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      B. Tech. Curriculum for Common Core Courses

      A Perspective on IIT Mandi’s B. Tech. Curriculum


        Goals of IIT Mandi’s B. Tech. Programme

        Historically, the IITs had a B.Tech. curriculum that was aimed at training experts in each specific branch for a career in research or engineering in the branch. The curriculum had a large and strong core covering all sub-areas of the branch in depth. There was also a substantial component in basic sciences and engineering fundamentals. The courses were carefully sequenced with the assumption that all students would take them in lock-step. With changes in society and the nature of technology, IIT Mandi has taken a fresh look at the B.Tech. curriculum.

        The Students

        The scheme of admission based on JEE ensures that students who join IIT for B.Tech. are highly intelligent and capable of hard work if sufficiently motivated. It does not ensure that they are passionate about engineering or the branch to which they have been admitted. Some do not have a strong aptitude for either. We see that IIT students after graduation go on to make their mark in a variety of ways, some far removed from their core B.Tech. branch. They may focus on technology as researchers, design engineers and professors. They may use their technical knowledge to complement other skills as technical managers, public administrators, in NGOs and policy think tanks, venture capital funds and so on. A few leave technology altogether to take up, for instance, school teaching in a village.

        The Technology Milieu

        Globalization and the rapid march of science and technology have brought dramatic changes in the nature of the engineering profession. Increasingly, engineers are called upon to deliver technology to a wide variety of people in diverse socio-economic strata, cultures, geographies and political systems. Engineering is increasingly inter-disciplinary in nature, encompassing not only a range of engineering disciplines, but also management, sociology, linguistics, history and other non-engineering disciplines.
        The rapid advance of science and technology implies that much of the knowledge that a student acquires during B. Tech. has a useful lifetime of only a few years. Conversely, much of the knowledge that an engineer will use during his/her career of 40-50 years will be learnt only after graduation. Only some very basic principles can be expected to remain current over the next half a century.

        The Desirable Outputs

        Given the above changes, it is necessary to re-orient the B.Tech. curriculum. As an Indian Institute of Technology, it is our duty to train leaders for the growth of India with a strong technology focus. The necessary and desirable characteristics of our B.Tech. graduates are:

        • Self-motivated with a passion to do something useful
        • The ability to learn quickly and devise innovative solutions
        • The ability to work hard, in a focused and disciplined manner
        • A solid foundation in basic principles and substantial practical hands-on experience
        • Sufficient specific knowledge to be immediately productive
        • The ability to communicate effectively and work with others
        • The ability to communicate effectively and work with others.
        With these characteristics, our graduates can be expected to make their mark, enhance IIT's reputation and recompense the nation for its investment in their education.

      • Curriculum Overview

        To achieve the above goals, we need a curriculum that is sufficiently flexible to the needs and aspirations of diverse students. For flexibility, it needs breadth. For students who want to master a field, it needs depth. Every student requires significant training in:

        • Basics of engineering
        • Physical and life sciences
        • Humanities, social sciences and management
        • Fundamental principles of at least one engineering discipline
        • Design and innovation
        • Teamwork and communication

        For students to explore their passion, there is a large set of electives. Over these, we superimpose formal and informal structures tailored to the typical paths that a student may take. These structures serve as guides for the students and help the outside world to evaluate each student's expertise. Given the diversity of student aspirations and the need to keep them motivated, we allow flexibility in sequencing of courses. It requires some adaptability on the part of the teachers. It also requires firmness as students realize that taking advantage of flexibility now may restrict their options in future semesters, and they clamor for timetables to be aligned to their desires.

        A broad outline of the curriculum is shown in Fig. 1. Students who are admitted to IIT are assumed to satisfy the pre-conditions: Fluency in English, solid grounding in high school sciences and maths, broad general knowledge of the humanities, civic society, common-sense, and good social skills. Deficiencies in any of these must be addressed informally by the teachers in the curriculum or formally outside the curriculum.

        The foundations of all B.Techs. are: Facility in design and innovation; strong understanding of common scientific and engineering principles and methods; and breadth of knowledge outside science and engineering i.e. in the humanities, social sciences and management.


        Next is the core of knowledge in the student's chosen branch. This is kept to the bare minimum, with principles and techniques being learnt in theory courses, in labs or in practicums.

        Finally, we have a large number of specialist baskets. Many of these are interdisciplinary. In each basket, the horizontal line divides the basic from the advanced courses.


        The boundaries in the curriculum diagram have deliberately been drawn in a vague and overlapping manner. This is to emphasize the flexibility and the inherently inter-disciplinary nature of tomorrow's B.Tech. graduate.

        Note: Fig. 1 shows the three B.Tech. disciplines that currently exist in IIT Mandi. Others can be added. The list of Specialist Baskets is only indicative, it is not intended to be exhaustive nor does it imply a commitment that they will be offered.

        Fig 1. Outline of the B.Tech Curriculum

      • Sciences
        This includes theory and experimental methods of physical and life sciences. Courses cover maths, physics, chemistry, biology, statistics and probability. Most courses are common to all students, but a few may be discipline-specific.

        Common Engineering

        By including a wide range of courses, students get prepared for the inter-disciplinary world of technology. It facilitates branch change during the 1st or 2nd year. Courses cover product design and realisation, technical graphical communication, materials science and technology, mechanics of rigid bodies and continuum mechanics, thermodynamics, computers and computation, data structures, electrical circuits and devices, electronics, energy conversion, measurements and experimental methods.

        Distribution

        The distribution of credits for each of the major components:

        • Institute Core Courses (88 Credits)
          Sciences - 25
          Common Engg - 42
          Design & Innovation Practicum - 6
          Humanities +Management- 13
          Internship - 2
        • Electives Courses (30 Credits)
          Design & Innovation Practicum (includes final year project) – 12
          Humanities Electives - 5
          Free Electives - 13
        • Discipline Core and Discipline Elective Courses (42 Credits) Discipline core - 30
          Discipline Electives – 12


        Grand Total: 160-162 Credits

        Note: Although the distribution adds up to 160, a range of 160-162 credits is specified for a B.Tech degree. This range accommodates the varying number of credits for different courses. Students are permitted to take extra credits beyond 162.

      • Ingredients

        In our fresh design of the curriculum, some useful ingredients are:

        • A strong grounding in various areas like sciences that support engineering, basics of engineering, basics of the discipline, humanities and management.
          To include all of these and still retain flexibility implies that the historically large discipline core must be drastically pruned. A very compact core for each discipline is defined.
        • Several practicums in which students work in teams to solve real problems following industrial engineering practices. The emphasis in a practicum is on use of common-sense and self-driven, just-in-time learning to devise a working solve to a problem within a fixed time frame. These start in the first few semesters to kindle students' interest in innovation and technology. In many cases, they precede the corresponding theory courses.
        • Higher credit for practical work to reflect its importance in the learning process, 1 credit for 1.5-2 hours. Labs where students do routine measurements and observations on fixed setups will be replaced by labs where students are given problems and they devise the experimental setup required.
        • A strong liberal arts component, including humanities, social sciences and management. It must be made clear to the students that some of this complements technology. At the same time, students must appreciate that a broad understanding of the liberal arts is essential for the well-rounded professional. Most students would experience something in this component almost every semester.
        • To help students structure their courses, there are specialist baskets of 3-6 courses identified for each minor area. Each basket may rest on one or more foundations. A basket may have sequences within it, i.e. advanced courses may rest on basic courses in the basket. A student who completes a certain number of credits in a basket will have this reflected as a Minor on his/her transcript. (Credits that go to satisfy the requirements of the Major discipline cannot count towards a Minor.)
        • The sequence in which courses are taken need not be from bottom to top in Fig. 1. By acquiring “lower” knowledge just-in-time on his/her own, a student can take a “higher” course early in his/her programme.
        • Typically, core courses will be 3-4 credits and electives 3 credits.


      • Discussion

        A key requirement for the success of this curriculum is that students understand the possibilities and the implications of their choices. This means that the faculty advisors should spend time to educate students about the curriculum, to encourage some of them to experiment with unusual sequences, and to help them recover if their choices turn out to be leading up a path that is wrong for them.
        A flexible curriculum with fewer compulsory courses does not imply lower quality or less rigour. A student who is passionate about, say, mechanical engineering, will follow the ME Core by electing the basic courses in all the ME baskets (Thermal, Production, etc) and will top it off with the advanced courses in some of these baskets. Including the relevant courses in the common engineering component, s/he will graduate with over 100 credits of ME, i.e., about 30 ME courses. S/he will be as thorough in mechanical engineering as a student from any other University. That s/he has chosen many of these courses as electives rather than taking them out of compulsion will in fact serve as a greater incentive to excel in them. In a traditional heavy-core curriculum, students who have got into a branch due to rank or social pressures lose interest. They are a drag on the class and become mediocre engineers. By minimizing the number of compulsory courses and offering a variety of baskets, it is likely that these students will find something about which they are passionate. They could become a pleasure to teach, and turn into very productive citizens in some field after graduation.
        Students learn ‘how to learn’ by being given challenges in courses and being guided to crack them on their own initiative. A student who is given the challenge of devising his/her curriculum would surely become a leader in his/her chosen field of endeavor.

      Definition of Credit for Theory and Lab Courses


        Theory Classes and Tutorials:

        1 credit = 1 contact hour/week (14 contact hours per semester)
        A student is expected to spend 2-3 hours outside class for every contact hour. This time is devoted to self-study, assignments and so on..

        Lab Courses, Practicals, Practicums:

        1-2 hour lab sessions per week: 1 credit
        3-4 hour lab sessions per week: 2 credits
        5 hour lab sessions per week: 3 credits
        6 hour lab sessions per week: 3 Credits
        (2 hrs of lab will carry 1 credit)
        A student is expected to spend 1 hour outside the lab per 1 lab hours, for preparation, self-study, etc.

        L-T-P-C Notation:

        L-T-P-C => Lecture – Tutorial – Practicum – Credits
        Credit structure of each course is given in L-T-P-C form (e.g. 2.5–0.5–0–3). The numbers corresponding to L, T and P denote the contact hours per week, and that of C denotes the total number of credits for that course (eg. The 3 credit course is split into 2.5 hrs lecture, and 0.5 hrs tutorial per week).

      Evaluation: Grading System and CGPA Calculation


        Grading System

        Grading is done on a 10-point scale by means of the letter grades: O, A, B, C, D, E, F. On the 10-point scale, these letter grades carry the following numerical values:

        Letter Grade:0ABCDEF
        Points equivalence: 10987640

        Where F grade is fail grade.
        In addition to the above grades, there is a temporary grade, I (Incomplete). The I-grade indicates that a small part of the total requirements of the course remains to be completed and that the student has done satisfactory work in all other aspects of the course. The I grade needs to be converted to a proper letter grade within 1 week of the start of the next semester.

        CGPA Calculation

        The performance in a semester is indicated by the Semester Grade Point Average (SGPA), which is a weighted average of the grades in all the courses done by the student in the given semester. The SGPA is calculated as follows:


        where ci stands for the credit in a course and gi the point equivalent of the grade obtained in that course. The summation is over the number of courses n in the semester.

        The performance up to any time in the course of the student’s program is indicated by the student’s Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA), which is also calculated by the above formula, except that the averaging is done over all of the courses that the student has done during his/her entire program up to that point. If the student has earned an F grade in a course in any semester, that also goes into the calculation of the CGPA. As and when the student finally clears the course, the record of the F is removed and replaced by the new passing grade, thereby modifying the CGPA. (If the student fails in an elective course, he/she needs to pass either that same course or an equivalent course chosen under the same elective slot in consultation with the faculty advisor). Thus, when the student graduates, the final CGPA is calculated on the basis of only the passing grades.

      Overall Credit Structure of Common Core Courses


        Basic Sciences:25 Credits
        Computing and Electrical Engineering:21 Credits
        Engineering:21 Credits
        Design & Innovation Practicum: (D&IP):6 Credits; 12 Credits (Optional)
        Humanities and Social Sciences:13 Credits; 5 Credits (Optional)
        Internship:2 Credits

        TOTAL CREDITS FOR COMMON CORE COURSES: 88 (105 including Optionals)

      Tentative Semester-wise Distribution of Courses

        The distribution of courses semester-wise is only indicative. Courses may be occasionally be offered in different semesters. Individual students may factor their program with the approval of the faculty advisor.

        1st Semester

        Engineering Mathematics: 3 credits
        Computation for Engineers + Lab: (3 + 2): 5 credits
        Electrical Systems Around Us + Lab: (3 + 2): 5 credits
        Graphics for design: 4 credits
        D& IP – Understanding Products through-
        Reverse Engineering (Lab): 2 credits
        HSS Course: Creative Understanding : 1 credit
        Total No. of theory courses: 5
        Total credits: 20


        2nd Semester

        Linear Algebra: 3 credits
        Mechanics of Particles and Waves: 3 credits
        Applied Electronics + Lab: 5 credits
        Engineering Thermodynamics: 4 credits
        Product Realization Technology: 2 credits
        Product Realization Technology Lab: 2 credits
        HSS Course: 3 credits
        Total no. of theory courses: 5
        Total credits: 22


        3rd Semester

        Foundations of Electrodynamics + Lab: 5 credits
        Applied Chemistry for Engineers + Lab
        (or Understanding Biotechnology & Its Applications):
        5(or 3) credits
        Discipline Core – 1: 4 credits
        Data Structure and Algorithm: 3 credits
        Mechanics of Rigid Bodies: 3 credits
        HSS Course: 3 credits
        Total no. of theory courses: 6
        Total credits: 23 / 21


        4th Semester

        Probability, Statistics and Random Processes:3 credits
        Signals and Systems:3 credits
        Discipline Core – 2:3 or 4 credits
        Materials Science for Engineers:3 credits
        Continuum Mechanics:3 credits
        D& IP Prototype Development:4 credits
        Understanding Biotechnology & Its Applications
        (or Applied Chemistry for Engineers + Lab):
        3 (or 5) credits
        Total no. of theory courses:6
        Total credits:22/ 25

      Discipline-wise Course Distributions


        • Courses from Basic Sciences

            Mathematics (TOTAL: 9 CREDITS)

          • Engineering Mathematics, IC 110, 2.5-0.5-0-3
          • Linear Algebra, IC 111, 2.5-0.5-0-3
          • Probability, Statistics and Random Processes, IC 210, 2.5-0.5-0-3

            Physics (TOTAL: 8 CREDITS)

          • Mechanics of Particles and Waves, IC 121, 2.5-0.5-0-3
          • Foundations of Electrodynamics, IC 221, 2.5-0.5-0-3
          • Physics Practicum/Practicals, IC 222P, 0-0-3-2

            Chemistry (TOTAL: 5 CREDITS)

          • Applied Chemistry for Engineers, IC 130, 3-0-0-3
          • Chemistry Practicum, IC 130P, 0-0-3-2

            Biotechnology And Life Sciences (TOTAL: 3 CREDITS)

          • Understanding Biotechnology and its Applications, IC 136, 3-0-0-3

          TOTAL CORE COURSE CREDITS FROM BASIC SCIENCES: 25


        • Courses from Common Engineering

            Computing And Electrical Engineering

          • Computation for Engineers, IC150, 3-0-0-3
          • Computation for Engineers Lab, IC 150P, 0-0-3-2
          • Data Structure and Algorithms, IC250, 1-0-3-3
          • Electrical Systems Around Us, IC160, 2.5-0.5-0-3
          • Electrical Systems Lab, IC160P, 0-0-3-2
          • Applied Electronics, IC161,3-0-0-3
          • Applied Electronics Lab, IC161P, 0-0-3-2
          • Signals and System, IC260, 2.5-0.5-0-3

          • TOTAL CORE COURSE CREDITS FROM COMPUTING AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING: 21


        • Mechanical Engineering And Material Sciences

          • Graphics for Design, IC140, 2-0-3-4
          • Product Realization Technology, IC141, 2-0-0-2
          • Product Realization Technology Lab, IC141P, 0-0-3-2
          • Engineering Thermodynamics, IC142, 3-1-0-4
          • Mechanics of Rigid Bodies, IC240, 1.5-1.5-0-3
          • Materials Science for Engineers, IC241, 3-0-0-3
          • Continuum Mechanics, IC242, 2.5-0.5-0-3


          TOTAL CORE COURSE CREDITS FROM MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AND MATERIAL SCIENCES =21


        • Courses from Humanities and Social Sciences

          The Basic Program is divided into five broad streams as follows:

            Creative Understanding

          • Art and Architecture, HS102, 0-0-2-1
          • Dance and Drama, HS103, 1-0-0-1
          • Music, HS104, 1-0-0-1


          • International Language Competence


          • Introduction to English Literature, HS151, 3-0-0-3
          • German I, HS342, 3-0-0-3
          • German II, HS352, 3-0-0-3
          • German III, HS362, 3-0-0-3


            Communicative Competence

          • Basic Communication Skills, HS105, 3-0-0-3
          • Public Speaking and Debating Skills, HS206, 3-0-0-3
          • Policy Analysis and Advocacy Skills, HS301, 3-0-0-3


            Social Competence

          • Principles of Economics, HS202, 3-0-0-3
          • Understanding Society, HS203, 3-0-0-3
          • Introduction to Political Science, HS204, 3-0-0-3

            Managerial Competence

          • Financial Accounting, HS205, 3-0-0-3
          • Organizational Management, HS304, 3-0-0-3
          • Organizational Behavior, HS403, 3-0-0-3


          TOTAL CORE COURSE CREDITS FROM HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES: 13

          TOTAL OPTIONAL CREDITS FROM HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES: 5

          The subjects taught under these headings are meant to help the students achieve fluency in language, develop self-confidence by understanding man in relation to society and the environment, voice actively social concerns to make informed personal choices and take reasoned decisions at the workplace.

          Students are invited to take at least one course from each of the five broad streams listed here.

          For each stream, there is a Program Coordinator from the School to help you make the right choices.



          • Design and Innovation Practicum

          • Reverse Engineering, IC101P, 0-0-3-2
          • Design Practicum, IC201P, 0-0-6-4
          • Interdisciplinary Socio-Technical Practicum, DP301P, 0-0-6-4
          • Major Technical Project, DP401P, 0-0-12-8


          • TOTAL CORE COURSE CREDITS FROM DESIGN & INNOVATION PRACTICUM =6

            TOTAL OPTIONAL CREDITS FROM DESIGN & INNOVATION PRACTICUM =12

      Basic Sciences

      Common Engineering

      Humanities and Social Sciences

      • Creative Understanding


        • Students may choose any one of the courses on offer:

          Art and Architecture: The course takes you on a trip through the ages to look at the masterpieces of paintings and sculptures, of frescos and friezes, of world heritage monuments and sites. Field trips to various sites in the neighborhood add to your experience and enjoyment of the subject.

          Music: This is an invitation to listen to and to appreciate rich music traditions the world over, from the sober classical to strident jazz, from the spirited folk song to the doleful soul, from reggae to rap. Trips to concerts and to folk singers in the Himalayan belt add to your experience and understanding of the language of music.

          Dance and Drama: It is a celebration of the theatrical spirit in man, of the fusion of body in motion and words in action. Explore the world of dance and drama by taking part in a theater production.

      • International Language Competence:

        • Students may choose one of the languages on offer and also the entry level they consider suitable to enhance their skills. Whether students head the West to Berlin or the East to Beijing, it is going to be a heady experience to enter a country with the only real passport, the language of that country.

          Note: Our Language Courses follow the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).

      • Communicative Competence

        • Presents students three different choices:

          Basic Communication Skills: Every word we utter tells others what we really are. The course makes you aware of the need to present yourself to others exactly the way you would like them to perceive you.

          Public Speaking and Debating Skills: How can you win over the hearts and minds of others in speech? How do you structure an argument to persuade others to accept it? The course introduces you to the basic principles of the art of effective speaking.

          Policy Analysis and Advocacy Skills: Our public life, be it economics or the environment, is influenced by policies made by various advisory and regulatory bodies to the government. In the business world, corporate concerns too have their own policies. How does one examine the deep implications of these policies? How does one go about framing policies, say science and technology policies, for sustainable development?

      • Social Competence

        Here again, you have a choice of three courses.

        Principles of Economics: How do nations generate wealth? How does the state regulate its distribution to ensure reasonable standards of living for all? What is the impact of man’s economic pursuit on environment and ecology? Is there a link between the prosperity of the developed nations and the massive poverty elsewhere? The course examines the economic principles that govern daily life; it traces the rise of consumerism from the barter economy of early societies to the casino capitalism of today. Field trips and surveys in the Himachal region shall complement your understanding.

        Understanding Society: The course invites students to examine the unfolding forms and modes of human collective living from ancient to modern times. Students will also study the institutional framework as well as living conditions of humans across distinctive historical periods. Besides, they will investigate the impact of modern life in its various forms on the mind, on marriage, on family and its breakdown and of its significance for the future. They will attempt to comprehend diverse levels of stress in modern life and the solutions attempted, also economic factors and their psycho-social impact. Field trips to various tribal communities in Himachal Pradesh complement students’ understanding.

        Political Science: Why does Aristotle describe Politics as the Master Science? Just think how difficult it is for us to maintain peace and harmony in our homes! How much more difficult would it then be to keep a country of 1.2 billion to live in peace with one another? How are we to understand Aristotle’s paradoxical assertion that “the evil in man makes society necessary but it is the good in man that makes society function.” Field trips to local communities in the neighborhood make for understanding firsthand key issues in politics, law and governance.

      • Managerial Competence

        Manage your choice from the three courses here:

        Principles of Organizational Management: From the drawing board to the shop floor, from the production lines to the market, every industrial concern is guided by the concern to streamline processes, to speed up production, and to reach the market on time, in order to maximize profits. What are the problems and unique solutions that have made business gurus into legendary figures today?
        Principles of Financial Accounting: Nothing matters like facts and figures, whether you are reporting to shareholders or to financial managers. How are standard accounting reports prepared? And for whom? How does Financial Accounting help in decision-making processes in a business concern?

        Organizational Behavior: How do individuals and groups work within an organization? How does the organizational structure condition group dynamics? Can psychological and sociological insights help to control and to predict the behavior of the workforce?

      Design and Innovation Practicum

        Design and Innovation Practicum (DIP) is a required course of undergraduate engineering core program. DIP program offers numerous challenges for both faculty and students because of the wide variety of projects in a given year as well as from year to year. At the end of DIP which will span during all the four years of engineering programs in different phases, students are expected to demonstrate the following attributes:

        • Ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
        • Ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
        • Ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs
        • Ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams
        • Ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
        • Understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
        • Ability to communicate effectively
        • Broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context
        • Ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

        The program ventures far beyond the traditional classroom instruction, graduating students are beneficiary of a life-long learning process. A successful DIP program can facilitate achieving the educational institutions’ goal of producing the most sought-after graduates by the industry.

        Choosing a DIP problem/project

        • Project that emphasizes design, experimental, and hands-on skills
        • Do not choose a project involving only collection of published materials
        • Problem that allows teamwork and offers opportunity for creativity
        • Project should not be on the critical path of a program with stringent deadlines
        • Project goals must be concrete and measurable
        • The criteria to determine success should be defined

        Plan of Design & Innovation Practicum

        Sr. No. Course Name Course Type Objective Team formulation Contact Hours Credits
        1 Reverse Engineering Core Learning from existing products/subsystems/systems Random selection from all disciplines 0L-0T-3P 2
        2 Design Practicum Core Concepts of designing of products Random selection from all disciplines 0L-0T-6P4
        3 Interdisciplinary Socio-Technical Practicum
        For details Click here
        Elective Interaction with society to understand the needs Team of like minded students 0L-0T-6P 4
        4 Major Technical Project (PART A and PART B) Elective In depth work on Technology/Product ( Possibly continuing work done in Sr. No.2 & 3. May have product/patent implications ( not mandatory) Team of like minded students 0L-0T-12P8

        There will be following five courses on Design & Innovation Practicum,
        Note : Courses in Sr. No. 3 & 4 can be chosen by students independently.

      Minor Program

      Minor Program


      Elective Courses

      Elective Courses

.