13 countries set to accept BE degrees

New Delhi: India is slowly but steadily gearing up for full membership of Washington Accord, the exclusive group of 13 countries that recognises each others engineering degrees.

India has put the process on fast track after lying low for nearly two years. India became a provisional member of the accord in 2009.

Early this week two mentors R Menon Unnikrishnan of California State University, Fullerton, and Lock Kai Sang of Institution of Engineers, Singapore on behalf of Washington Accord visited RV Engineering College, Bangalore, to oversee the process of accreditation.

The two would now give a report to India’s National Board of Accreditation (NBA). Based on their inputs, India would bring about necessary changes in the guidelines that have to be based on those of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), USA.

“As mentors we are helping India. The process of accreditation to engineering colleges needs to change in the country. Mentoring would help when India makes a regular application,” says Unnikrishnan.

Stating that in India it takes time to bring about changes, Unnikrishanan says some parts of their earlier reports have been implemented but others are still to be put in place.

Based on the report by the two, a larger team of three experts would come to India and review the accreditation process. “Getting into Washington Accord is like getting into the UN Security Council,” says Lock Kai Sang.

On its part, India has to change the accreditation guidelines which are being prepared by Rajeev Kumar of IIT, Kharagpur. He has not only brought these in sync with the ABET guidelines but added new transparent features like self-assessment by institutes.


The guidelines are now entirely output-based (performance of students, quality of course content, faculty etc.) NBA officials admit that had India not delayed the process, membership of the accord could have come a long time back.
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