Q. What all went into India becoming a permanent member of the Washington Accord?
A. It is a result of very hard work that we put in for several years, particularly in the last year. We have spent a lot of time on doing things in a manner that the Washington Accord review team found in place. They also visited some colleges where accreditation was happening. They were very happy with what they saw.
Q. There are reports that 220 colleges will qualify in the first round. Is it so?
A. I do not know from where this figure came up. It also has names of institutions, which is totally wrong, as we have not released any official list of the number of institutions or their names. That report is not authentic. The information that the Union Minister of HRD gave was the only information we gave, anything else was extraneous and about that we have no idea. Nothing is finalized. I can only estimate that it is not more than 300. It could include IITs, NITs, all the deemed universities and other autonomous colleges.
Q. What is the most important criterion for awarding the status?
A. If it is an affiliated college, affiliated to a university, then it is not classified as an autonomous college. Autonomy is granted to a college by the university and the state government, and these institutions will be accredited as Tier-II, based on their reputation.
Q. Is there any time-frame for including all the colleges in the list of approved colleges?
A. It is not up to us, it is up to our education system to decide how quickly they can bring up the standard of institutions and grant autonomy. It is not NBA’s agenda. It is for the institutions, the affiliating universities, central and state governments to look into it.
Q. What is the status of Tier-I colleges, vis-Ã -vis the Accord?
A. Under Tier-I we have not done accreditation of many colleges so far, and there are around 15-20 colleges that have NBA accreditation. Since the Washington Accord equivalence status starts only in June, we will have to take a re-look at all those institutions. So, as of today we are starting with zero account, but by the end of the year it’s possible that we will have many.
Q. How will the status help Indian institutions to attract foreign students?
A. Once a degree has international credibility, people will certainly opt for it. This is certainly an advantage and there is a likelihood that there is greater influx of foreign students into Tier-I accredited colleges.
The Washington Accord, signed in 1989 first by six nations, recognizes substantial equivalence in the accreditation of qualifications in professional engineering.
Is an International Agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting undergraduate engineering degree programmes.
The Accord recommends graduates of the signatory bodies for entry to the practice of engineering in the area of their jurisdiction.
Encourages and facilitates the mobility of engineering graduates and professionals at international level.
The NBA accredited programmes offered by the Tier -1 Institutions are eligible for recognition of programmes by other signatories of the Accord.
Presently 17 countries are permanent signatories; five countries have provisional signatory status.
India’s National Board of Accreditation became a permanent signatory member of the Washington Accord on 13th June 2014.
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