Innovations in Academics
IIT Gandhinagar is an Institution that fosters excellence in learning, research, scholarship and
innovation, and that helps create global leaders in different fields of endeavour. Clearly, to go
beyond the typical institutes in India, IITGN must adopt ways and means that go beyond the
practices elsewhere. It thrives on certain basic principles of education, like encouraging
curiosity and creativity, impart an abiding value system, socio-cultural context, team work and
leadership, open-ended learning, broad-based education aimed at meeting multiple
expectations, transcending conventional disciplinary barriers, and continuous feedback on
actions. While growing in the number of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, each
programme is built and nurtured on the same principles. To bring the objectives to reality a
number of initiatives have been taken over time and the Institute feels proud to be highly
experimental and innovative in higher education with student centric approach in any
Liberal Branch Change Rules
The rules for changing one’s discipline/’branch’ at IITGn have been made far more liberal than those of other IITs. Students are exposed to all opportunities available in each branch of engineering to empower them to make an informed branch change. With this in mind, IITGn created a record of sorts where all branch change requests could be accommodated in the year 2010. It followed a similar pattern in the subsequent years with most requests being granted within the prescribed norms.
The Institute recognizes students who have exhibited exemplary academic performance through a ‘Dean’s list’ each semester as a confidence building exercise and also as a tool for encouraging students to realize their true academic potential. About 25% of the undergraduate students are estimated to receive this appreciation which makes the goal achievable for several students.
Self Learning Mode
The institute does not prescribe any attendance policy and all decisions pertaining to attendance related issues are entirely left at the instructor’s discretion. The institute has a provision of study in self-learning mode bearing the following features.Students absenting themselves for more than 3 classes during the first 3 weeks or,more than 6 classes during the first 5 weeks to be declared to be in the “self-learning mode” for that particular course. Such students will thereafter be free not to attend any more lectures of that particular course. Their names will be removed from the attendance sheet. They need not submit any assignments; if they do, those will not be graded. They need not appear in any quizzes or mid-semester examinations; if they do those too will not be graded. The performance of such students will be evaluated on the basis of the end semester examination score alone. That is, their final examination score will be compared with that of the other students (who are not in self learning mode) and awarded the grade. The parents of students going on the “self-learning mode” are liable to be informed of this.In case of laboratory courses, every student is expected to attend all the laboratory sessions failing which they are liable to be awarded a Fail grade as applicable.
Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) is an initiative to help the first year B.Tech students who struggle to adapt to English as the medium of instruction in their courses. It is based on the policy of engaging students outside classrooms by seeking help from peer educators, which also improves interaction among the student community. The students engage with their seniors in interactive discussions in English and other curriculum-related topics. This service has been extended to second-year students as well who may still require some assistance from those of their own institutional level.
Guided Process Scheme (GPS) is a provision made to help students with a lower show of academic performance wherein the students are mentored and their performance monitored on a regular basis by a faculty advisor. The students are allowed to take up courses at a slower pace by clearing their backlog first and systematically planning out the completion of their programme. This initiative has proved to be very effective in handling students in special need.
Seminar and Lectures
The Institute organizes several seminars and workshops by invitees to have a continuous flow of visitors and to allow interaction with personae from different educational spheres.
A comprehensive viva voce has been introduced as a mandatory curricular activity which helps the institute to identify weaknesses on an individual basis and obtain feedback on the Institute’s mechanisms.
Emphasis on Humanities and Social Sciences
The IITGn curriculum contains the largest HSS content as compared to any engineering curriculum in the country, with a graduation requirement being the completion of at least 8 HSS courses. These courses are aimed at keeping the students well-informed of the happenings in the social and cultural spheres, and at letting them understand the importance of ethics and values in their lives. Humanities play a crucial role in moulding individuals into stronger personalities with better judgement and sense of responsibility. Courses being taught include literature and language, philosophy, sociology, Indian heritage, anthropology, journalism and more.
Apart from the regular courses, you can also choose different courses called electives, which may or may not be related to your branch.The institute has de-compartmentalized the elective courses it offers to enable students to opt for them based primarily on their interest, prior knowledge (where needed), and course options exercised earlier. The courses are allowed to be counted in any of the ‘baskets’ (of requirements), such as department electives, minors, honors, etc., based on their essences.
IITGn has specially designed a Short Course Series for the well-rounded growth of its individuals. Each short course has a duration of 8-10 hours conducted over a span of 1-2 days. These are conducted by guest lecturers on topics apart from those part of the regular curriculum. Each course earns the students one credit which is mentioned on the final grade sheet and is entirely voluntary on the student’s part. Examples of topics covered include Democracy, Entrepreneurship, Literature, Cosmology, Energy Efficiency, etc.