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Joined: 26 Jan 2003
|Posted: Fri Jul 25, 2003 11:13 am Post subject: [ECONF] Who should formulate the codes?
Ref. discussions by Sri Tripathi and Sri Pankaj Gupta.
It is very well to blame the composition of the committees for the
present state of the codes. But, that will be too simplistic.
Problems of developing countries are usually far more complex. For
instance, consider the following:
1. Codes alone cannot be expected to be immune from the general
"chalta hai" attitude of our country.
2. Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) is often blamed for the state
of affairs. But, do we know under what circumstances the individual
officers there may be functioning: under what constraints? Is there
something that needs to be done to strengthen their hands: something
that we can do at our end?
3. Why the participation from private sector is poor? Is it that
the BIS committees do not want private sector people? Or, that
private sector experts are reluctant to invest their time, energy
and money for activities of public good?
4. India has no dearth of professional societies: I may be a member
of about 15 such societies. What prevents such societies
to develop guidelines and pre-code documents? If they are too weak
to take up such activities alone, should they not merge together and
become stronger to be able to provide professional leadership.
5. Are we as professionals willing to spend a percentage of our
earnings towards professional growth? If SEFI were to require
nominal payment for membership,
will we still have 500+ members on its discussion forum?
6. How many consulting companies are willing to send their engineers
training so that they can professionally compete with the best in
the world. I recall discussions with owner of a top firm: he said, this
training (for six months) is very good, but I cannot afford to send
my engineers because (a) what if they leave after training, and (b)
I charge my engineers' time at the rate of Rs ?? per day, and it will
be a big loss of revenue to the company.
7. Do we have adequate number of "experts" in different areas of
structural engineering commensurate with size of our country?
Why one is forced to go to the same "experts" for all possible
problems in structural engineering? This does not happen in
medical field in our own country.
All the above have implications for our current state of codes.
We need to work on several fronts at the same time. And, we all
need to do introspection as to what we can do for the profession
(rather than just focus on what the profession should do for us).
If profession will grow, we will grow with it: we need to remember
that in order to make a taller pyramid, we should increase the base
(and not just the height).
I am very happy that the discussions are taking place on this
very important issue. I am looking forward to some positive
outcome in terms of actions: Recall that similar discussions a year
back on NICEE e-conf led to the birth of SEFI!!
With best regards,
Sudhir K. Jain
Professor and Head
Department of Civil Engineering
Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur
Kanpur 208 016, India
Phone: 91-512-2597867 (off), 2597582 (Head's office), 2598367/ 2590583(home)
Fax: 91-512-2597866 (preferred), 2597395
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