KUWAIT: Thousands of Indian engineers working in Kuwait have appealed to their government, asking it to help them obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Kuwait Society of Engineers, which is mandatory if the engineer who has graduated from a college or institute that is not accredited by the Indian National Accreditation Board (NBA) for fear of losing their jobs, reports Al-Rai daily.
According to the Kuwait Engineers Forum which is a registered association with the Indian Embassy, about 12,000 Indian engineers working in Kuwait are currently facing a problem in obtaining a no-objection certificate and the Kuwait Society of Engineers has rejected 800 applications because the applicants have graduated from colleges during the years before the establishment of the Indian National Board of Accreditation (NBA).
The Hindu newspaper quoted one of the engineers, whose applications was rejected by the Kuwait Society of Engineers, as saying: “I have been working as an engineer in Kuwait for 20 years. I had obtained my degree in 1993 from an Indian engineering college, which was then under the Indian Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and there was no National Accreditation Board back then, which was established in 2005.”
Now, the Kuwait Society of Engineers has made the accreditation of the NBA mandatory. The association rejected my application for a noobjection certificate, and although I have a valid residence for the next 3 years, “we will not be able to work in Kuwait without obtaining a no-objection certificate. There are thousands of Indian engineers in Kuwait who face the problem of NOC and may lose their jobs,” he added. This problem began in 2018 with the process of re-accreditation of engineering degrees through NOC interviews. And later — in the year 2020 — Kuwait began accrediting engineering certificates again after they were re-sealed by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
At the beginning of this year, Kuwait began the process of reaccrediting engineering degrees through a third party. Finally, the Kuwait Society of Engineers has set its own new requirements for Indian engineers, with the condition of obtaining the Indian National Board of Accreditation (NBA) accreditation for the four years of engineering study.
Moreover, the association now requires that engineering degrees include a full course of study. The newspaper quoted one of the threatened engineers as saying, “Indian engineers working in Kuwait are facing great difficulties just because a few people may have submitted fake engineering certificates or forged documents to obtain NOCs. It is true that the Kuwaiti government has the right to take the necessary legal measures to punish these people if they are found guilty, but at the same time real engineers should not be treated the same way.”
Another engineer says: “Most of the Indian engineers who have families in Kuwait have expired residences since the pandemic, and they are currently living on temporary extensions, and this state of uncertainty creates a lot of stress and turmoil in the lives of engineers. “Many engineers have lost their jobs and residence permits in Kuwait, and thousands more will lose their jobs due to their inability to obtain noobjection certificates from the Kuwait Society of Engineers. If the Indian government does not take urgent action, this situation will put the families of the engineers at stake.