India is aspiring to become a member of the Washington Accord by June 2014, to help improve mobility of engineering graduates of the country by getting their degrees professionally recognised on a wider global platform.
A three-member international team is on a visit to India till December 11 to review the ongoing accreditation of two colleges — NIT Trichy and BMS college of engineering, Bangalore. The team will submit their report based on which a final decision would be taken at the next meeting of the Washington Accord in June 2014.
The accord, signed among six countries in 1989, is an international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programmes.
The signatories as of 2013 are Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong, China, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, UK and USA.
India is a provisional member of Washington Accord since 2007. Since then, there have been field visits by mentors to help India prepare for the permanent membership. The mentors had observed the engineering education and advised the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) about the changes that would help bring the
Indian system in line with the expectations of the signatories of the Washington Accord.
The Indian Institutes of Technology had in September decided to be part of the accreditation system in the wider interest of promoting quality assurance of engineering education in India, and helping it earn a permanent signatory status in the accord. The decision was taken at a meeting of the IIT council chaired by HRD minister Pallam Raju.