IITs launch new BTech programmes to become ‘industry-ready’

The new programmes have been launched to cater to the increased demand for domain experts as industries no longer prefer straight-jacketed professionals

To cater to the growing demand for professionals in emerging domains, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have launched several new BTech programmes this academic year. The admissions will be done on the basis of JEE Advanced scores.

IIT Hyderabad will offer three new BTech programmes in Biotechnology & Bioinformatics, Computational Engineering & Industrial Chemistry from this year onwards. All three BTech programmes have a capacity of 10 seats each for this year.

Stronger industry-academic ties

“Gone are those days when companies wanted straight-jacketed professionals. In the past two years, we have consciously tried to get closer to the industries. There are hundreds of emerging areas but a lot of discussions with chemistry industries, pharma companies and polymer industry went into finalising the programmes,” BS Murty, Director, IIT Hyderabad, told indianexpress.com.

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Murty added that the UG level curriculum should be able to deliver what industries want. The institute plans to launch BTech programmes in Systems Engineering and Tech Entrepreneurship by 2023.

“We are doing away with the provision of branch change from this year onwards as a student should have some clarity about their career path with the availability of courses in almost every field of engineering,” he said.

When asked if IITs are trying to upgrade their reputation by becoming ‘industry-ready’, Murty said that the premier institutes are among the top ones in the country and do not necessarily have to prove their mettle but they do have to constantly evolve and upgrade to offer relevant courses that align with dynamic industry requirements.

Increase in demand for professionals

Similarly, IIT Guwahati and IIT Patna have recently launched BTech in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence. IIT Kanpur has also launched a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Data Science and Statistics.

Also Read |IIT Patna launches three new UG programmes, admission through JEE Advanced score

The programmes are said to be designed to train students in data science and artificial intelligence (DSAI), with emphasis on relevant courses from other disciplines of science and engineering such as computer science, electronics and electrical engineering, mathematics and statistics.

Professor Ratnajit Bhattacharjee, who is the faculty coordinator of the AI and data science programme at IIT Guwahati, said that these courses have been launched due to the increase in the demand for domain experts.

“The demand-supply scenario is dynamic and new programmes are being launched every year. Electrical engineering was in demand for many years and now computer science seems to be top rankers first choice. If data science fails to provide career opportunities, then it will automatically lose its shine,” he said.

Also Read |IIT-Kharagpur launches 4-year BS programme

IIT Guwahati had launched an MTech programme in Data Science three years ago. Now, they launched a course at the BTech level. “While the institutes did not assess students’ interest in this course directly, we always used to get queries from companies during the placement season regarding trained professionals in the field of data science,” he added.

New courses to meet current industry requirements

IIT Delhi has also launched a new BTech programme in Energy Engineering with 40 seats. KA Subramanian, who is working as a professor and currently the head of the Department of Energy Science and Engineering at IIT Delhi, said that energy engineering is not a new domain but the current needs have propelled the commencement of this programme.

“The field has been in existence for more than 40 years now but now we have come to a stage where we need to discover ways of generating and utilising clean and renewable energy. We aim to address the human resource challenges being faced in the upstream and downstream energy domains. Elective courses can only make students learn about some aspects of a field, but full-fledged programmes are needed to produce employable professionals who can meet the requirements of the complete supply chain,” he added.

Also Read |IIT-Madras launches two diploma courses in programming and data science

He further added that the total seats at IITs are also increasing with the introduction of new programmes, which will allow more students to study at premier institutes. “Around 50 per cent curriculum is common, which students in all engineering course learn but the remaining is concentrated on domain knowledge, hence students will get better employment opportunities based on their skill sets,” Subramanian said.

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