As interest of the students for the course varies and the employment, placement opportunities are limited for some courses, some of the premier technology institutes of country are tweaking the number of students in some of those courses. They are introducing new or interdisciplinary programmes in keeping with a government directive to plan their courses based on popularity and employability.
Indian Institutes of Technology in Delhi and Kanpur (IIT Delhi and IIT Kanpur), have plan to reduce the number of seats in unpopular courses and divert them to popular ones. The latter may even stop its nuclear engineering technology programme due to lack of interest from students.
The Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) recently told all centrally funded technical institutions, including IITs, to close centres and end courses that have seen a decline in the number of applicants in the past three years. The ministry also told them to introduce new courses and disciplines only after analysing market opportunity (popularity), employability and requirement of higher education.
Deputy Director at IIT Kanpur, Manindra Agrawal said “As the employment opportunities are limited under this programme, we are looking at merging this with mechanical engineering. A call would be taken soon on this”. Agrawal said, “Another reason for merging this programme with mechanical engineering is the fact that we have not been able to get teaching faculty”.
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IIT Kanpur is also reducing the number of seats in metallurgical engineering, which is not seen to be so popular, and offering as many seats in more popular programmes.
IIT Delhi is considering lowering the number of seats in some streams that are currently not popular in its BTech graduate programmes. However, the total number of seats at IIT Delhi under B-Tech would not reduce as the institute plans to increase seats in more popular programmes.
Director at IIT Delhi V Ramgopal Rao said, “The popularity of a programme much depends on the employment prospects”. He said the institute does not plan to shut down any centre.
An IIT Bombay spokesperson said the issue of revision in seats allocation or closure of any discipline does not arise because all the seats get allotted in the joint counselling process. The institute is considering new programmes BSc Economics and PhD in Centre for Policy Studies from the autumn session of 2017, in line with government directive.
Dean Academic Course of IIT Madras V Jagadeesh Kumar said,” there are no plans to reduce the number of seats in any course or stream. Even, they also have no immediate plans to introduce new programmes.
However, IIT Madras is introducing interdisciplinary dual-degree programmes as an option for existing students to choose. “We also plan to start online MTech programmes for industry personnel,” Kumar said.
The proposal for new programmes is mooted by the programmes committee of departments, which, in turn, is examined by the programmes committee of the institute for possible recommendation to the senate. Senate takes the final decision.
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