The first batch of students to take the International Joint M.Tech. Degree in Food Science and Technology (IMDFST) at IIT Guwahati are graduating this year.
The International Joint M.Tech. degree is a joint academic exercise of IIT Guwahati’ Departments of Chemical Engineering, Bio-sciences and Bio-engineering, Chemistry and the School of Agro and Rural Technology with the United Graduate School of Agricultural Science of Gifu University, Japan.
A total of eight students – four students each from IIT Guwahati and Gifu University – comprise the first batch of graduates of this course. The IIT Guwahati students will receive their degrees during the upcoming Convocation.
Started in 2019, the IMDFST program at IIT Guwahati is only such degree in India that enables an enrolled student to receive an International M.Tech. degree with a mutually participating curriculum.
The ‘participatory curriculum’ of this course provides equal credit-based learning of both theory and research components, enabling an Indian student to earn both Indian credits and Japanese credits based on independently and jointly designed and taught courses by both IIT Guwahati and Gifu University. Similar participatory curriculum is also applicable for Japanese students.
The interdisciplinary course academic theme of Food Science and Technology provides a fine balance between sciences (chemistry and bio-science) and engineering (chemical engineering and bio-technology) disciplines. Since inception, the Department of Chemical Engineering, IIT Guwahati has been coordinating the IMDFST curriculum till date.
Highlighting the unique aspects of this program, IMDFST Course Coordinator Prof. Vaibhav V. Goud, Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering said, “The IMDFST program strives to remain forever as an academic beacon and flagship program of IIT Guwahati under the aegis of the Chemical Engineering Department. A pragmatic curriculum design oversaw the smooth transition to a translational research-based paradigm in the rapid advances associated to the Food Science and Technology.”
Further, Prof. Vaibhav V. Goud said, “The Japanese higher education emphasizes upon laboratory coupled engagement in the instructed theory and quicker transmission of subject-related principles into the practical framework. The Indian higher education system emphasizes sound fundamentals followed by research emphasis towards the highest levels of research excellence. Thus, the admitted students have been exposed to both systems of learning and would have their realizations for their integration for a smarter engagement and enrichment of research pedagogies.”
The curriculum spans for a duration of four semesters in which an Indian student would carry out a semester course work at IIT Guwahati followed by an incubation trimester of research activity.
Thereafter, the student would get enrolled in the Gifu University and would complete a semester of course work at Gifu University after which the students would return back to IIT Guwahati to carry out research for two semesters. Thus, all enrolled students will learn the research cultures of both top-notch institutions of India and Japan.
The course pedagogy advocates high-end research through the practical application of basic and applied principles of food science and technology. The curriculum imparts practical skills associated with research methodology and design thinking, global internship for the smarter evolution of localized food technologies for Global markets and outreach and understanding the research culture par excellence in the internationally acclaimed institutions of India and Japan.
Other notable features of the joint degree are (a) Joint supervision of both Indian and Japanese Professors and (b) Jointly designed and taught courses involving practical exercises in Food Science and Technology and Global Internship.
At IIT Guwahati, the admission process involves the selection of candidates based on (a) GATE score (b) Statement of Purpose and a Presentation on a research topic choice and (c) an Interview. Due to its highest academic and research standards, the IMDFST program received significant attention from undergraduate students in the Agricultural Engineering, Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering, Food Technology disciplines and allied disciplines.
Candidates with a very high GATE score joined the program in 2019 at IIT Guwahati. A similar selection process exists at Gifu University for the Japanese students.
The mutual academic timetables and credit systems have been respected and this ensured the greater confidence of all participating faculty and administrative setup of the respective institutes. The culture and values of both India and Japan have been duly accommodated and respected to impart integrity and research ethics in the admitted students.