Engineering Graduates from India will find it easier to take the advantage of international prospects as their degrees will now be recognized across 17 major countries including United States, Japan and Australia.
On Friday India become a permanent member of the Washington Accord, an International agreement for accrediting the undergraduate engineering degree programes.
International mobility of engineering graduates from Indian institutes of Technology has not been an issue given the global recognition of these institutes, but this has not been the case with the graduates from 1,300 odd other engineering colleges in the country.
With India becoming the permanent member of the Washington Accord, India engineering graduates will be considered to have met the academic requirements necessary to take up the practice of engineering in any of the academic requirements necessary to take up the practice of engineering in any of the signatory countries.
The Washington Accord aims to promote the mobility and the quality assurance across the countries.
Besides the recognition for the Indian Engineering degrees membership of the International accreditations agreement will ensure a minimum global quality for all engineering institutions in the country.
Congratulating the officials of the human resources development ministry and then National Board of Accreditation, Human resources development minister Smriti Irani said that this will ensure the highest quality assurance standards to be implemented in the technical and the engineering programmes and also provide the global mobility to the engineering graduates.
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.
The decision to give India the permanent membership seven years after it acquired the provisional membership and was taken at the meeting of the International Engineering Alliance in Wellington, New Zealand on Friday.
This brings to a close India's 15 year quest for the permanent membership.
In 2000 the All India council for technical education initiated the efforts for the membership of the Washington accord but no real progress was made.
Another attempt was made in the year 2003 even though India's proposal was considered fit for the appraisal in June 2003, delays by the government in pursuing the case meant that India missed out being considered at the 2005 meeting of the Washington Accord members.
Despite efforts in fits and starts, India’s serious quest for the membership began with a push from former HRD minister Kapil Sibal through the moves including the granting of autonoums status to MBA.
The Washington Accord requires countries to have a mandatory national accreditations system. In September 2013 the IITs agreed to be brought under NBA's accreditation umbrella, a move that helped India's case enormously.