Blueprint: By Civil Engineering Department
Curriculum Revisited and Revised A Namrata Singh
The Department Open House held on 14th of March 2013, which was conducted by the Head of the Department Professor K V Krishnarao, saw an active attendance by faculty members like Professor Subimal Ghosh from Hydraulics, Professor E.P Rao and Prof Raaj Ramsankaran from Geodesy, Professor Tarun Kant from Structural Engineering, Professor Deepankar Chaudhary and Professor D N Singh from Geotechnical Engineering and Professor Gopal Patil with Professor P.Vedagiri from Transportation Engineering. Students from the DAMP community and Department Council along with a few others also showed an interactive participation in the same. The prime motto of the open house was to discuss the proposed changes as worked out by the department faculty members after a series of meetings keeping in mind the suggestions from both the student as well as the faculty communities. The allowable changes are subject to the senate discussion. HoD started with the prevailing dissatisfaction in the Central Committee regarding a bulk of students registering for minors/honors initially versus the single digit number who actually procure a minor/ honor degree supplementary to majors at graduation. This is
The total credits completed by a graduate in Civil Engineering from IIT Bombay, excluding minor and honor is 252 currently. As proposed by our department, the required credits will shoot up to 281. For honors, the student has to complete only 24 credits now. being cited as a matter of concern since the rudimentary intention of introducing minor/honor program has not been successful. A point was raised regarding this by the students, that minor/honor courses are at times enrolled by the students only due to their interest in one particular course, with a pure intention of learning rather than actually completing a degree. This also helps because a few courses that are not offered as institute electives are in fact offered as a minor. HoD assured that the minor/honor program will not get completely eradicated as the new curriculum committee cannot destroy the basic structure as drafted by the Biswaas committee, but certain essential steps have been taken. He further added that the department has introduced certain reforms to improve the scenario of minor offered in Civil Engineering. The total credits completed by a graduate in Civil Engineering from IIT Bombay, excluding minor and honor is 252 currently, which include only the very basic Civil Engineering introductory courses. The Central Committee has recommended a credit increment to a range of 266-282; the exact number though is left at the discretion of the respective departments. As proposed by our department, the required credits will shoot up to 281 directly, which is a fairly high jump. For honors, the student has to complete only 24 credits now, as against the old 30 credits requirement; the credit requirement for a minor however will essentially be decided by the department offering it. The 24 credits required for an
honor could now be partially filled by the newly introduced BTP 1 and BTP 2. BTP 1 and BTP 2 are B-Tech Projects which may be undertaken in the seventh or the eighth semester respectively, as a replacement of one course, each carrying 6 credits. BTP 2 is not necessarily an extension of BTP1. Hence, once could either tag two BTP’s with two courses or one BTP with three other courses as honors for an honor degree in Civil Engineering, or traditionally take up four courses in Civil Engineering with due consult of the faculty advisor on the combination of courses/BTP to be taken. There will be only one basket of department electives for B.Tech. program which also includes BTP 1 and BTP 2. Based on the past experience, it has been decided to drop the Minors degree in Civil Engineering. If required, however, to give broad introductory overview of Civil Engineering, basic courses from each field will be included to constitute a minor in Civil Engineering. One major change as proposed is that the department will now offer dual degree programs in all M.Tech. specializations namely Transportation Systems Engineering, Geotechnical Engineering, Water Resources Engineering, Structural Engineering, Ocean Engineering and Remote Sensing. This is one major step taken by the department to expand the M.Tech. curriculum considering that till now there was only one Structural Engineering specialization offered by the department. Changes in the U.G curriculum: One phrase describing the proposed changes, as quoted by HOD was “an increase in the science content.” The phrase can be justified by considering the introduction of Modern Physics and Biology courses. The course on Data Analysis, known as IC 102 previously, has been removed as redundant, because the Committee believes that the course gave more emphasis on the probability methods and minimal concentration to actual data analysis. Hence, the course has been assigned to the responsibility of the respective departments, to teach data analysis, as demanded by their fields. A similar dissolution of a fourth semester laboratory course, earlier known as IC 211(Experimental and Measurement Laboratory), to the respective departmental labs has been done. The Introductory Economics Course (HS 101) is shifted to the third semester. The CE 206 course which is known to the students by the name Hydraulic Engineering will now be called Applied Hydraulic Engineering in view of the revised course content. The new course will include water treatment and network design and other such applied field of study in addition to the original course content. This is done in order to recoup Civil Engineers into the field of waste water treatment and other such fields which have become redundant for Civil Engineers and are currently aced by Chemical Engineers. Two new courses each in both the semesters of the second year will be added, Differential Equations-2 in the third semester and Building Materials and Construction will be included in the fourth semester, the content being similar to the current course ‘Concrete Technology’. The earlier Soil Mechanics will now include rock mechanics component and will be called as Geotechnical Engineering henceforth. ‘Engineering Geology’ course will be added to the sixth semester along with some minor changes in the credit allotment to a few courses. Very similar changes have also been done to the DD curriculum with a few additional ones. The overall credits for the DD program are now raised to 393. The applications for converting to Dual Degree program will have to be made by the B.Tech. students in the first semester of third year itself and the final selection list will be declared by the end of third year. A minimum C.P.I criterion of 7.00 is injected and the allotted branch will depend on the students’ C.P.I and the number of available seats. The department is also currently considering the proposal of D.D program offered by the CTARA department. Another issue raised in the open house regarding M.Tech. program was that in each
semester, there are 5 department electives to be taken and only five courses are offered. To this the faculty response was that one could take courses under other departments like mechanical or aerospace and tag them as department electives. The HoD agreed to work out a list of courses in other department which we could allow to tag as department electives. Another argument that whether the lab courses should have written end semester exams or not led to a decision by the HoD to reform the current system after due consultation with the respective faculty members. There was also a consensus amongst the students to raise the number of faculty advisors, which is also currently under scrutiny by the department. The faculty also had a few charges for the student community at the end, in light of the recent incidence at the mid-semester examination of one of the courses. The general message was to avoid getting oneself into wanton mischiefs and also try to avoid disrespectful conduct. The HoD warned that extreme mischiefs will not be handled in any way by the department and the student will directly be allotted to the DAC, while the forfeit for moderate cases will be as severe, if not more, as the foul play. A major concern over plagiarism as a trend in the reports was shown by the faculty. It is a punishable offence and the students must be aware of it. On request by the students, HoD agreed to initiate a session at the beginning of each year which would only be held to make students alert of the possible consequences to a wide range of mischiefs.
Nostalgia….. It is rightfully said that "You can take the person out of college, but you can never take the college out of the person". Our life in college shaped us into a passionate group of smart people who know how to get things done within strict time constraints. The biggest assets of our college education were the companionship of our friends, mentorship of our seniors and the immersive practical experience of working with some of the most diligent people in extracurricular engagements. After college, things change. You are more free and independent in terms of how to lead your life, but that aura of college sticks to you. You always try and get the same environment in your workplace but then you realize that workplaces are more or less all the same, whatever industry or function. I think what nowadays students should focus on is to realize that they are the best and make an attempt at "creating" more jobs rather than doing them. That being said, Civil Engineering department is one of the most brilliant departments on campus with a towering list of accolades and research under its belt. Cherish your department, cherish all the people you are around because one day, you will really miss being a part of this system! - Kritin Joshi, Class of 2011