New Delhi: Students of the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) - Delhi, Mumbai and Roorkee, now have a reason to smile in this New Year as the three institutes have reduced the minimum number of credits from 350 to 250 in four years that are essential to become a graduate.
Similar efforts are also being taken by the two other IITs - Kharagpur and Madras for granting the same flexibility to students. However, IIT Guwahati and Kanpur have no such plans in near future.
The main idea behind the plan is to - "break out of the rigidity of courses and curriculum, to ensure graduates are prepared for the demands of a new global economy and, in some ways, to ensure IITs still attract and retain India's brightest students who might be wooed by foreign universities and more open educational philosophies".
"The BTech (bachelor of technology, the graduate degree awarded by IITs) education has so far been quite straitjacketed, but now we are making efforts to address that," said Deepak Phatak, a senior faculty member at IIT Bombay. "This change in the course format will provide students some flexibility and freedom to structure their education," he added.
IIT Bombay has reduced the total number of mandatory credits that a student requires to complete his/her degree, from 350 in four years to 250 in four years. Also, students who opt to do the full 350 credits in their chosen fields will be awarded an honours degree when they graduate.
The flexibility in credits would help students use the extra time to pursue research or study another area of interest. With this decision, the students will not only have the freedom to use their time to participate in events hosted by the institute, such as campus festivals and the like but also get a degree that reflects the major specialization as well the minor studies.
IITs are among the best technological universities in the world offering highest standard of technical education in India. Each year, around 2, 60,000 students sit for the IIT-JEE test to gain admission to any of the seven IITs, out of which only about 4,000 make the entry.
It is worth noting that an increasing number of students are discarding the test due to its rigid academic structure. The recent move is expected to attract those students who are heading abroad for pursuing technical education in search of more flexibility.