IIT-Madras director Bhaskar Ramamurthi said the admission process to IITs requires students to choose the engineering discipline before they join the course. Thus current process can’t be changed, IIT-M would like to look at a minimum curriculum that students will have to take and then allow them to choose electives in multi disciplinary. “Mostly, their choices will be driven by best of interest. He added that “studies here to be deep rather than superficial”.
The idea is similar to Purdue University’s transdiciplinary bachelor’s degree programme that tries to create ‘T-shaped graduates’ by integrating learning driven by students’ passions and interests and the needs of the marketplace, said by President of Purdue University “Mr Mitch Daniels” who is on a visit to IIT-M. He also said that 36 students have signed up for this programme at Purdue University. The programme aim to deliver through the institute’s proposed degree programme and refined as the academic years of progresses.
Professor Ramamurthi said that the institution would try to incorporate this idea during their 10-year curriculum revision. The committee will ensure that students learn enough about the discipline they chose to specialise in when they enrol for the course to justify the degree. Students’ choices will not show on their degree certificate but will show on their transcripts, It will help a prospective employer or higher education admissions committee member will be able to see the student’s aptitude and interest.
Many of the IITs offer a flexible syllabus. For example, IIT-Mandi mandates only 20 to 30 contact hours per week, giving students free space for extracurricular activities and individual study; however IIT-Kharagpur allows, students who meets a required CGPA in their courses, he is enrolled in to choose minor courses in other disciplines as well.