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Regular-article-logo Sunday, 25 February 2024

JU tech faculty gets 7 days to decide whether it wants NBA tag

Engineering department teachers fear loss of autonomy if recognised by the National Board of Accreditation

Subhankar Chowdhury Calcutta Published 21.12.18, 09:58 PM
Jadavpur University

Jadavpur University The Telegraph file picture

Jadavpur University on Wednesday gave its engineering departments seven days to come clear if they want to be recognised by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA).

None of the 14 engineering departments has replied, a university official said on Friday.

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Some mechanical engineering and production engineering teachers are opposed to the NBA accreditation because they feel the process has diluted the university’s autonomy in drawing up its curriculum, the official said.

“The university has started a common engineering curriculum prepared by the AICTE from the this academic session to get the NBA tag,” the official said.

“A common curriculum is one of the conditions for the university to be eligible to seek accreditation. These teachers think the common curriculum has diluted the university’s autonomy.”

The common curriculum will rob students of the opportunity to start specialising in their fields from the first year, one of the opposing teachers said.

The university introduced the common curriculum with the idea that a thorough knowledge in the basic sciences in the first year will help students excel in their fields of specialisation from the second year.

The decision on seeking the departments’ opinion was taken at a faculty council meeting on Tuesday.

This comes two months after AICTE chairman Anil Sahasrabudhe had warned engineering institutes during a programme in the city that they have four years to get the NBA tag or face funds freeze and eventual closure.

The HRD ministry has directed the NBA to periodically evaluate technical courses and check if engineering colleges are maintaining the AICTE standards.

“We have given the departments seven days to inform us if they want the NBA tag,” Chiranjib Bhattacharjee, the dean of engineering, told Metro.

“Based on the feedback we will start the process of preparing the self-assessment report that has to be submitted prior to a visit by an NBA team.

“The matter of accreditation is a department’s call. But in absence of the accreditation we can be in trouble on various grounds like graduates failing to secure jobs abroad.”

The Telegraph had reported in June that thousands of Indian engineers in Kuwait, including IIT graduates, could lose their jobs as the Gulf country had decided to recognise degrees only if the courses they studied were approved by the NBA.

A company in Kuwait had refused to recruit JU engineering graduates for want of the NBA tag, this paper had reported.

The university has to submit the self-assessment report to become eligible for an assessment it had missed in 2014, dean Bhattacharjee said.

That year, the university had prepared the report and paid the NBA Rs 80 lakh in assessment fees.

“We failed to respond to follow-up mails from the agency... it was crucial for finalising the inspection dates. We have to pay the fees afresh,” he said.

A university official said at night that the seven-day period could be extended.

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