More IIT-Bombay students can switch branches after 1st year
@ Jun 25, 2011
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Mihika Basu

Posted: Mon May 30 2011, 02:59 hrs


Here's some good news for the incoming batch of IIT Bombay. More students will now be able to move into branches of their choice after a year if they perform well. The reason: A study of students' scores at the end of one year has revealed that many students with comparatively lower ranks at the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) are performing at par with the best in IIT-B.

The new rule gives greater importance to performance at the institute than JEE scores. The present rule allows very few to change their branches and many good students are denied the opportunity.

“The new policy is based on the fact that high academic performance in IIT Bombay should be recognised as a better indicator of an individual’s academic capabilities than the JEE rank. The data also shows a branch allotted to a student is sometimes more a matter of chance than great difference in their JEE scoring ability,” said Prof S Biswas, who was part of the committee that recommended the new rules.

 “The new rules will bring in more flexibility and enable more deserving candidates to opt for another branch,” said IIT-B director Devang Khakhar. As per the earlier policy, only the top one per cent JEE performers on-roll strength at IIT-B were eligible for unconstrained change of branch. “Most of them are usually students of the sought-after computer science and engineering or electrical engineering branches. Thus, very few end up changing branches. For instance, last year, only three students opted for a change. However, we have observed that students with comparatively lower JEE ranks have been doing well and many among them may not have got the branch of their choice at the time of allocation. Owing to the previous policy, many deserving students were denied the chance to change their branch even if they had scored very well at IIT-B,” said Biswas.

Further, while the previous policy did not allow any increase in the branch strength and no extra seats could be created, as per the new rule, the sanctioned strength of a branch can exceed by up to 10 per cent. Also, the new rule will permit change from branch 'x' to 'y' if a student was eligible for 'y' at the time of JEE allocation for all categories.

“The new policy could enable almost one-third (of a batch of around 880) to opt for other branches. Owing to the 10 per cent rule, around 88 vacancies will be initially created and those who have scored a CPI (cumulative performance index) greater than or equal to nine will be eligible to change. This will have a ripple-down effect and depending on the vacancies created, the next lot will be allowed to move into another branch, provided they have scored a CPI of eight (for students of general and other backward classes categories) and CPI of seven (for other categories),” said Biswas. For the second lot, the branch cannot fall below 85 per cent of the sanctioned strength.

“The new rule will be applicable for the incoming batch,” said Shiva Prasad, dean, academic programmes, IIT-B.


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