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Double major, semester away programme, no branch change: IIT Kharagpur announces curriculum reforms for UG students

The branch change option at the end of BTech first year admitted through JEE Advanced is abolished to reduce the level of stress some students undergo to secure higher grades for branch change and availability of the option.

New Delhi :- The Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur (IIT Kharagpur) on April 1 has announced several reforms in its UG programmes for sessions starting from the academic year 2024-25. The reforms are in line with the National Educational Policy (NEP 2020), IIT Kharagpur said. 

From the academic year 2024-25, admission to all UG programmes will be for five-year – BTech and BS levels only. The students will be able to opt for the five-year dual degree programmes after the second or third year of their study. 

Depending upon their suitability and interest, the students can choose a five-year dual degree programme in his/her parent department or he/she can also choose the interdisciplinary dual degree programmes (IDDP) offered by several schools and centres of the institute. 

This, as per an IIT Kharagpur statement, seeks to create interesting possibilities such as a BS (Hons) in Economics with MTech in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning or a BTech (Hons.) in Civil Engineering with MTech in Financial Engineering. 

These changes will help the students make informed choices after spending a few semesters at IIT Kharagpur for a dual degree, instead of choosing before they join the institute.

The branch change option at the end of the first year for UG students admitted through JEE Advanced is abolished. This is done to reduce the level of stress some students undergo to secure higher grades for branch change and the availability of the option. 

Less than 10 per cent of the students manage to change their branch every year, leaving the remaining 90 per cent of students who undergo depression, sometimes resulting in serious mental health issues and poor performance in subsequent semesters. 

Double major programme, Minor specialisation

The UG students taking admission in 2024 will have the option of earning simultaneously a “double major” along with the BTech (Hons) or BS (Hons) degree in the departments in which they take admission. 

The ‘Double Major’ programme will be offered by several departments. The students can register for a ‘Double Major’ in any discipline after the first year. For example, a student pursuing a BTech (Hons) in mechanical engineering can opt for a ‘Double Major’ in economics or a student pursuing BS (Hons) in Physics can opt for a ‘Double Major’ in electronics and electrical communications engineering or artificial intelligence and machine learning. 

Also, the institute will offer the students the possibility of earning a “Minor” or a “Micro-Specialisation” in many of the disciplines of their interest. Taking into account the rapid developments in “Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning (AI/ML)” and its huge potential for the nation, studying at least one AI/ML elective will be made mandatory for all students along with several other electives being offered in areas such as linguistics, happiness and well-being, Indian knowledge systems, performing arts etc.  

Semester Away Programme

IIT Kharagpur will also introduce the Semester Away Program (SAP) for undergraduate students from the academic year 2024-25. Under SAP, a UG student can spend one semester either in another reputed national or international institute or industry or research laboratory and earn full credits equivalent to the semester credits. If required, the UG students can also combine their mandatory summer internship of 8-weeks along with the semester-long SAP program, thus getting an opportunity to spend almost 8 months in another reputed organisation/ industries anywhere in the world.

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