The credit definition at IITD and widely used at other institutions sets limits for one credit as follows: for 1 hour of in-class contact in lecture or tutorial along with one hour of self study, or 2 hours of laboratory work with two hours of self study for every one lecture credit and one hour of every tutorial and laboratory credit. Here, self study includes assignments, home work, reading the assigned material, revision, project work, etc. For the traditional load of 5 theory courses and 3 practical courses the weekly in-class contact is typically 15 (L) + 4 (T) + 10 (P) for 29 hours inclass contact and 24 credits, which requires 15+4+5 = 24 hours of self-study. The weekly time for academics works out to 53 which is on the higher side. With 4 theory courses and 3 practical courses, the load works out to: in class 12 (L) + 4 (T) + 10 (P) = 26 hours corresponding to 21 credits. The self study component becomes 12+4+5 = 21 hours; the time for academics now is 47 hours per week which is in line with load at similar institutions elsewhere. Total credit requirements for an eight semester undergraduate degree programme, therefore, should be around the ball park figure of 20-21 x 8 = 160-168. The Committee, keeping the academic requirements in mind, recommends that at IIT Punjab the credit requirements for the undergraduate engineering degree be 163 credits. This number is less than that prevailing at the present at most IITs but more in line with comparable institutions worldwide. This reduced load on the student means that he/she can devote more time for study of the courses registered. The faculty should enable this in-depth rigorous study by suitably designing the course and, especially, the self-study material.
The salient features of this distribution are as follows:
- The sum of minimum requirements of all categories is 141. The balance 22 credits can be opted for by the student giving him/her flexibility in selecting courses according to his/her interest.
- The average load per semester is about 20 credits.
- It is possible for a student to complete the course requirements in 7 semesters and utilize the 8th semester for the Capstone Project or the Industry Internship over and above the credits requirements.
- Registration as full-time student for 8 semesters is mandatory for completing graduation requirements.
- NCC, NSS or NSO requirements would be over and above these requirements.
- Every student would have to take at least one course (in any appropriate category) related to Environment.
- Only some of the categories have the possibility of defining a minimum core that is programme specific. The Committee recognizes it is possible that all the knowledge (as defined by subjects) that is felt to be important to contemporary engineering and technology may not find a place in the core. Curriculum planners will have to prioritize and curriculum implementers would have to motivate students to go either beyond the degree requirements or choose wisely.
- One of the most important aspects of post-school education is that students should learn how to learn. Conventional teaching-learning processes do not adequately address this aspect. It is proposed that at each student should study one course from the regular listings as an independent learning course, one that is not being taught as a regular course that semester. The teacher will assign reading material and assignments, term papers, etc. and be available for and hour every week for discussions with the student. Tests will be held as usual.
The curriculum followed at IIT Ropar provides for a science-based engineering education, with a view to produce quality engineer-scientists. If facilitates broad-based knowledge acquisition and, simultaneously, nurtures a temper for life-long learning and exploration. Students are encouraged to go beyond the classroom to conduct and carry out independent work by means of research projects, guided reading, and by allowing them to join the research activities undertaken by faculty members. The idea behind such a fashioning of the curriculum is the belief that classroom activities must be supplemented by independent study and also by individual research that broadens one’s horizon and provides for opportunities to bring one’s ideas to fruition. The academic programme at the institute follows a semester-based credit system. The prominent feature of the credit system is the process of continuous evaluation of a student’s performance and the flexibility to allow a student to progress at an an optimum pace suited to his/her ability or convenience, subject to fulfilling minimum requirements for continuation. A minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) is necessary for satisfactory progress and continuation in the programme.