CONSTRUCTION sector across different functional areas has a shortage of 6 million people. A critical area where the skill gap is huge is built environment (BE). The RICS School of Built Environment at Amity University offers unique and specialized education in creating techno-managers that develop a fair understanding of quantity surveying, planning, architecture, environment, real estate industry and such aspects. Prof. KT Ravindran talks to Nimesh Chandra about the domainâ¦
Built environment as a discipline
It is an all-encompassing term that includes buildings, spaces, landscapes, the natural features – all that one experiences in an infrastructural environment. Architecture is about design, engineering is about construction, but built environment is quite an insightful term, which can diversify to even such skills that the industry demands in the domain. They can be quantity surveyors, project managers, facility specialists, valuers, technical experts and so on. In this university, though we have started with construction management and Real Estate & Urban Infrastructure (BBA and MBA), but we have the freedom to expand to other areas.
Key challenges in the BE industry
There is an utmost need of professionalism. Currently the construction industry is a highly unregulated field, there are many fly-by-night operators doing wrong, there are consumers who have no or minimal legal recourse, though there is the Real Estate Regulatory Bill waiting to be cleared and some regulations on land ownership and slowly the regulatory framework is being put in place by the government. But you need professional people who can handle all these issues.
Prof. KT Ravindran,
Dean Emeritus, RICS School of Built Environment, Amity UniversityThe challenge is in creating awareness about the sector and in getting right students
Skilling people is not a challenge since we have trained faculty and the expertise, the challenge is in creating awareness about the sector, in getting the right students for the programme. The field is still not recognized among students to opt and grow in this sector. And we also need to encourage girl students to come forward in this largely male-dominated domain where right now she has to fight it out to earn respect. The mindset of employers too is changing.
Prerequisites to pursue construction management
We do prefer people who have knowledge of architecture, planning or design so in case of MBA programme but not for BBA. Somebody who has done a UG programme in say Finance or Law can easily do Construction Management but he/she can be very good if they opt for Real Estate Finance or Law. The MBA students studying in RICS-SOBE at Amity are predominantly engineers. We also ask students during their selection process to write an approach paper in their own handwriting to give the evaluators an understanding about their goals, power of expression, their drive to do the programme and knowledge about the discipline.
Preparing students in infrastructure domain
The most critical thing that one has to look at is ethics. The fundamental code at RICS is to promote ethical values and standards in the real estate environment. We have a core subject on the same and feel very strongly that if we can inculcate the culture of ethics in our students, we would have created a pool of cultured construction professionals.
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