From the coming academic year, all first-year BTech students at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) will have to take compulsory courses in Biology and Physics, in a set of academic revisions passed by the institute’s senate (academic decision-making body) on Tuesday, geared towards producing more well-rounded engineers.
“We are very enthusiastic about this and it would mark a big change from tradition,” said one professor and senate member. “This could be the first IIT that recognises that engineers should know biology. It is an essential component for a basic sciences foundation.”
However, the decision will only be formalised once the minutes of the meeting are issued.
Devang Khakhar, director of the institute and the senate chairperson said this was part of “fine-tuning” the syllabus, which had last been revised about five years ago.
“These areas [biosciences and bioengineering] are becoming increasingly important and are areas in which engineering graduates might later work,” said another professor. He added that basic sciences courses had been in the curriculum until some years ago, and that the decision to bring them back in would help “broaden the base”.