Mumbai: IIT-Bombay has rolled out a new option where students can complete their engineering program in only three and a half years as opposed to the regular four years from the coming academic year.
A recent meeting of the administration of the institute decided to offer this option of fast track B Tech degree to students across courses. By taking up additional credits, the students can now complete their course in three and a half years.
Along with IIT-Bombay, IIT Kharagpur has also decided to implement this plan from the 2017 batch although the other older IITs are yet to make a decision in this area.
The director of IIT Bombay, Devang Khakar, on being asked about this said, "In the final semester, students are free to opt for internships, start work on their entrepreneurial venture or spend a semester abroad at any institute as an exchange student. They will be free to opt for anything. The finer details of the plan are yet to be worked out. The provision is applicable to students from the current batch itself, so they can start accumulating credits from the next academic year."
He also said that the students who complete their coursework in three and a half years will be eligible to sit for the placements in December and start working immediately too once they are placed.
External general secretary of academic affairs (students) also provided an insight on the subject by saying that, "Once the students complete their course in three and a half years, they will be asked to leave the campus. Students will be given a provisional statement of marks, but the final degree certificate will be given to the students only during the institute's convocation," The decision about availing this option to the dual degree students has not been made yet and according to Goyal, it will be decided on a case to case basis.
While the students can start accumulating additional courses after the completion of the first year, since there are some courses that require them to have a pre-requisite course, they will have to opt for such courses after the third year.
Along with enabling the students to learn at their own pace without being stressed, this system will also let them stay on the campus for a maximum of six years to complete their B Tech program but not more than that. After the six year, alternate arrangements have to be made by the students outside the campus. This way, if the administration is facing a shortage of accommodation facilities, it will help them to overcome that problem.
As of now, around 15 students from every batch have opted for this fast track option although the students believe once the system is institutionalized, there will be more people opting for it.
Apart from IIT Bombay, the Kharagpur campus is the only one to have considered this system and they have moved to a partial flexible credit system. Director Partha Chakrabarti says that they are allowing students to take up micro-credits in their final semester but the big changes will be rolled out only from the 2017 batch.