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The government proposes to enact a crucial bill this year to make it mandatory for every higher educational institution to be accredited in the country, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said today, 25th March 2012. "I hope in this session of Parliament we will carry through (the bill)," he said at a global summit of accreditation here. The National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Educational Institutions Bill has provisions under which assessment of such accreditation has to be made before the institution starts the process of admission to the programmes.
The existing educational institutions have also to get their accreditation within three years, official sources said. The bill also seeks establishment of National Accreditation Regulatory Authority for Higher Education, which shall register and monitor accreditation agencies. Maintaining that the passage of the bill is critical to ensure quality, Sibal expressed the country's eagerness to join the Washington Accord with full signatory status so as to help Indian engineering students and professionals have global recognition. "...We desire to be part of the family of that quality of the Washington Accord," he said. At present, India is a provisional member of the Washington Accord, which is an international agreement among bodies responsible for accrediting engineering degree programmes. The accord recognises equivalence of quality of programmes and recommends that graduates of programmes accredited by any of the signatory bodies may be recognised by the other member bodies as having met academic requirements for entry to engineering, thus, facilitating international mobility. Hu Hanrahan, who is the chair of the Washington Accord, who was present at the meeting, did not provide a timeline for India becoming a permanent member but said the process was underway. While experts from abroad are helping India in this exercise, Hu said, "The HRD Minister assured that he is serious" about joining the Accord as a permanent member". However, he said India is yet to invite the Washington Accord for the auditing of its accreditation system which is critical in the process of becoming a permanent member. As of now, 14 bodies with permanent status in the Accord include Engineers Australia, Engineers Canada, Engineering Council, UK, Japan Accreditation Board of Engineering Education.
Courtesy: DNA India
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