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IIT course flexibility

- Freedom to pursue another subject for up to 4 years

Kharagpur, July 26: IIT Kharagpur will allow BTech students to complete their course before or after the prescribed four years to pursue another based on their aptitude and interest.

Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, the IIT Kharagpur director, today said students would be able to complete the BTech course in three-and-a-half years and use the remaining six months to take up another course of their choice elsewhere or at the institute.

Students will earn credits — points awarded for clearing an exam — for the six-month course. The BTech degree will, however, be awarded after four years.

The IIT also gave the option of extending the four-year BTech course by another four years. Students can seek the extension to pursue a course other than the one they are doing at the IIT.

It is not clear whether IIT Kharagpur will have to get the decision ratified by the IIT Council, the apex body to decide on matters related to the premier tech schools.

“We’ll do away with our existing year-based examination system and introduce a system in which evaluation will be entirely credit-based,” Chakrabarti announced at the 60th annual convocation of IIT Kharagpur. “We have set a target to introduce the system in 2016,” he added.

IIT Kharagpur will specify the number of credits a student will have to acquire in each subject. The students will, however, have the flexibility to decide the time in which a subject can be cleared.

Under the existing system, students are required to study a certain number of subjects in each semester. It is mandatory for them to pass in all of them before proceeding to the next semester. The new system will allow the students to take a call on the number of subjects to be cleared in each semester.

Chakrabarti said a student of mechanical engineering could complete the four-year BTech course in three-and-a-half years and pursue courses in acting and singing in the remaining six months.

BTech students can opt for another course or a research project in a foreign university after completion of the first year. The duration of such a course or project can stretch up to four years, following which the student will be allowed to rejoin the BTech course.

If a student gets a job after completing the course in three-and-a-half years, he or she would be given the freedom to join the company. A provisional certificate will be issued.

There will be no change in the pattern of evaluating first-year students.

According to a teacher, the credit-based evaluation system is followed in several reputable foreign universities.