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Two-in-one degree debut this July

- Swift transition to integrated courses at upgraded Besu, CU shifts to 4-year programme
Workers put up a board announcing the change in the institute’s status in March

Engineering aspirants who wrote the state joint entrance examination with the erstwhile Besu on their radar might have mixed feelings about the recently upgraded institute immediately switching to five-year, dual-degree courses.

The Shibpur landmark, upgraded to an Indian Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST) after a nine-year wait, used to offer the conventional four-year and two-year courses in its avatar as a state university.

“The IIEST will start offering its new five-year integrated dual-degree programmes from this academic session, starting July. Students will get BTech and MTech degrees at the end of the fifth year,” director Ajoy Kumar Ray told Metro.

The immediate transition to an integrated, dual-degree programme might be great news for those who plan to do their MTech at one go, but not so for those eyeing a different academic trajectory.

Although it was decided much earlier that an IIEST would offer only dual degrees, candidates who appeared for the state joint entrance examination this month were unaware that the switch to a new system would happen in July.

“When we published the JEE brochure seeking applications from aspiring students last November, we could not have mentioned the dual-degree programme because Besu got the IIEST tag only in March,” a senior official of the state JEE board said.

An engineering aspirant who had planned to do his MBA after getting a BE degree said he would need to “reconsider my options” if his performance in the joint entrance examination earned him a seat in the country’s first IIEST.

But for those wanting to do their postgraduation from the same institute, a dual degree would not only save them a year but also the hassle of competing for a seat all over again.

The IITs have been offering five-year integrated courses for years alongside the four-year BTech and two-year MTech programmes. “The advantage of an integrated course is that students save a year in getting a master’s degree. And top companies prefer to employ those who have done the five-year course over their peers in the four-year programme,” said an IIT professor.

The IIEST would model its courses on those of the IITs for the time being. “The entire academic structure that Besu followed will undergo a thorough change,” the institute’s director said.

The institute intends to add to its faculty, mainly for the fourth and the fifth years of the dual-degree programmes. “We hope to recruit some of the best academicians of the country and abroad,” Ray said.

The IIEST also aims to offer full scholarships to as many students as possible at least for two years so that the best of talent comes to the institute.

Committees have been set up for each of the 16 departments to design the integrated courses and finalise the syllabi. The teams include experts from outside the institute.

Students would be required to do several projects as part of the five-year integrated course. The scope of industry-institute interaction would also be higher, sources said.

From next year, students would be selected for various courses on the basis of the national JEE-Mains.

tech track

IIEST COURSES

  • Five-year integrated dual BTech, MTech from 2014-15
  • Five year integrated dual BSc, MSc from 2015-16
  • Integrated MTech, PhD from 2015-16 (minimum 4 years)
  • Six-year integrated BArch from 2015-16

All courses to be based on new sustainability concept

Focus on allowing students to choose subjects from more than one discipline

CU COURSES

Four-year BTech in

  • Computer science and engineering
  • Radio physics and electronics
  • Information technology
  • Chemical technology
  • Chemical engineering
  • Polymer science and technology
  • Applied physics
  • Applied optics and photonics

When

  • 2015-16 academic session with option of lateral entry for BSc students

Why

  • Three-year BTech has failed to fetch students good jobs, leading to protests
  • Better students preferring four-year courses
  • AICTE’s insistence on four-year programme