The Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur has always stayed ahead of its peers by adapting its teaching and pedagogy in line with the changing times and requirements of industry. As part of its decadal review of academic programs and associated curricula, IIT Kanpur today announced a comprehensive revamp of its curriculum, laying down a new template with path-breaking features. The transformative steps were part of the Undergraduate Academic Review Committee Report 2020-21 (UGARC 2020-21) that was approved by the IIT Senate in its meeting held during October 6-7, 2021.
Prof Abhay Karandikar, Director, IIT Kanpur said, “At IIT Kanpur we have always believed in supporting our students through a curriculum that not just enhances their skills but produces 21st century engineers and entrepreneurs who are agile and updated with the latest technological and academic innovations. The revamping of the existing curriculum, introduction of courses relevant to today’s changing world and the revised grading system is in continuation of our steps in this direction and in line with the recommendations of the National Education Policy (2020) of the Government. A key aspect of the revamp is much needed flexibility to the system enabling it to adapt to the changing academic landscape across the world. We are hopeful that these features will enable IIT Kanpur to be the preferred institute for its programs both nationally and internationally.”
IIT Kanpur already offers one of the most flexible academic programs with options of Double Major, Minor and Dual Degree with option of Masters degree in different department. The revamped curriculum will introduce new degree options including the Honours degree and options of new inter-departmental degree programs. It will also extend the scope of learning to include Social-Sciences, Communication, Humanities, Economics, Management, and Environment (SCHEME). The Core Courses will be restructured to give greater flexibility to the core curriculum. Technology will drive teaching and pedagogy to take learning to the next level. Further, the program will also enable counting of designated online courses done by students on MOOC platforms to be counted for credits.
The transformational template for undergraduate education will include innovative and disruptive features such as new opportunities for student exchange across institutions for the Masters part of the Bachelors-Masters Dual Degree program, direct admission for talented students via globally acclaimed Olympiads, academic credits for approved entrepreneurial activities and learning done in the industry set up, and an exit option degree for those students who want to leave the program in the middle.
The existing grading scheme has been made more granular with a fine-grained mechanism of student evaluation. It also envisages more avenues for guidance and counselling with a strong focus on ethics. Also included with the revamp will be ground-breaking reforms in the rules governing termination of undergraduate programs with an Exit Degree, due to inadequate student performance, in line with recommendations of the National Education Policy (2020).
The academic programs and the associated curricula at IIT Kanpur undergo a comprehensive review every ten years. The present review for the decade beginning in 2020-21 was initiated in November 2018 and was completed in September 2021 after a detailed consultative process involving the various stakeholders including the alumni. The review process began with exhaustive deliberations within a committee comprising 17 members drawn from the various academic departments as well as the student community. This was followed by a round of discussions in the departments, the Senate and an Open House involving the faculty at large as well as the student representatives. The Final Report, taking into account the feedback received from the departments, the Senate, and the Open House, was placed before the Senate for discussion, where it was subsequently approved.