IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

IIT undergrad course to be research-oriented?

Posted on: January 20, 2011

by Times of India
NEW DELHI: A high-powered committee under T Ramaswamy, secretary, department of science and technology, has recommended that the IIT curriculum at the undergraduate level should change from uniform syllabus to system-based curriculum selection, making it research-oriented.

The IIT Council will discuss the report on Friday. The committee said course content at the undergraduate level does not inspire students to take up research in India. Its report expresses concern at the low level of IIT undergraduates opting for research and says at least 10-15% of them should be brought to do doctoral research in the next five years.

At master’s and doctoral level, the report says, IITs should align the curriculum to meet industrial needs without complications. “Since master’s and doctoral research activities are generally specific to the institutions and range of faculty strength, alignment to suit location specific needs may be more easily realised,” it says, suggesting an interactive portal could be established between IITs and industrial chambers. The portal should have problems faced by industries and students may be asked to select research problems for master’s and doctoral level research programmes.

The committee has also recommended setting up of a Research Support Technical Cadre. Creation of such a cadre, the report says, will allow IITs to undertake research projects that require continuity. At present undergraduate and research students have to provide R&D support. The committee has also said that research councils of nine members be set up for each IIT before the next academic year. The council will play an advisory role in selection of research priorities.

Ramaswamy is yet to give the report on reforms in IIT-Joint Entrance Examination. Sources said the committee is working on a percentile-based scheme to bring all state boards on par. The scheme is based on the percentile-based merit list, formed across all the state boards, for department of science and technology’s Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research (INSPIRE) scholarships that go to the top 1% students (up to 99 percentile).

IIT faculty members, however, say such a scheme is good for an INSPIRE merit list, where the decision is either ‘qualified’ or ‘not-qualified’.

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