Friday, August 20, 2010


While welcoming the new students who joined IISc two weeks back, the associate director mentioned ""When we studied here, it used be biting-cold in August. We had steel cots with no bedsheet and lots of bed bugs. Imagine sleeping on it! The bed bugs have vanished, but the steel cots are still there." He also said that students put on weight in the first two months of stay here because of the good food in the messes but lose that weight when they are in the fourth year (or n+1th year) of graduate studies. Prof. Balaram mentioned how the 100th batch is special and went on to say that 101st batch will be even more special because it will be first batch that has undergraduates entering IISc.

The website for the undergraduate program is here. The official details can be found on the website. The website is modeled such that the left side links are stationary while the content in the right side links will be dynamic and change as the program develops. For example, recently the poster was designed, printed and mailed to 16,000 schools across the country. These posters (both the English and Hindi versions) are now downloadable from the website. The website does not look nice in Chrome but looks fine in other famous browsers. Some might find the "flowery" language in the introduction to be cliched but the faculty who wrote that means well. Much of it was actually written for a press release but much of it was removed before it was released to the press.

It is likely that most of the students admitted will be through KVPY, JEE, AIEEE etc. Thus, in most cases, they will qualify to get scholarship from DST through KVPY or through the INSPIRE program. IISc will not provide scholarship from its funds but the students can get the scholarships from DST and study in IISc. The 4-year program (originally suggested by the three science academies) is in the first in the country from a premier institute and it is likely that it will be considered equivalent to the five year M.Sc or the four year B.E/B.Tech program. Therefore, students will be eligible to write GATE/CSIR-JRF etc. Please note the word "likely" in the above paragraph because all this is yet to be approved by DST/MHRD etc.

Many alumni have asked me why only materials and environmental science are offered and not in mechanical and electrical engineering. There are two primary reasons: there is no dire need to start undergraduate in engineering when IITs are doing an excellent job and the unwillingness of many engineering faculty to start such a program in the department.


Anonymous said...

I wish students would have given the choice to choose major and minor after 2.5 or 2 years in 4 year BS course. That way one having admission in Physics may end up with Mathematics as major. I dont know why in India we dont offer this option to students.
How can you expect from a 17/18 yrs old boy/girl to know where their passion lies.
let them take lot of elective courses across the disciplines and let them give the freedom to choose their majors.

Anonymous said...

Majors will be alloted only at the end of 1.5 to 2 years. The student will be free to choose the major and minor.

Anonymous said...

While this is a great development, do we know to what extent this is expected to increase the teaching load of the concerned faculty? You probably mention somewhere that the current teaching load for science and engg faculty is around 1.1 and 1.7 courses per semester. Thanks.

Giri@iisc said...

Increase of teaching load will vary. Most of the chemical engineering faculty, for example, are not going to teach any undergraduates, so there is no increase in teaching load.

For science, you can assume the following. There will be 3 courses with labs in the first three semesters, four courses in the fourth semester. It is assumed that the students will be integrated with the Integrated Ph.D program from the fifth semester. Thus, one guesses that the additional load will be around 7 to 10 courses per discipline. For example, in chemistry, these 7 to 10 courses have to be shared by among 45 faculty.



L said...

I am very interested in seeing if the science students take the Humanities courses seriously,for in IITs they usually do not barring maybe economics. Also, how are the humanities Depts at IISc?