Despite the periodic emphasis laid by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) on engineering colleges to obtain accreditation from National Board of Accreditation (NBA), only a handful of institutions in the central region, under the affiliation of Anna University, seem to have paid heed.
Not more than five engineering colleges in the central region have had their programmes accredited by NBA over the years, according to an official source.
In 2020, the AICTE made it mandatory for technical institutions to have 60 percent of their programs NBA accredited.
In 2021, the resolve was expressed through a warning that institutions failing to do so will not be accorded annual e-approval.
Institutions applying for NBA accreditation are categorised as Tier-1 and Tier-2, in conformity with quality parameters.
In most cases, an affiliated college has to go through the pre-qualification phase for which a programme should have been conducted for three years with 75 percent attendance and presence of professors, associate professors and assistant professors in the specified proportion.
"Several colleges lose out on eligibility for NBA accreditation at this stage itself," according to a senior professor.
It is to drive home the qualitative advantage of NBA-accredited programmes that the National Institute of Technology - Tiruchi has been conducting workshops for colleges under the Centrally-funded Margadarshan scheme.
In recent months, the NIT-T has conducted awareness programmes in one college each in Nagapattinam and Tiruchi districts, N. Sivakumaran, Coordinator of Margadarshan scheme said.
The membership of NBA in Washington Accord is an international recognition of the quality of undergraduate engineering education offered by the member country and is an avenue to bring it into the world class category.
Citing the significance of Washington Accord, the AICTE and the Anna University have been encouraging affiliated institutions to go in for NBA accreditation to be in a position to secure funds from central agencies, enhance employability of graduates, and facilitate transnational recognition of degrees and mobility of graduates and professionals.