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By Way2k Way2k
Way2k 1 Oct 2012
IIT-M to split biotech course

The department has decided to convert its B.Tech biotechnology course into two five-year integrated dual degrees - a (BS & MS) in biological sciences and a (B.Tech & M.Tech) in biological engineering - from the coming academic year. It is also considering introducing a two-year interdisciplinary M.Sc programme in sustainability from next year. The proposal will be discussed at the senate meeting in July.

IIT-M to split biotech course

"The B.Tech course is a combination of engineering and science, and we have found that it is difficult to cover the extent of the field in four years. After completing it, some students would like to opt for an industrial job, while others look to pursue research. The two options will help students focus on what they want to do," said head of the biotechnology department Mukesh Doble. The biological sciences course offers scope to get into the core discipline, while computational courses will be incorporated into the B.Tech programme.

Professor Doble said several small changes have been made to the B.Tech course started in 2004. Such constant revamping is expected to continue for 10 years. The biotechnology programme draws students from a wide range of specialisations. Research in the department is interdisciplinary and is apt for applicants with a background in physics, chemistry, maths or computational sciences.

Professor Doble added that so far the change has evoked a good response from students. "I had students writing to me asking about the prospects and admission process for the courses. We will have to wait till July when the academic year begins to see the response," he said. Academic courses dean K Ramaurthy said: "We have approved the sustainability programme at the department level. It will be a true interdisciplinary programme involving six departments including civil, mechanical, chemical engineering and management departments."

As it requires the collaboration of several departments, the course, after getting the senate's approval, will be introduced in the 2013-14 academic year. The institute is looking to draw students from various specialisations to the course. The University of Leeds in UK offers a similar programme through their School of Earth and Environment, and offers seven specialisations in climate change; business, environment and corporate responsibility; environmental consultancy and project management; environment and development; ecological economics, environmental politics and policy.

Courtesy: Times of India

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