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IITs, NITs may do away with courses in earth science, nuclear engineering

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Business Standard | Vinay Umarji  |  Ahmedabad  | March 24, 201 |

MHRD has asked centrally funded technical institutes to discontinue courses seeing low demand

In response to the Ministry of Human Resource Development’s (MHRD’s) direction to centrally funded technical institutes (CFTIs) that they discontinue centres and courses that are etting few takers, the latter have said they have already been doing so on a regular basis. The MHRD has asked CFTIs to close down branches and courses which have seen a fall in applicants in the past few years and instead introduce new courses and disciplines after analysing market opportunity, employability and requirement in terms of research and entrepreneurship. CFTIs, including the premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs), have been phasing out courses and streams that do not interest enough students or upgrading them into something more viable.
Now, with the MHRD also asking the institutes to follow through, some of the courses and streams that may be discontinued or upgraded include those in earth science, nuclear engineering, fuel engineering, linguistic computing and bioscience, among others.
According to the institutes, the lack of interest in certain courses is found almost always in the post graduate programmes, since most of the undergraduates courses find 100 per cent takers. “There is no simple formula. In a particular stream, if faculty for only that stream are being deployed but are not finding enough takers, then they need to be relooked. What the ministry is asking us to do, we have been doing it routinely. Last year, we discontinued a post graduate course in nuclear engineering. We start new programmes based on specialisations needed in the industry,” said Bhaskar Ramamurthy, director of IIT Madras.  Another IIT too, recently, upgraded its reliability engineering post graduation course to quality engineering. At IIT Delhi, the curriculum undergoes a change periodically every five years, with the latest change likely to be conducted this year, said Joby Joseph, associate dean — curriculum at the institute.  NITs too have seen courses such as linguistic computing done away with. On the other hand, experts state that CFTIs need to design courses for areas like data analytics and business analytics which are in high demand within the industry. “There are courses in nano technology and biotechnology that have been doing well. However, in other areas, job opportunities are less and hence are not finding enough applicants. These are mostly in post graduate diploma courses since they are highly specialised ones. While some of them are already doing it, most of the IITs and NITs need to look at newer courses in data analytics which has a high employability potential,” opined M V Reddy, president at TIME, the education training company that trains students for IITJEE, CAT, GMAT and GATE, among other. –  Courtesy
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