In a major boost to technical education and engineering programmes, India today joined a select group of 17 countries who are permanent signatories of the Washington Accord (WA). The meeting of the International Engineering Alliance of WA member countries, who met in in Wellington, New Zealand, this morning gave India the signatory status with effect from today.
India's membership in the WA will substantially increase global employment opportunities for technical and engineering graduates, union minster of human resource development Smriti Zubin Irani said.
The HRD minister congratulated the officials of the HRD ministry and the National Board of Accreditation and said, ''this will ensure highest quality assurance standards to be implemented in our technical and engineering programmes and provide global mobility to our engineering graduates.''
She said, ''Graduates having degrees, which have been so accredited, would have substantial international equivalence of their achievement levels across the signatory nations. This will substantially enhance their employment opportunities around the world''.
Washington Accord is an international agreement amongst prominent nations of the world, with the charter of promoting mobility and quality assurance of engineers across international boundaries. The charter requires that nations set up suitable accreditation standards, which would ensure a minimum quality of attainment for their engineering graduates.
The Washington Accord was signed by the National Board of Accreditation, India, an accrediting body with the mandate for accreditation of engineering and other technical programmes at all levels in the country and making technical education outcome based.
The International Engineering Alliance (IEA), secretariat of the Washington Accord sent a review team in December 2013 and January 2014 to carry out a comprehensive review and audit of NBA accreditation systems and practices. The review team submitted its report in March 2014.