IIT- Bombay students can now curate their course, choose subjects

Students of Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) will now have the option to enrol for courses of their choice under a new multi-disciplinary programme launched this year
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Published on Jun 30, 2021 12:50 AM IST
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ByPriyanka Sahoo

Students of Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) will now have the option to enrol for courses of their choice under a new multi-disciplinary programme launched this year.

The Liberal Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (LASE) programme will be available to undergraduate students at the beginning of their second year, wherein students can choose from a variety of courses offered by the institute’s departments and schools. The batch of students admitted to undergraduate programmes this year will become the first beneficiaries of this programme when they graduate to their second year in 2022.

Students will continue to be admitted through the Joint Entrance Exam.

However, at the beginning of the second year, a select group of students can enrol for LASE.

“The selection of these students will be based on some criteria the details of which are yet to be finalised,” said Anurag Mehra, professor in the department of chemical engineering and one of the coordinators of the LASE programme.

The process works similar to a branch change. In the second year, LASE students will study foundation courses as well as some other courses available in the institute. Faculty advisors will guide students in making this decision, said Mehra.

All first-year students will have a common curriculum. Thereafter, if they enrol in the LASE programme, the students will be free to choose a course of their choice, apart from some prerequisite courses such as maths and physics, which will be compulsory. Broadly, students will have five categories – engineering sciences, natural sciences, social sciences, art & design and design your own custom concentration – to choose from. At the end of the four years, they will be granted the Bachelors in Science degree in any of the above categories, or the one that they specialise in.

“For example, a student is interested in the field of healthcare, they can choose a course from the biosciences and bioengineering department, electrical engineering or some management courses from the school of management,” said Mehra.

IIT-B director Subhasis Chaudhuri said that LASE students will take a set of ‘foundation courses’ in their second year, which are focussed on areas such as modern South Asian history, history of science, contemporary digital societies, current social structures, reading and writing literature, apart from subjects in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

“The motivation behind such courses and the programme as a whole is to enable the cultivation of diverse all-round proficiencies for those who want to explore different fields, venture out in new directions or pursue untrammelled and untraveled paths,” said Chaudhuri.

“Liberal arts are often misunderstood as courses in the fields of Arts. It is actually a multidisciplinary education tool encompassing the study of natural sciences, social sciences, arts and humanity. With the LASE programme, we want to give students the flexibility to choose any course they want. It’s like a buffet of courses available to the students,” Mehra added.

Chaudhuri said, “Today’s aspirational youths are more exploratory in their pursuits, be it academics, career or financial matters. Our efforts have primarily been in creating such academic opportunities that our students can pursue freely. It’s just one more way of telling our student that they can be the one that they wish to be rather than what we want them to be.”

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