Owing to the declining demand for Dual Degree (DD) courses, institutes, including the Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay (IIT-B), have decided to either cut down the intake capacity for BTech+MTech DD programme, or discontinue it.
In an article recently published in IIT-B’s in-house magazine, Insight, more than 700 students were surveyed to find the reason for this decline in demand for DD courses.
According to some students, it is pointless spending one more year on campus, when they can pursue higher education with a BTech degree.
Yash Mehta, one of the authors of the article, said, “Students from IITs, especially those who wish to pursue higher education like MS or a PhD in a foreign university, can do so with a BTech degree and don’t need to acquire an MTech degree for it. So many don’t see the point in wasting one more year studying here when they can easily complete the BTech course in four years and opt for further studies.”
Mehta said that students end up pursuing DD courses on the basis of their JEE ranks, and not by choice, which acts as a deterrent. “Many professors have said that being placed in a DD course by default instead of choice is a big deterrent as many lose interest in academics,” he added.
According to figures shared by students, the total number of seats for the DD programme across departments at IIT-B stood at 259 in 2011 and 154 in 2015. Several departments, including chemical engineering, stopped intake to the DD programme in 2013, while others, including mechanical engineering and metallurgical engineering and materials science (MEMS) brought down their intake to almost half of what it used to be in 2011, they said.
While BTech is a four-year programme, the DD programme is a five-year one, where the final year is spent working on the thesis for their projects and completing extra credits.
In the survey, many students also said that the DD programme did not help them if they wanted to do jobs that are not related to the engineering field, such as in analytics or finance, among others. “Students have said that by the final year of the DD programme, their counterparts in BTech courses have already been placed with jobs or are pursuing higher education,” highlights the article.
Students have also said that unlike those pursuing BTech, those taking up a DD course have little time for extracurricular activities.