The Institution of Engineers is preparing a draft Bill to get all Indian engineers registered. The Bill, being drafted by the multi-disciplinary engineering professional society at the behest of the Union human resource development ministry, will be submitted to the ministry next week.
The Bill, to be called the Draft Engineers Bill, will propose setting up a separate statutory authority which will lay down specifications for competency in professional engineering practice.
The Bill is expected to be introduced in Parliamant shortly and if cleared, would not only get Indian engineers international recognition from the World Federation of Engineers, but will also give them access to the world market.
"Indian chartered accountants, doctors and architects are recognised the world over and we want the same for Indian engineers too, " said D K Gowda, president, Institution of Engineers, India.
IEI along with other professional engineering bodies and the All India Council for Technical Education, are working at getting a Washington Accord membership also.
WA is an agreement among the Engineering Quality Assurance Organisations of 10 nations -- Australia, Canada, Hong Kong , Japan, Ireland, New Zealand, the UK, the US, Singapore and South Africa -- and recognises the engineering programmes awarded by these organizations.
Engineers in these countries, unlike India, have a professional legal title they work under. For instance, engineers in the UK have a title called Professional Engineers
To date, when an Indian engineer wants to practice abroad, he needs to fulfill certain requirements. In most cases, this means clearing an examination. A membership of WA accreditation is a pre-requisite in this case. It's only when an engineer goes abroad on a contract with his company that he does not need the accreditation.
The scenario will change now that the National Board of Accreditation, the only accreditation body responsible for accreditation of technical education programmes in India, will receive a provisional accreditation from the WA by the end of June 2007. It will get full membership status by 2009.
"As India is a net exporter of technical manpower, it is in our interest to get its membership. This accreditation will also give a fillip to the conventional engineering functions like civil, mechanical and electrical in India," said Prof Prasad Krishn, convenor NBA.
"If you want to practice as professional engineer then accreditation is a pre-requisite with the WA member countries. In the light of General Agreement on Trade and Services, when broader mobility of graduates in allowed countries, it will help mobility and registration of the engineers," adds Prasad.
Meanwhile, the Institution of Engineers has also applied for an Engineers Mobility Forum certification which will enable better mobility of Indian engineers.
EMF deals with professional engineers who have an accredited degree in engineering with minimum seven years of experience in significant engineering activity and maintained a satisfactory level of continuous professional development.