Monday, January 23, 2012

The Hindu interviews IIT-M Director Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi

In the U.S., an engineer can do a literature course and earn credits. Why can't an Electrical Engineer in IIT do an elective in the humanities department? Is the system here constricting?

That is where we should head towards. Today, we do have a system that has electives. But, it is not the same as in the U.S. The problem is that you can give the freedom to students to do what they want, provided you can then declare what they are in the degree. How to do this is a question that we have been asking ourselves.

Some of the older IITs have for sometime wanted to remove the branch allocation at JEE. The problem is the newer IITs are not ready for that. Actually, giving a branch at that young age is a terrible thing to do. But that's the reality. Besides, the public wants that. Public will prefer if you give the branch in LKG itself. But I think what we'll do is try to loosen up, give some options, and make sure the degrees are branded right. Instead of creating departments that function like silos, we must try and liberalise. We'll probably move towards that in the next few years. [Bold emphasis added]

More here.


  1. Anonymous said...

    /* Public will prefer if you give the branch in LKG itself. */

    I'll stick my neck out here: are there data to corroborate the fact that 'public prefers fewer choices'? I can only think of Professor Sheena Iyengar's research about this. But shouldn't policy decisions be based on empirical data? It is true that the LKG remark was off-the-cuff, but that thinking does seem to affect policy.