The New Indian Express | By Ram M Sundaram | 03rd April 2016 |
CHENNAI: The IIT Council, the governing body of all the Indian Institutes of Technology, is planning to introduce six-year integrated MSc, MTech programmes at select institutes soon. If this is indeed taken up, it would be the first ever such initiative in its history, said sources. During its last meeting held in October 2015, the IIT Council gave it final nod to the proposal. While a few IITs were looking at modifying the course structure further, a few others intend to offer this integrated post graduation course in select engineering streams soon. The new course would be similar to the five-year integrated BTech MTech programmes already available at most of the IITs across the country. According to sources in the Education Ministry, IIT Kharagpur was the forerunner in this, obtaining the approval from its Senate and Board during the recent meetings for implementing this six-year course in Petroleum Engineering from the forthcoming academic year . It intends to expand it soon to other departments in the college.
But IITs like the ones at Bhubaneswar and Indore have asked their respective senates to take the call after further deliberations, and are likely to go in for further modifications. In a reply to the council regarding action taken in this regard, IIT Ropar and Gandhinagar have said that they had ‘noted down’ the decision, implying that the implementation was kept pending. “More details regarding the course structure, fees and eligibility would be discussed during subsequent IIT Council meetings. But in general, in case of integrated courses, both the degrees would be provided to successful candidates on completion together,” said a senior All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) official. IIT Madras director Bhaskar Ramamurthi said this six-year course would not happen this year. The decision comes in the backdrop of the apex regulator body, the University Grants Commission, asking the IITs last August to change the course duration of dual five-year programmes (BTech, M Tech and BS MS) to six years, according to a 2014 Gazette Notification on nomenclature and duration of 129 recognised degrees in 700-odd degree granting institutions. The IIT had opposed this stating that they were not governed by the University Grants Commission Act of 1956, but by the IIT Act, 1961, which doesn’t restrict the duration of integrated courses. However, the ministry backed commission and the row between the IIT and the UGC was reportedly taken to the Law Ministry. – Courtesy