To democratise quality education and remove barriers, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras has launched an online B.Sc. degree in programming and data science.
Data science is one of the fastest growing sectors that is predicted to create 11.5 million jobs by 2026. The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2022, data analyst and scientist will be among number one emerging job roles in the world.
Speaking at the launch, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, "This programme not only embraces the trend of moving education online but also provides a platform to create skilled and employable women and men in a data-driven world."
Over a call, Ramamurthi told Business Today that the reason they have chosen these courses is because of their suitability for online delivery.
He added that while the lectures will be in English, it will have transcription in regional languages as subtitles to enable better understanding. "We recognise the problem of language in India but the job market needs English as the medium of language. We have found in other online courses that transcription in multiple regional languages works very well. It is a great way for students to hone their English language skills also."
The programme will be delivered via the institutes' online portal. The program will have videos from the faculty that will be sent to students at regular intervals following which they will have weekly assignments. There will also be in-person invigilated exams just like any other regular course every month for which students will be required to go to an exam centre in their city.
The course has multiple entry and exit points that allow learners to choose whether they want to do a Certificate, Diploma or a Degree course. At each stage, students will have the freedom to exit from the program.
Applicants can be from any discipline and based anywhere in India. The programme is open to anyone who has passed Class XII, with English and Maths at the Class X level, and is enrolled in any on-campus UG course. Even the current batch of students who are completing their Class XII in 2020 are eligible to apply. Graduates and working professionals can also take up this programme.
Based on the eligibility, interested candidates will have to fill a form and pay a nominal fee of Rs 3,000 for the qualifier exam. In contrast to the typical admission procedure of IITs in which various students compete for limited number of in-campus seats, in this programme the ones who clear (with an overall score of 50 per cent) the qualifier exam will be eligible to register for the foundational program.
HRD union minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' launched the programme along with minister of state for HRD Sanjay Dhotre and Dr. Pawan Kumar Goenka, Chairman, Board of Governors, Director and the faculty of the institute. Prof. Anil Sahasrabudhe, Chairman of AICTE was also part of this launch.
"Analysis reveals that every year 7 to 7.5 lakh Indian students go abroad in search of better education and our talent as well as our revenue goes outside the country. Institutions such as IIT Madras have the vision and mission to help the nation move forward on its path to self-reliance by bringing such quality education and unique courses right here in India," Pokhriyal said.
"In the world today, education is a continuous process. Students and professionals have to continue to upgrade their knowledge to stay competitive and work within the constraints of time and location...Data science and programming is a field of most significant growth for the industry and with this online degree opportunity in this important area, IIT Madras will be able to reach many more students," Dhotre said.