NIASA ( Academic Unit of Council of Architecture ) was instituted in July 2005, as the first institute of architecture initiated jointly by the Council of Architecture (COA) and the Centre for Development Studies & Activities (CDSA). It is a national level institute of excellence that facilitates advanced research in the various fields of architecture, to teachers of architecture, professionals and individuals / students. NIASA is presently operating from Pune, Maharashtra, lovingly called the Oxford of the East.
NIASA is set to grow in function and stature as per the growing demands of studies in architecture. At present, it operates functions in following different areas:
1. Research in Architecture: The ever evolving faculty of architecture, in all its vastness, offers little scope of pursuing research at an advanced level, in India. NIASA hopes to supplement the need for providing a facility, at a national level, for such research.
2. Teacher's Training Program (TTP): Targeted at the rapidly growing number of teachers in schools of architecture in India, a series of TTPs, made mandatory for teachers to attend at some time or another, aims at raising the standards of teaching architecture. New methods and techniques, pertinent subjects, both technical and theoretical, are to be covered over the weeks, in 5 day packages, that will bring the best presenters and the most applicable subjects from the length & breadth of the country.
3. Continuing Education Program (CEP): Similar in structure to TTPs, but targeted towards professionals in the field, involving new theories and practices, technical updating, etc.
4. Architecture Publishing Cell: To satiate the need for books and journals in architecture, that at present are too little to constructively involve architects and students in a continuing learning and updating process, COA is in the process of organizing such articles and through its publication cell at NIASA.
5. National Aptitude Test in Architecture (NATA): It is a national level online test with drawing exam, necessary for admission to 5 year B.Arch Courses at all unaided colleges in India. We hope that soon, aided colleges will also be accepting NATA scores for admission.
6. National Electronic Library Database: NIASA is in the process of collecting library information from all the various architectural colleges of India. This data will beorganised and made available online to assist independent researchers, students, faculty and even professionals in finding out exactly where a particular subject may be accessed.
7. Upcoming Project: National Design Code a project of the COA that is to graphically offer design models, for various geographical and climatological complexities in India.