Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B), arguably the foremost of engineering colleges in the country, is looking to diversify its portfolio.

From a course in film-making to a programme in fine arts, the Powai-based institution aims to reposition itself as a university with courses across a broad range of disciplines within four years.

The makeover is partly aimed at building an international presence by hosting a larger complement of foreign students and faculty.  But the underlying objectives to the blueprint is to improve finances and infrastructure to promote research.

The strategy includes enhancing student experience by putting smaller batches in classrooms and allocating hostel rooms to each individual student and accommodation zones to married couples.

For funds, IIT-B hopes to dip into alumni donations and earn through research and consultancy work done by faculty.

Put together by the institute’s Forbes Marshall Chair professor Rangan Banerjee, this document which is expected to steer course – Vision 2021 – explains the reasons for expanding the range of academic programmes on campus.  “The vision focuses on students as crea tors of new knowledge for society.  The institute has thus realized that the role and influence of IITians is restricted not just to technology…”

It adds that existing programmes “provide a foundation for further expansion; both by starting new undergraduate curricula and by starting new programmes in disciplines that are currently not present in the institute.”

In line with plans for a multi-disciplinary culture, an undergraduate programme in Economics is likely to take off this year while others in math, earth science, biology, management, humanities and social sciences are at the designing stage.“Masters degrees in film making and fine arts are being considered while a PhD in policy studies, with a focus on technology , shall start in the near future,” the paper adds.

Source: Times of India