Published: 02nd July 2019
Kuwait 'invalidates' IIT grads: Incensed alumni say it's Kuwait's loss
Since the Kuwait Government took such a decision, the HRD ministry in India has been receiving representations of the Indian engineers working in the Gulf country regarding this
The Ministry of Human Resource Development has sent a list of premier engineering institutes in the country to Kuwait authorities where thousands of Indian engineers, including IITians, are staring at possible job losses after the Gulf country decided to recognise degrees only if India's National Board of Accreditation (NBA) approved of the courses they studied.
"A high-level Indian delegation had visited Kuwait to understand and resolve the issue and after discussion with the Kuwait authorities, it was decided to send them lists of 'Non-NBA premier institute' and 'Institutes of National Importance' which has been sent to the Indian Embassy in Kuwait for onward submission to Kuwait authorities," a senior HRD Ministry official told several news publications.
The NBA, earlier a wing of technical education regulator All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), has been in existence since the 1990s but became an autonomous body in 2010. It has so far given accreditation to courses offered by 600 institutions among total 3,500 that teach technical courses. The NBA accredits engineering courses while the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) accredits universities and general colleges.
The decision by Kuwait authorities has also brought degrees by prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) under the invalidation scanner. "The IITs, IISc and JU have never taken accreditation from the NBA for their engineering courses. Many of the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) are yet to take accreditation for their BTech courses," the official added.
"This is nothing but ridiculous. But we are also at fault here. If we have a body that a credits courses why aren't the IIT, IISc and NIT courses accredited? Or if one is to argue that we do not need an accrediting body then why not dissolve it? But then again it is Kuwait loss if they do not want us to work there," an IIT Delhi alumnus told Edex on condition of anonymity.
Another ex-student from IIT Kanpur agreed, saying that Kuwait will be at a loss if they invalidate students from IITs and other premier institutes. "Be it in Europe or the United States, Indian engineers and scholars have always been highly regarded. Kuwait not accepting engineers from IIT or any other eminent institution in India is their loss. The IITs follow a standardised curriculum that is accepted worldwide. Their quality of education has been the same over the years," says Aranya Bhattacharya, who graduated from IIT-K in 2016.
According to the Kuwait work permit rules, the Public Authority for Manpower, a government body in Kuwait, had last year issued a circular asking the labour department to not give work permits to expatriate engineers unless they got no-objection certificates from KSE. For India, engineers were to be issued no-objection certificates only if the course had been accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA). The Ministry of Human Resource Development has since then been receiving representations from Indian engineers working in Kuwait regarding this.
"At the moment, a staggering 20,000 Indian engineers who work in Kuwait are under scrutiny of Kuwait Society of Engineers. The issue arose last year, when KSE discovered 1400 fake/uncertified engineers, 80 per cent of them belonging to India. The public authority of manpower, made it clear not to give work permit unless they obtain NOC from KSE. Many of our prestigious institutes like IIT/NIT have never taken accreditation from the NBA for their engineering courses. MHRD has now been proactive in resolving the issue and has turned in a list of institutes of national importance to KSE, so hopefully, the issue will be resolved soon," Taran Singh, CEO, Melvano, who will also be graduating from IIT Madras this July.