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Business News/ News / India/  IIT-Delhi seeks to draw young engineers with new curriculum

MUMBAI : Indian Institute of Technology (IIT)-Delhi is overhauling its syllabus after a decade to weave in sustainability and bring in flexibility in engineering courses to engage the younger generation.

The institute, established in 1961, is reaching out to India Inc, recruiters and education consultants to bring in more experiential ways of learning.

The publicly funded institute is concerned that its corpus of 600 crore falls way short of what it needs— 10,000-12,000 crore—to build infrastructure and offer better options to grow the institute.

“We are in the midst of curriculum review. We are seeing what we can do for the first-year students to excite them. Every 10 years or so we go through a complete curriculum review. We have set up a set of goals in terms of what we want the new curriculum to be," Rangan Banerjee, director at IIT-Delhi told Mint.

The new curriculum for different subjects taught at the college is expected to be rolled out in the 2024 academic session.

The institute’s decision to overhaul also comes on the back of new-age technologies, teaching methods and expectations of students. Banerjee said higher education all over the world is facing a “challenge" in terms of attention spans because of the impact of social media.

“Sources of information are different, expectations are different. To align to meet these things, and then to excite needs a different kind of orientation," said the director.

The institute plans to make about 13,000 students in the campus “future ready" by weaving in concepts of sustainability , flexibility and have more “project related courses". Along with the students, efforts are underway to upskill the teachers and India Inc, recruiters and education sector experts are getting consulted.

The changes in IIT-Delhi come on the back of IITs trying different ways to up their fund-raising effort. The funds from the government across the 23 IITs are often not enough to meet the expenses.

“We are a publicly funded institution that attracts best students from across the country from completely different backgrounds. Unlike IIMs we cannot recover costs from the students," said Banerjee. Depending on the program , the tuition fee at IITs for a four-year engineering program is about 8 lakh. In comparison , India’s premier management colleges, the Indian Institute of Managements, can be as much as 30 lakh plus for a two-year MBA course.

“We need funds for infrastructure. We used to get grant for infra but now even the infra grant is relatively low...We have corpus of 600 -700 crore . We need corpuses for IIT Delhi of the order of 10,000-20,000 crore. Then we can say we are making a difference," said the director detailing that the college has an annual expenditure of 1400 crore.

IIT-Delhi, like its peers, takes part in competitive grants, owns intellectual property rights, has stake of 2-3% in startups that are incubated within the campus, as revenue streams. It plans to take up more socially relevant projects and is coaxing its alumni and corporates to up their funding for the college. The 60-year old institute said it needs “significant amount of funds" for upkeep and better infrastructure.

IIT-Delhi is not the only one where funding is a “concern". The IITs are worried about the lack of adequate manpower who understand the art of fundraising from corporates and alumni. The IITs are heading US for fundraising, wooing donors by showcasing the work done in science and technology but say concept of “giving back" to alma mater is very nascent in India.

According to a Mint analysis , seven of the older IITs— IIT- Delhi, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Madras, IIT-Kanpur, IIT-Kharagpur, IIT-Roorkee and IIT-Kanpur—have received more than 1300 crore as donations from corporates and alumni.

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Devina Sengupta
Devina Sengupta reports on the shifts in India Inc’s workplaces, HR policies and writes about the developments at India’s biggest conglomerates. Her stories over the last decade have been picked up and followed by Indian and international news outlets. She joined Mint in 2022 and previously worked with The Economic Times and DNA-Money.
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Updated: 18 Sep 2023, 11:15 PM IST
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