After the approval of the National Education Policy (NEP) by the Centre in July 2020, the India Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, has taken a proactive stance towards assessing the proposed guidelines and exploring appropriate measures for the implementation of the policy's recommendations.
Giving an insight into the steps taken up the premier institute to implement the Centre's policy, Director, IIT Delhi Prof V Ramgopal Rao said, “As an Institute of Eminence, IIT Delhi is fully cognizant of its role in the timely and proper execution of educational policies. The Institute is carefully examining the structure and nature of its existing programs, which could provide a strong foundation for introducing the NEP 2020 directives. Over the last many months, a committee for the implementation of NEP 2020 has carefully considered all Higher Education-related guidelines. Currently, feedback on the committee’s report is being sought from all academic units for further deliberations.”
IIT Takes several initiatives
Prof Rao also added that the institute has recently taken several initiatives to form new schools, departments, and centres at the Institute with multi-disciplinary teaching and research programs, which dovetail nicely with the broad objectives of the NEP 2020. A new department named ‘Department of Energy Science and Engineering’ has recently been created.
Transportation Research and Injury Prevention Programme (TRIPP), which was running at the Institute since 2002 as an interdisciplinary programme has been converted into a full-fledged center in 2021. Another new center named Optics and Photonics Centre has been created that will focus on doctoral and PG cources including special programmes for industry professionals.
The Institute also has in recent years started a School of Public Policy, School of Artificial Intelligence, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, and the Department of Design, which is all highly interdisciplinary in nature. IIT Delhi’s School of Interdisciplinary Research (SIRe), which has been around since 2017 also promotes interdisciplinarity.
IIT courses initiated
According to officials, IIT already has multiple inter-disciplinary undergraduate programs, and several more are in the pipeline. Two new BTech programs of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary nature namely BTech in Engineering and Computational Mechanics, and BTech in Materials Engineering were started in the Academic Year 2020-21.
More interdisciplinary programs are being started, such as a BTech program in Energy Engineering is starting in the Academic Year 2021-22, and Bachelor of Design in 2022-23. It has been planned to start a BTech program in Design from 2025-26.
IIT Delhi is also starting two new multidisciplinary programs at the PG level, i.e., MTech in Electric Mobility, and Master of Public Policy from 2021-22. Discussions are underway for an M. Tech. program in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.
IIT Delhi already offers several options for multiple exits from programs and movement between programs. In order to make the options even more flexible, as envisioned in NEP 2020, a committee has been constituted to examine the same and make recommendations for implementation.