KUWAIT CITY, June 23: The decision issued by Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) earlier in March, instructing labor departments to discontinue issuing work permits to expatriate engineers who do not have a no-objection certificate from Kuwait Engineers Society, may affect thousands of Indian engineers working in Kuwait including those in senior positions.
According to a report published in sify.com, Kuwait Engineers Society will issue a no-objection certificate only if the institutions from where the engineering degrees were awarded are recognized by India’s National Board of Accreditation (NBA).
NBA was an independent body established in 2010 but it became the national body for accrediting colleges that offer engineering programs. On the other hand, the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is responsible for the accreditation of universities and general colleges. Reportedly, there are nearly 10,000 engineers of Indian nationality working in Kuwait.
Many among them, especially those who worked for decades in Kuwait, are worried that the new ruling may lead to the loss of their jobs.
They include engineers who graduated from prestigious institutions such as Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), IISc Bengaluru, BITS Pilani, Jadavpur University and Calcutta University, which have been offering three year BTech degree courses for BSc graduates.
They urged India’s Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Human Resources Development Prakash Javdekar to intervene in the matter. However, Secretary for Higher Education R. Subramanyam affirmed that NBA cannot offer retrospective accreditation for universities and educational institutions. This could cause challenges to emerge in the near future.
According to some media reports, the Indian government claimed that institutions such as IITs and IISc Bangalore are recognized globally due to which there was no reason for an accreditation. Besides the IIT institutions, Kuwait’s decision is likely to impact various colleges that offer engineering courses all across India.
A forum called “Progressive Professional Forum” discussed this matter with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and requested his intervention. Reportedly, discussions regarding this issue were also held with the officials of the labor department in Kuwait. The Indian government has been asking the officials in Kuwait to withdraw the new condition. A Kuwaiti trade representation is planning to visit India to come up with a solution
By Mohamed Wangengi
Arab Times Staff