Innovative B. Tech Curriculum
The B. Tech curriculum is designed keeping in mind the need to produce well-rounded graduates many of whom will go on to join industry in technical or managerial roles, or to join the administrative services as technocrats, while a few aspire to research careers. Some may even go on to become entrepreneurs. Thus, at IIT Mandi, the students are exposed to a broad range of knowledge and skills that will enable them to perform well in tomorrow's increasingly complex and inter-dependent world. A B.Tech. student at IIT Mandi will study foundation courses in basic sciences, engineering sciences and practice, humanities and social sciences, and the core in his/her chosen discipline. Electives in the discipline will enable the student to develop significant knowledge in a specialized area with exposure to research trends and developments. The category of free/open electives outside the chosen discipline will enable the student to obtain significant inter-disciplinary knowledge. The student can consult a 'Faculty Advisor' with regard to the planning of curriculum and other academic issues.
In addition, the curriculum allows specialization in a 'Minor' area, by taking a set of 3-4 courses in another discipline. For example, a Mechanical engineering student can qualify for a minor in Computer Science or even German Studies.
The degree program allows the student to go on exchange visits of up to two semesters to other universities both in India and abroad and also to industry for course work and projects. Some B. Tech students have already availed of the opportunities to study at Institutions such as Blekinge Tekniska Hogskola, Sweden, Technical University of Munich, Germany, and Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. Several MOUs, including one with the TU9 Universities in Germany, are in place to provide the framework for such exchange visits.
An important aspect of the curriculum is the integration of innovation and design into the learning process. This is achieved through a 'Design Practicum' Model of learning, which is built into the curriculum. Thus, in the first year, the student carries out a 'reverse engineering' project, where student teams dismantle a common gadget/equipment, understand how it works and then put it back together in working order! At the second year level, student teams propose product ideas and then build working prototypes of these products. Many of these product ideas are useful to the society. The products which were successfully built and demonstrated last year include a low cost 3-D printer, a versatile hybrid phone charger, a 3D visualizer and a model of an automatic vehicle parking system.
At the third year level, the students have the option of working on an 'Interdisciplinary Socio-Technical Project' (ISTP). In this project, student teams explore some of the issues/problems of society and propose technology-based solutions for them and also evaluate them from various angles. Some of the ISTP student teams have students from IIT Mandi and from WPI, Boston, working together. Finally, during the fourth year, the students have the option of doing a Final Year Project either individually or in a group.
Overall, the curriculum at IIT Mandi is designed to encourage and enable the student to become well-qualified and well-rounded engineers in all respects.