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Friday, May 31, 2002

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Centre drawing up code of ethics for engineers

G.K. Nair

KOCHI, May 30

THE Union Government is planning to introduce the professional engineers Act, 2002, probably for the first time, aimed at bringing in a code of ethics for engineers apart from regulating engineering practise in the country.

The draft Bill is ready and expected to be introduced in the next session of Parliament, according to Mr M.P. Sukumaran Nair, Chairman, Institution of Engineers India (IEI), Kochi. He told Business Line that the Act would ensure that engineering activities were carried out only by competent persons with full accountability for their actions or who could take full responsibility for the work undertaken, he said.

"This is in recognition of the vital impact engineering and technology has on economy, technology and social development. The regulated engineering practices could facilitate sustainable development and protect health safety and welfare," he said. The Act, he pointed out, would specify education, training and professional experience of practitioners and call for a registration at the national level in appropriate categories.

He said that currently statutory bodies such as IEI, which was established under the Royal Charter in 1935, and the All India Council for Technical Education established by an Act of Parliament in 1987 and various non-statutory professional bodies were involved in improving and regulating the quality of education, training, research and other professional activities.

The legislation intends to co-ordinate the activities of all such organisations and promote a proper co-operative link among them and enforce statutory authority to implement a common code of ethics, he said.

Besides, "it aims at elevating the standard and professional competence of the engineers at national and international level. It also envisages norms for conducting and taking appropriate final action against those fail to follow them," he said.

The Act would also widen the opportunity of the engineers given the rapid advancement in technology leading to obsolence in knowledge and skill.

"It is imperative that the engineers in profession shall continue professional development throughout their career and legislation would make it mandatory for all registered engineers to continually develop and upgrade their knowledge and skill," he said.

According to Mr Nair, the legislation also proposes to set up an Engineering Council of India, which will effectively enforce the provisions of the Act.

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