Why are IIT Delhi and IIT Bombay revamping their curriculum?

When the two most sought-after IITs are changing their curriculum, it certainly raises several questions, from the exigency of such a review to the type of changes being introduced and the reason for such a decision. Especially in the post-pandemic era, when the education sector has already witnessed a radical change in approaches and practices, additional curriculum renewal has definitely been in the news.

Why is there a curriculum revamp at IIT Bombay and IIT Delhi?

For IIT Bombay, the curriculum overhaul arose out of the need to adapt to changing career trends. The institute observed in recent years that groups of graduates were making various career choices, some of them far from the basic engineering concepts they learn. The curriculum revamp is expected to work with the ultimate goal of helping its students become leaders in whatever career path they choose.

At IIT Delhi, its director Prof. Rangan Banerjee recently shared that the institute believes that the landscape of knowledge and technology is changing rapidly and the curriculum needs to match the pace.

A common aspect of the rationale of both IITs is to provide a holistic approach with comprehensive education to change the structure of an IIT from being just an institute of technology to a full-fledged university.

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What are these changes?

Engineering students at IIT Bombay will now have courses in management, entrepreneurship and design along with humanities as part of their core engineering curriculum. Non-engineering subjects (Humanities, Arts, Social Sciences, Management, Entrepreneurship, Design, or HASMED, as IIT Bombay calls it), are of great importance in the new curriculum. This is accompanied by an interdisciplinary STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) approach combined with the core engineering subjects of a specific branch that a student is pursuing. IIT Bombay’s mandatory engineering drawing workshop will now be replaced by ‘Makers Space’ where a student will have to create an innovative product or service from scratch. This will also have an interdisciplinary approach.

The aim of the IIT Delhi Curriculum Renewal Committee will be to provide challenges and opportunities for students to engage with the real world. The committee will work to provide more flexibility in courses, especially when several new programs such as artificial intelligence, data science and cyber security have already started and may be of interest to students alongside their basic engineering course.

Why are these changes happening now?

While it is important to note that the syllabus of the IITs has been subjected to revision at regular intervals; that renewal has also been in the cards. It has been more than a decade since the two IITs had revised their curriculum. Although several new courses have been added and certain additions and subtractions have been made in the core curricula of different engineering faculties, a completely new approach was required to analyze the changing requirements and the emergence of various sectors with skill requirements. according to the knowledge of the technology.

According to IIT Bombay’s Dean Academics, Professor Avinash Mahajan, the first institute’s curriculum was last changed in 2007. “Although the old curriculum offered several options for electives from different disciplines, the new curriculum has made HASMED and STEM courses a part of the curriculum,” he said.

Both IITs have maintained that the curriculum must constantly evolve to remain relevant. “The challenge today is that we are dealing with a generation of students who have a shorter attention span. Classroom instruction alone cannot be the focus. We need to make them work on real-life projects, so they can learn how to solve real problems,” said Professor Banerjee.

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