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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

IITs agree to raise the bar on quality

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 17, 2013
First Published: 01:33 IST(17/9/2013) | Last Updated: 03:21 IST(17/9/2013)

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have decided to subject themselves to the accreditation system in the wider interest of helping India get the Washington Accord status.

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This was decided at a meeting of the IIT council chaired by Union HRD minister Pallam Raju on Monday. The meeting was attended by chairmen and directors of 16 IITs besides other members of the council.

“The IITs subjecting themselves to an accreditation will set a good example for other institutes. This will help us in getting the Washington Accord, which in turn will improve the mobility patterns of our engineers,” Raju said.

The Washington Accord is an international accreditation agreement for professional engineering academic degrees, between the bodies responsible for accreditation in its signatory countries. Established in 1989, there are at present 15 member countries in the Accord. Once India becomes a member of the Accord, it will ensure more mobility for Indian engineers as their degrees would be recognised on a wider global platform.

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India will be able to know about its Washington Accord status on June 20, 2014 when the voting would be over. According to sources in the National Bureau of Accreditation (NBA), the reviewers are likely to visit India in November-December and then again in January. After that they will submit their report.

Accreditation is a minimum threshold level that has been established for a technical institute, Raju said. “The IITs are, however, on a higher pedestal and are above the minimum threshold. They already have an annual review and this review should be acceptable as an accreditation by the NBA.”

“The IITs already have a robust review system so this could be used as an accreditation. This is an excellent solution to ensure India getting into Washington Accord. The next step is a dialogue with the NBA,” says an IIT director.

The council also decided on a peer review system for the IITs and a constant review of the directors. Other major issues that were discussed related to positioning of IITs globally with focus on augmenting research.

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