IIT Roorkee introduces new UG Curriculum from 2023
Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT Roorkee), the first technical Institute in the country with a history of 175 years, has recently revised its Under Graduation curriculum to make students future ready with their global aspirations. The revision, which has come after a decade, has been designed to keep pace with the educational and industrial developments and requirements in terms of technology, entrepreneurship, sustainability, interdisciplinary knowledge etc. The Institute Senate, the highest academic decision-making body, affixed its stamp on the new curriculum on February 22, 2023. The new curriculum will be offered to the UG students admitted in the year 2023 in all B. Tech, B.Arch., BS-MS and Integrated M. Tech. programs.
The futuristic curriculum has been designed through a long and rigorous consultation process and brainstorming sessions with experts and stakeholders. A committee chaired by the Dean of Academic Affairs piloted the exercise. Indian as well as international experts of global repute representing industries, educational institutes, research organizations, alumni, social communities, and policymakers were involved during the process of designing the new curriculum.
The institute introduces innovative concepts which make its curriculum unique in the country introducing mandatory courses on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML), Data Science, Indian Knowledge System (IKS), Tinkering and Mentoring, Talent Enhancement Baskets (TEB), Entrepreneurship, Environmental Science and Sustainability (ESSC), Community Outreach (CORE), Soft Skills etc. Further, students will be getting the opportunity to pursue Theme based Minor Specialization, Design Thinking based project and many more.
The curriculum has been exclusively framed while keeping the NEP 2020 guidelines as a reference with the purpose of aligning it with the need of the country and reducing the lag between education and industrial demands globally. While enhancing the flexibility in the structure, the new curriculum has been designed with the philosophy ‘STEPS’ (Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship, Project-based education and Societal commitment). The institute, after long deliberations, has decided to emphasize the overall development of students according to their interests rather than making them learn more on a few pre-programmed courses. It has now reduced the credits required for core courses while increasing the components of elective programme courses, humanities and social sciences, community outreach, open elective courses, entrepreneurship etc. The curriculum offers the students a host of flexibilities, including a provision to pursue a minor specialization in another department, complete graduation with honours in his/her parent department, earn two degrees (Bachelor and Master) study one additional year or exit with a four-year BS degree in the five-year BS-MS programmes.
According to the new curriculum, the students in all programs will be studying courses on Soft Skills, Mathematics, Physics, Computer Programming, Tinkering and Mentoring and Engineering Science in the first semester. Course on Soft Skills will be enhancing students’ overall personality, including communication, presentation, and group discussion skills. In order to develop an interest in project-based learning and to create awareness of relevant professional/ ethical/career development, a new concept of Tinkering and Mentoring has been introduced. The Tinkering and Mentoring is a unique course being offered in the technical education system in India.
Another new feature of the curriculum is that all UG students will be exposed to the significance of the traditional Indian knowledge system through a mandatory course. The Indian Knowledge System course will provide an in-depth knowledge to our students on the values of age-old contributions of the Indian knowledge systems and their relevance in modern technologies and technology-driven society. The course will be taught by a group of professors with inter-disciplinary research background. Another unique addition in the new curriculum is the introduction of the innovative Talent Enhancement Basket (TEB). IIT Roorkee students shall be the first in the country who will be getting the opportunity to develop or hone specialized skills in their areas of interest. This will enable the students to utilize their skills without the fear of wasting their time in the event of any early exit from the program. There is flexibility in the new curriculum for the students to opt between project, entrepreneurship or internship. With an objective to enhance the awareness on the environmental aspects related to different disciplines and to equip the students to find solutions to the environmental issues in their relevant fields, different Environmental Science and Sustainability courses will be taught. Various departments are grouped together to promote multi-stakeholder partnerships to achieve sustainable consumption and sustainable industrialization and to foster innovation in line with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
It is a matter of pride that IIT Roorkee is the first IIT to make a course on Community Outreach (CORE) mandatory for the degree requirement. As part of this course, students will be enrolled in a project individually or in a group working on societal aspects in the nearby areas. This will enhance the social connection between the institute and society, and also a sense of social responsibility will be inculcated in the students aligned with the NEP-2020.
“Keeping in view of National Education Policy’s (NEP) recommendations and current social and placement trends, the undergraduate curriculum revision committee(UCRC) has revised the choice-based credit system and developed a new framework for undergraduate programmes. The framework reflects the NEP’s recommendations such as restructured degree programmes, interdisciplinary choices, flexible degree options with single major, double major, minors, enhancing entrepreneurship, culture and a curriculum built with employability skills in addition to academic subjects. The curriculum has been designed to cater to the present day needs and the students of the upcoming batches shall be truly benefited.” – says Abramoni Sathwik, a fourth year Computer Science student and General Secretary of the UG students on Academic matters.
Professor Apurbba Kumar Sharma, Dean of Academic Affairs, who also steered the Committee that drafted the revised UG curriculum, says – “The overhaul of the UG curriculum by the IIT Roorkee promises to prepare the students for global employability, while keeping pace with the need of the futuristic demands of the industries. The committee has designed the curriculum with inputs from all the stakeholders. The curriculum emphasizes on making the fundamentals strong, experiential learning and providing ample flexibilities to the students to utilize their raw talent for solving the live problems of industry as well as the society. This will make learning more exciting and rewarding.”
Professor K. K. Pant, Director, IIT Roorkee, is very optimistic about the outcome of the revision and expresses that the UG students will have now better reasons to choose this institute. Professor Pant says – “IIT Roorkee is very happy to roll out the new UG curriculum that is NEP 2020 compliant. The innovative curriculum promotes multi-disciplinary and project-based learning. On many aspects, for example – introduction of the Talent Enhancement Basket and courses like CORE, this curriculum is unique in India and I am sure, the framework will be able to inspire other institutes as well. The curriculum has created wonderful opportunities for the students to get involved in solving the societal problems, thus advocates the philosophy of ‘solving local problems with local talents’. The curriculum is so designed that all students shall learn the basics of AI/ML& data science; also, flexibility has been given to the students to prepare themselves for the global stage while in the institute by crediting selected courses from selected leading universities of the world.”