04/05/2017 9:39 AM IST | Updated 04/05/2017 9:39 AM IST

IIT-Delhi To Rework Syllabus, With More Focus On Hands-On Training, Less On Theory

The new curriculum is also supposed to reduce pressure. 

Hindustan Times via Getty Images

NEW DELHI -- Concerned with cases of student suicide at IITs, the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi has decided to revamp its curriculum in a way that helps them tackle study pressure effectively and keep suicidal tendencies at bay.

The move comes against the backdrop of HRD ministry asking all IITs to take new initiatives, in addition to the existing measures, to stem the trend of student suicides.

The revised curriculum, which is likely to be implemented from next year, will have reduced focus on theory and students will be offered more hands-on experience.

The departments at IIT have been asked to draft a revised curriculum which will then be approved by the Governing Body, which also approved the required changes in the credit system.

"There is a constant efforts at the IITs to help students cope with stress but there are always one or two cases. All IITs are undertaking initiatives but nothing seems to be enough," IIT Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao told PTI.

He said the IIT Delhi in an internal survey found that there is a mismatch between the students' and the institution's expectations.

"By the time students come to IIT, they are tired of endless studying and they want to enjoy a bit. We, unfortunately, do not offer any scope for that," Rao said.

He also said it is important to guide students at fresher-level only, because, he said, if they start developing "coldfeet" and have "backlogs", it becomes difficult for them to survive for another three years.

"Hence a major rehaul was necessary to reduce the theory component and introduce more hands-on training so they can simply go to the lab and try applying what they have learnt so far," he said.

The IIT Council, the apex coordination body for 23 IITs, had last week decided at a meeting chaired by Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar that all IITs will have wellness centres to help students deal with mental stress and also non- academic induction programmes for freshers.

The issue drew attention after the recent suicide by an IIT Kharagpur student, the third such case at the institute in this year.

There is no consolidated data available about the number of student suicides across IITs.

However, it has been a matter of concern for previous governments as well.

In 2011, under the then HRD minister Kapil Sibal, the IIT Council had decided to set up a task force to address students' mental health needs.

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