A section of Indian engineers working in Kuwait have sought help from the Indian government over problems they have been facing in acquiring No Objection Certificate (NOC) from the Kuwait Society of Engineers (KSE), which is mandatory to work there if the employee has graduated from a college that has not been accredited by the National Board of Accreditation (NBA) in India.
While an NOC is mandatory to avoid fake engineering degrees and forged documents, the KSE has made it mandatory for college to have NBA accreditation.
According to the Indian Engineers’ Forum in Kuwait, around 12,000 Indian engineers working in Kuwait are faced with the NOC issue and in one month over 800 engineers’ NOC applications have been rejected by the KSE. This is because many have graduated from engineering colleges before the NBA was even formed.
Speaking to The Hindu, one Indian engineer, whose NOC application has been rejected by KSE recently, said: “I have been working in Kuwait for 20 years as an engineer. I completed my engineering degree in 1993 in an Indian engineering college, which came under the All-India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and at that time, there was no NBA in India. The NBA was formed in 2005. Now, the KSE has made NBA college accreditation compulsory. The KSE has rejected my NOC application. I have Kuwait visa validity for the next three years. Without the NOC, we will not be able to work in Kuwait. There are around 24,000 Indian engineers working in Kuwait and over 12,000 are facing the NOC problem and they may be lose their jobs.”
It started in 2018 with the re-verification of the engineering degrees being incorporated in the NOC interviews.
Later, in 2020, they again started the re-verification of the engineering degrees after re-stamping by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), Kuwait. Beginning this year, they started re-verification of engineering degrees through Dataflow (document verification by third party).
Recently, the KSE has put its new requirements for Indian engineers with NBA accreditation for the entire four-year engineering studies. Furthermore, the KSE now wants “full time” course to be mentioned in the marks sheets, explained the forum.
The forum alleged that the issue has been raised continuously with the Indian Embassy in Kuwait, but it is unable to resolve the issue. They have also written a letter to the Indian government appealing to resolve the problem early.
“Indian engineers working in Kuwait have been going through the ordeal particularly since three years. The ground realities have changed drastically and living has become burden. Most of the senior engineers are not able get their Kuwait residencies renewed. This has created huge social, financial and mental turmoil for them and their families,” the forum members said.
“The Indian engineers in Kuwait are undergoing humiliation just because of a few who have presented fake engineering degrees or forged documents for obtaining NOC. The Kuwait government is entitled to take legal action and punish them if they are found guilty. At the same time, they should not treat the genuine engineers with same yardstick,” an engineer said.
Another engineer added: “Most of the Indian engineers with families in Kuwait have their residency permit expired since the pandemic and are on temporary extensions. This uncertainty is creating a lot of tension and disturbances in the lives of the engineers. Many engineers have lost their jobs and residency permit in Kuwait. Thousands will lose their jobs due to the inability to get NOCs from KSE, and are putting their families at stake, including their school going children in Kuwait, if immediate action is not taken by the Indian government.”
They have also requested the Indian government to make the Kuwait government understand that any full time engineering degree awarded from any engineering colleges or universities approved by AICTE, premium engineering institutions like IITs and NITs do not require NBA accreditation. It is long overdue that the Indian Ministry of Education and the Ministry of External affairs communicate effectively about our education system and its regulatory bodies, they urged.