Friday, 15 Mar 2019

From August, IISER’s new curriculum to blend humanities with basic sciences

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The institute has elaborate plans to expand its humanities wing, which the IISER academicians believe will give students balanced thinking. (File Photo)

Starting next academic year, students of integrated BS-MS course at the Indian Institute of Science, Education and Research (IISER) will also be able to take lessons in intensive course work in humanities along with their regular lessons in basic sciences. This, as the institute is all set to revise its syllabi meant for undergraduate students.

Established under the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 2006, it is for the first time that IISER, Pune, is upgrading its curriculum.

This dual degree course, spanning over eight semesters, mainly offers students with diverse streams mainly in physics, chemistry, mathematics and biology. Besides, students also take up limited courses in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Humanities. Two semesters are fully devoted to the Master’s research project.

Confirming the development, IISER, Pune, director Jayant Udgaonkar told The Indian Express, “The new batch of students taking BS-MS programme from August 2019 will be offered the new syllabi. A committee has been constituted in this regard.”

While the design and revisions are under consideration, what the academicians confirm is that the course will be far more flexible for students.

Starting August 2019, students will also be given degrees mentioning their subject of specialisation along with those opting for regular science degree.

At present, all students are awarded a Master of Science (MS) degrees, even though they opt for a subject of their choice as specialisation. Besides, some of the subjects that could find entry to the new curriculum include computer science, data science and machine learning.

“Though the course will get more rigorous, we are trying to introduce more flexibility in the course work, so that students get a lot more subjects to choose from. Students opting for specialisation or super-specialisation in their final year will be awarded degrees with this mention. This will greatly help them when they apply for jobs post the course,” said Udgaonkar.

The institute has elaborate plans to expand its humanities wing, which the IISER academicians believe will give students balanced thinking.

“While science offers focused thinking, humanities allows thinking that can have better connection with and analysis of the real world. The objective is to impart students with necessary skills,” said an IISER official.