The National Board of Accreditation, under the aegis of All India Council for Technical Education, plans to become a permanent member of the Washington Accord in June 2013. An NBA member and President, Andhra Pradesh chapter of Institution of Engineers (India), G Prabhakar said “In 2013, NBA will be a full member of the Washington accord. The accord recommends that the graduates of programs accredited by any of the signatory bodies be recognized by other members as having net academic requirements for entry to engineering”.
India was also granted the status of a provisional member in 2007. India is yet to invite the Washington Accord to audit its accreditation system, a crucial process for becoming a full member, despite the country being granted a provisional status in 2007.
Hu Hanrahan, the chair of the Washington Accord, who is in India for the first World Summit on Accreditation 2012, refused to commit to a time-line for India becoming a permanent member, saying the process was under way. Even if, India is granted membership of the accord, only about 20% of the 4000-odd engineering institutes in the country are likely to make the cut.
The National Board of Accreditation (NBA) officials said that India could be looking at a two-tier system of accreditation, creating international benchmarks for some institutes and settling for lower standards in other colleges. However, the HRD ministry has already proposed a legislation to make every higher educational institution mandatorily accredited in the country. HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said “I hope in this session of Parliament we will carry through (the bill)”.
Despite all these, the bill also seeks establishment of National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Education, which shall register and monitor accreditation agencies.
Source : TOI