Saturday, July 02, 2005

Washington Accord

Yesterday's Economic Times reported that India is negotiating to become a member of the Washington Accord, a multilateral agreement of sorts that makes all the member countries recognize each other's engineering degrees (why engineering alone? I have no idea). I am sorry I cannot find the link in the Indiatimes maze. All I could find there was a link to an earlier story.

Apparently, India's application to join the Washington Accord will take a while to be accepted (three to four years), so what India is likely to get is only a provisional membership. However, full membership will follow only after the quality of our academic programs is evaluated. I am not too hot on foreign agencies evaluating our institutions; however, since we are not doing it ourselves, I guess this is another piece of good news. A couple of days ago, I pointed out that Singapore will also have to rate our institutions under the newly signed Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. Now, the good folks at the Washington Accord will also be doing it.

I have no idea if membership in this body is a big deal. Perhaps some of the readers who know about the Washington Accord can enlighten the rest of us?

While we are on higher ed in India, the Economic Times also reported that some Indian universities have been identified for pumping in money through a new initiative. Under this initiative, they will be given the status of "universities with potential excellence".

Trust our government to offer praise in insulting ways.


  1. Anonymous said...

    From what I understand the Washington Accord is a biggish deal because it mandates that all signatories to the accord (which are the accrediting bodies in each country) would value degrees of every other country on par with their own. This means that degrees of Indian engineering institutions -- which don't have the brand recall of the IITs -- would gain in stature once India is accepted as a signatory.
    It would be a big plus if you consider issues of workforce mobility etc. Especially since the current members include the US, UK, Japan, Australia, Canada....

  2. Anonymous said...

    Thanks, CZ, for explaining why the Washington Accord could be a big deal. I found the official WA site; particularly instructive is the info on how the provisional application will be processed. There is also an FAQ page.