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IIT Madras admits first batch of students to first online BSc degree in programming and data science

The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras (IIT Madras), is admitting 8,154 students to the first batch of its first online BSc degree in programming and data science.

The unique blend of online instruction and in-person assessment used in this programme has helped reach a very large number of students without compromising on the quality of education.

The students can also enrol for the foundational-level courses, which will be offered from January 2021. Of the 8,154 students, 1,922 are women and 6,232 men. Learners from various age groups and educational backgrounds applied for the qualifier.

As many as 1,593 learners were from the arts, science and commerce background while 3,450 learners were from an engineering background.

The unique features of this new programme have enabled the creation of a qualifying process in which training is imparted to the prospective students. The dream of studying in an IIT is now open for realisation to all learners as long as they have an interest in this field of study and are willing to put in effort.

A total of 30,276 candidates had applied for the first qualifier. They were given access to the first month’s online classes. A highly qualified content support team, specifically selected for this purpose, conducted nearly 400 hours of live sessions to support the learning process of the learners. Learners enjoyed a vibrant and lively experience — the discussion forum in each of the courses had more than 2,000 threads!

IIT Madras director Bhaskar Ramamurthi congratulates the selected students. “I would like to congratulate all the learners who have successfully cleared the qualifier process. IIT Madras is happy to welcome the first batch of students to the foundation level of the BSc degree programme. IIT Madras is doing everything possible to give a great learning experience to the students. The courses are delivered through a state-of-the-art online portal. Students are given the opportunity to participate in live sessions to clarify their doubts. The exams are conducted in-person so that the academic rigour of the programme is maintained,” he said.

Only learners with a minimum required average assignment scores in all four courses were eligible to appear for the in-person invigilated qualifier exam. A total of 20,396 learners were eligible to write the qualifier exam, which was conducted on November 22. Four weeks of refreshing yet intense content, three engaging assignments and one scrutinising exam closed out the qualifier process.

IIT Madras launched this new degree programme building on its vast experience with online education obtained through its leadership in the NPTEL programme. The specialisation of this degree pervades almost every aspect of human endeavour today and therefore a learner qualified in this area can expect a significant increase in professional opportunities.

Andrew Thangaraj, professor In-charge, IIT Madras Online Degree Programme, said this programme offers a lot of flexibility to students to learn at their own pace. “There are three different stages in this programme — foundation, diploma and degree. Students can choose their own pace while registering for courses and, upon completion, receive a certificate, diploma or a degree at various exit points from IIT Madras.”

Prathap Haridoss, professor-in-charge, IIT Madras Online Degree Programme, spoke about the students’ response. “Since the launch of the programme, we have been receiving very good response from the learners. We are glad to know that nearly 30% of the learners who have applied for the qualifier process are working professionals from IT, banking, manufacturing, finance, law, healthcare, marketing and other sectors.”

IIT Madras has now announced the start of the second qualifier process. Students may fill in the application form to enrol, upload the required documents and pay the application fee of Rs 3,000.

Students will have access to four weeks of course content for the qualifier training process as well as the qualifier examination. The last date to apply is February 6, 2021. The second qualifier process will start in the first week of March 2021. Learners can fill in their applications by clicking here.