India ‘engineers’ seat in Washington Accord
Now, the dream of engineering students getting a job with perks equivalent to foreign countries will be a reality. With India becoming a permanent member of the Washington Accord on Friday, Indian engineering degrees will be globally recognised. This historic move will help in increasing the mobility of engineers to the USA and other countries for plum jobs.
The breakthrough came at a meeting of the International Engineering Alliance in Wellington, New Zealand, on Friday morning where the members voted to induct India as a permanent member of the select group.
Congratulating her ministry’s officials, HRD minister Smriti Irani said that the development will ‘ensure that highest quality assurance standards (are) implemented in our technical and engineering programmes to provide global mobility to our engineering graduates’.
‘Degrees which have been so accredited... Will substantially enhance (Indian graduates’) employment opportunities around the world,’ she said in a statement.
Congratulations also poured in from her predecessor and former HRD minister MM Pallam Raju who said that membership of the Washington Accord would be a good facilitator as it would give greater flexibility to Indian students and provide recognition to their degrees.
‘Congratulations to the Ministry, after a seven-year effort by the Ministry, India has gained permanent membership of the Washington Accord!,’ the former HRD minister tweeted.
Now, degrees awarded by institutions accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) would be recognised by all Washington Accord member nations, he said.
The Accord was signed in 1989 as an international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programmes. Some 17 countries are signatories to it.
The Washington Accord covers undergraduate engineering degrees under outcome-based education approach. Engineering technology and postgraduate programs are not covered by the accord, although some engineering technology programmes are covered under the Sydney Accord and the Dublin Accord.
Only qualifications awarded after the signatory country or region became part of the Washington Accord are recognised. The accord is not directly responsible for the licensing or registration of Professional Engineers and Chartered Engineers, but it does cover the academic requirements that are part of the licensing processes in signatory countries.