T +1.973.286.6100 F +1.973.286.6101
D +1.973.286.6104 M +1.917.733.0204
JCohen@ThorntonTomasetti.com (JCohen@ThorntonTomasetti.com)
40 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005-1304
T +1.212.367.3000 F +1.212.497.2488
D +1.212.367.2988 M +1.917.733.0204


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 4:37 am    Post subject: Engineering college in Himachal/Jammu Reply with quote

VGC was started in the year 2010 after getting approval from HP Government and providing quality engineering education and http://www.vaishno.edu.in/Engineering college in Himachal/Jammu
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 15, 2016 7:32 am    Post subject: Engineeers Regulation Issue Reply with quote

Some reference posts
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 3:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disheartening to find another fizzled out post on regulating the profession.

Uniform self-regulation is out of question in India due to some of the points below:

1) India didn't start with like minded immigrants replacing the natives settling as a colony or a dominion, later comprising majority of immigrants taking total control and defining a new state altogether (like pressing a reset button). We did press similar button while drafting the constitution, but the details are not revisited, in spite of a warning by its key author.

India still comprises of its diverse natives. So diversity in ethics is also clearly visible in all the professional sectors. Total comparing and imitating a model of development and regulation implementation of successful states will not yield the solution. Nor India has the temperament to follow such policies and development ambitions, merely because it won't yield the results which actually work for its society.

2) A single statutory body, with its active member institutions, can only enforce ethics, but possibly to a less effective extent in a diverse nation like India; look at other professions like chartered accountants, lawyers, doctors, architects? . . are the apex statutory body of respective professions able to enforce ethics? .  . even they have failed, but at least they have a mechanism. Again, all unethical professionals regard these bodies as mere formalities to carry on the societal mayhem.

I am not discouraging a thought that 'ethics' cannot be put to practice in India. We have many on this forum and practicing in India, who have demonstrated ethics in this profession.

We need to look at parallel ways in which ethics can stay in action. Few points are,

1) how shall ethics be affordable to those professionals who want to practice it? These professionals follow the codes and recall research by default, but are expected to innovate a structure which is non-existent, or non-complaint and still support the idea of the structure. A system which calls for minimum payment for each scope of work with localized factors (as if deriving the design wind speed) shall help.

2) Okay, lets say we have such a minimum payment limit so that an ethical buyer cannot replace an ethical service provider just on the basis of money.

Still, the problem of poor engineers wont go away; there may be many engineers still ready to provide non-complaint designs (justifying the savings), but at least the customer has a choice to get a complaint product spending same fee.

3) The next question is how can we educate or enforce buyer to go for ethical choice? Simple; by enforcing to comply with ethical choice. But the problem is compliance is technical and the buyer is not. This is possible only by legal tools to account for 'liability' and covered by a threat of heavy penalty or involving 'fear marketing agents' - 'insurance agencies' which act as bridge between 'any nature of risk' and money.

As societies are transcending from trust based transactions to contract based transactions, we need to use contracts/ agreements which call 'liabilities' on the 'Investor' - the key choice manipulator.

I am sure that some of the ethical Indian consulting engineers with successful practice have access to few strong educated clients who care for quality and pay reasonable fee. And many among them have a strong leverage of the family practice of decades, location of operation and access to better education. They have hard earned it and still maintaining to date. But there are vast numbers of ethical ones which are not placed as such.

At last we shall not forget the real negotiator of the ethics is that 'business man' who is buying the product/ service - the developer, investor or equity holder, the project owner. Stopping the 'business man' to negotiate ethics is solving major part of the problem. Also I believe, no engineer starts out with an unethical motive.

Ethics is not a one way choice; it needs similar essence in its reciprocation to make it sustainable.

Thank you.
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