Let us start with giving you a gist of those. The Washington accord is an international agreement between different bodies that accredits the engineering and other technical undergrad programs. Their main objective is to recognise and facilitate the standardization of professional courses which is accredited by its member bodies. The WA has 17 member bodies representing their respective countries along with 7 provisional members who may(or may not) become permanent members. India has become a signatory member of this accord on 13th June 2014. The National Board of Accreditation(NBA) is the signatory body that represents India.
Now what is in it for us???Our government has been working on this treaty for some time now. The basic idea behind this accord is to improve the quality and to create a standardized evaluation criteria among the technical undergrad/grad programmes globally. This accord, when in full effect, is going to affect our national economy and career opportunities considerably. WA is mainly focused on creating a substantial equivalence over the engineering and technical courses accredited by all its signatory members. This means that gradually, there will be an effective interchange of international resources in this sector and the member countries could work hand in hand for the both educational and industrial development.The WA, when in practise, will foster the mobility of students across the international boundaries. Our students here in India could reach for the career opportunities from many foreign nations that were previously unattainable because of the lateral dissimilarities of our courses. Now, the programmes offered by our universities are about to be equivalent to the international standards and are started to be considered valid globally.
What there is to read from this is; now there is an opening for the foreign students to apply for the Indian technical courses. This will result in a mutual information interchange which will improve both our national economy and professional sector. This could also mean that finally, the lack of innovative ventures in our country might be straightened out.
The WA was originally signed among six countries in 1989. India was made a provisional member of Washington Accord in 2007.The road to becoming a permanent member did not come easy for India as we have been working towards it for several years. The credit goes to our ministry of human resource development(MHRD) and the All India Council of Technical Education(AICTE).
Its current members include: Australia, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Hong Kong China, India, Ireland, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Now there is also…
Washington accord could be a predecessor for such forthcoming reforms.
Although the implementation of the Washington Accords is creating advances of huge proportions, the IT sector, however, will have to wait a bit longer to experience such changes. It is the Seoul Accord that India is yet to sign that’ll create a similar effect in the IT sector. But it’s more likely for the Washington accord to be a predecessor for such forthcoming reforms.
Becoming part of Washington Accord also does not necessarily mean that all engineering degrees by all Indian colleges will get equivalence with those of the other member countries. There are certain divisions in the NBA(India) accreditation programme:( Tier 1, Tier 2.) Currently, courses offered by the institutions that are included in the Tier 1 division will only be recognized by the Washington Accord. But this could also mean that eventually, the engineering degree programmes offered by the tier 2 institutions may also be recognized and will be treated with equivalence as the tier 1 institutions and the courses of other signatory members in the future.
How do we do it??
There are some standards set and monitored by the accreditation bodies that are the members of the WA.
Now for this accord to take effect, our institutions are to reach a certain standard of quality in curriculum and in infrastructure. These standards are set and monitored by the accreditation bodies that are the members of the WA. Each member country have their own such official group of people. This body is to support, suggest necessary upgrades, and to evaluate the the technical institutions. It is these bodies that accredits the courses and institutions. In India, the NBA is the one who does it. Accreditation is a process that ensures the quality and improvement of the qualifications.