Engg degrees get a global stamp

Engg degrees get a global stamp

After a seven-year effort, India on Friday finally made its way into an elite group of nations that recognises engineering degrees from its member countries under ''Washington Accord''.

As a result, landing a plum job in the United States or anywhere in the developed world may become easier for engineers from India as their degrees will now be treated on a par with that of their counterparts elsewhere.

The breakthrough was achieved at a meeting of the International Engineering Alliance in Wellington, New Zealand, where members gave India the status of permanent signatory to the international agreement with effect from Friday. The accord was signed by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) on behalf of India, which had so far been a provisional signatory to it since 2007. Taiwan, Hong Kong, Ireland, South Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, Australia, Canada and Japan are among 16 signatories to the international agreement besides the US and the UK. 

''This will ensure highest quality assurance standards are implemented in our technical and engineering programmes and provide global mobility to our engineering graduates,'' Human Resource Development Minister Smriti Irani said, congratulating the officials of her ministry and those of the NBA. Graduates with degrees that have been so accredited would have substantial international equivalence of their achievement levels across the signatory nations. This will enhance their employment opportunities around the world, she added.

The member nations will recognise only those Indian engineering programmes which are accredited by NBA, a ministry official said.

The International Engineering Alliance (IEA) secretariat had sent a review team in December 2013 and January 2014 to carry out a comprehensive review and audit of the NBA accreditation systems and practices. “The review team submitted a positive report in March this year. Since then, we were hopeful of getting full signatory status,” the official added.

Former HRD minister M M Pallam Raju also congratulated the ministry, saying membership of the Washington Accord would be a good facilitator as it will give greater flexibility to Indian students and bring recognition to their degrees.

Established in 1989, the Washington Accord is an international accreditation agreement for professional engineering academic degrees, between the bodies responsible for accreditation in their signatory countries.

Engineering graduates of accredited programmes in any of the signatory countries are recognised by other signatory countries as having met the academic requirements for entry to the practice of engineering.

* After a seven-year effort, India gets permanent signatory status to the
“Washington Accord”

* Indian engineering degrees to be treated on a par with similar certificates from 16 member nations of the agreement. This will increase the employment opportunities substantially

* Member nations will recognise only those programmes which are accredited by the National Board of Accreditation

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