BANGALORE: Nine engineering institutions in the state have approached the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) for a Tier-1 accreditation, which will make their undergraduate degrees acceptable in 16 nations that have signed the Washington Accord.
The NBA, which represents India, follows a two-tier system for accreditation of programmes, in which Tier-1 is for technical programmes offered by autonomous institutions and university departments. Only Tier-1 programmes will be acceptable under the accord.
The instrumentation technology and mechanical engineering programmes at BMS College of Engineering (BMSCE), Basavanagudi, have received Tier-1 accreditation, making it the only institution from Karnataka in the list of 15 that have this grade now.
A team of experts visited BMSCE in December, said K Guruprasad, head of the mechanical engineering department. “With this, we are revisiting our teaching-learning process to ensure it meets international requirements. We have tie-ups with institutions that are helping us in blended learning,” Prof Guruprasad said. BMSCE has applied for Tier-1 accreditation for nine other programmes.
The Washington Accord was signed in 1989 to cover professional engineering undergraduate degrees, recognise their equivalence and to recommend their acceptance in signatory countries. India became a permanent signatory last week, which will help Indian engineering graduates professionally.
Programmes in IT are not covered as India is not a signatory to the Seoul Accord. MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology (MSRIT) has sought Tier-1 accreditation for eight programmes and a team of NBA experts is expected to visit its campus in August, said principal S Y Kulkarni.
“Tier-1 is a little more difficult as we have to employ an outcome-based education system, which is the benchmark for most international institutions. As part of our preparation for Tier-1, we are already evaluating our students with a cumulative grade point and semester-based performance averages,” he said.
How Colleges Fare
NBA follows nine parameters in its accreditation process, which includes programme outcome, curriculum, students’ performance and faculty contribution. Non-autonomous institutions, which fall under Tier-2 category, are also allowed to apply for Tier-1 accreditation.
A total of 134 colleges offering technical programmes in the state have been accredited by the NBA.
The accreditation scenario for state-run colleges is not very promising. Besides some government polytechnics, the only state-run engineering college to have undergone NBA grading is the University B D T College of Engineering, Davangere. The accreditation validity of all six programmes here expired several years ago, according to data from NBA.
Not a single programme has NBA accreditation at the University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering (UVCE). After signing the accord, UVCE wants to get a Tier-1 accreditation for computer science, civil and mechanical engineering courses.