Washington Accord benefits not retrospective: NBA

Only those engineering students who graduate from now onwards from technical institutes accredited by the government under Tier-I category will be benefited from the “Washington Accord” of which India became a full signatory last week.

The United States, the United Kingdom and other developed countries, which are signatories to the pact, will not accord equivalence to engineering degrees granted to students in India before June 14 this year, even if the four-year undergraduate programmes of their respective institutions have already been given tier-I status by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA). 

“For India, the Washington Accord came io effect from June 14 after the country was given full signatory status. There will be no retrospective recognition of degrees by the member countries,” a senior NBA official told Deccan Herald. 

According to the “Washington Accord”, the universities and colleges offering four-year undergraduate programmes in engineering in India will now have to apply afresh for accreditation by the NBA under tier-I category. 

This will be applicable for even those institutions which had their programmes already accredited by the Board before June 14.

The NBA, however, will consider giving accreditation to only those universities and technical institutes which are “autonomous”. 

“There are 3,500 institutions offering engineering programmes in the country. But all of them are not eligible to seek accreditation under tier-I category because they are not autonomous institutions,” the NBA official said.

As of now, no university or technical institute have been given tier-I status afresh. A total of 113 programmes of different universities and colleges are being considered by the NBA for giving accreditation under tier-I category. 

“We are hopeful of completing the process within a month,” the NBA official said. He, however, refused to disclose the names of the institutes which have applied for accreditation.

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