IIT Madras Boosts Academic Flexibility and Entrepreneurship Opportunities for Students

IIT Madras has revamped its BTech curriculum to address modern technology challenges, offering students a flexible and rigorous program. It also allows for early exits, enhancing student freedom.
A view of the New Academic Complex in IIT Madras

IIT Madras

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) has reinvented its BTech curriculum better to equip students for the challenges of modern technology. This updated curriculum is the most student-friendly engineering program in India, offering both academic rigour and flexibility. Additionally, the revamped programs provide opportunities for early exits for students seeking greater freedom.
These changes have been made based on the thorough recommendations of an Institute Curriculum Task Force, focusing on employment, research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. The Institute has enhanced the Academic System to provide unparalleled flexibility, expanded interdisciplinary learning, hands-on projects, and entrepreneurship opportunities as early as the second year of the BTech program.
Expanding Opportunities and Streamlining Pathways:
Following extensive feedback from alumni and students, the total number of credits in the B.Tech program has been rationalised. This has led to a reduction in the wall clock hours required for the degree, from 436 to 400 hours. This change provides students with more flexibility to explore professional and entrepreneurial avenues.
Moreover, IIT Madras offers a unique opportunity to pursue an M.Tech. alongside a B.Tech. within five years. Additionally, the institute provides interdisciplinary degrees in cutting-edge fields such as Nanotechnology, Data Science, and Electric Vehicles, among others. These programmes are tailored to meet industry demands and can be seamlessly pursued alongside B.Tech. studies.
Welcoming students to avail these unique opportunities, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, of IIT Madras, said, “IIT Madras will accord the highest priority for Innovation and entrepreneurship. With more than 380 patents filed in last financial year, IIT Madras has launched an ambitious start-up 100 program - every third day, a start-up will be born at IIT Madras.”
IIT Madras Incubation Cell is India’s leading deep-tech incubator that has nurtured disruptive start-ups like Agnikul, which recently launched the world’s first 3D-printed Rocket Engine, Mindgrove, which designed, manufactured & booted up India’s first commercial RISC V-based secure IoT system on chip and Ather, which is leading the EV scooter revolution in India besides Planys, which pioneered underwater, AI-based remotely operated vehicles, among many others.
Students can choose about 40 per cent of their courses, which enables customisation and personalization. IIT Madras has 18 academic departments and numerous advanced research centres, which allow students to explore diverse interests and build a unique academic profile.
Highlighting these opportunities, Prof. Prathap Haridoss, Dean (Academic Courses), IIT Madras, said, “IIT Madras has a curriculum that helps the student express their uniqueness while still maintaining a core identity. Competence with a personality. We are delighted that students can rediscover the joy of learning thanks to the flexibilities and features of the new curriculum.”
These major updates have eliminated the need for a branch change option. Further, the Institute also has an ‘Early Exit’ option to pursue alternative paths.
Enhanced Student Experience and Academic Flexibility:
Further, IIT Madras also offers an improved first-year experience with four weeks of extra vacation time for students in the first year and has also introduced a new ‘recreation’ course. Students have the option of taking an Entrepreneurship elective as early as in their second year.
The academic program at IIT Madras is split into courses, which are academic subjects offered by various departments. Each course has a specific number of credits. The credits represent the ‘weightage’ or ‘importance’ of the course. The Core Courses are mandatory for students of a particular department while elective courses are optional courses that students can choose from a pool. This means students can build their curriculum.
IIT Madras also has state-of-the-art infrastructure for activities such as sports, research, innovations, entrepreneurship and student clubs.
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