IIT-M launches online B.Sc degree in programming and data science


The Indian Institute of Technology Madras, on Tuesday, launched a unique programme, B.Sc degree in Programming and Data Science. The first-of-its-kind programme is aimed at those who are unable to access college education otherwise and also those who want to build their skills.

Admission to the programme is free for all. But students who enrol will have to complete all the weekly assignments and take a test at the end of the first month. Candidates with a score of over 50% will be admitted. Aspirants may attempt the test any number of times.

The B.Sc programme is for three years but candidates may move out at the end of a year and can return to complete the programme at their convenience. Candidates who complete the first year (two semesters) will receive a certificate from the institute. The first two semester courses comprise English, Mathematics, Statistics and Computation thinking and Programming in Python. Students must have studied English and Mathematics in Class 10, according to Prathap Haridoss, Professor-in-Charge, Online Degree Programme. Applicants must have qualified in Class 12 exams to be eligible to apply.

Candidates who exit at the end of the second year will be awarded a diploma, and those who complete the three years, a degree.

Mr. Prathap said the degree is equivalent to that offered by any university and students could use it to go for higher studies. As of now, the course had not received the approval of the University Grants Commission or a University as the institute is an independent body.

The programme was launched on Tuesday by Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank who lauded the institute in coming up with a programme during the time of pandemic.

A candidate who completes the entire course would pay a fee of ₹3 lakh. Candidates who take just the first year would pay around ₹10,000.

According to Mr. Prathap the aim of the programme is to enable people from varied background learn the skills of data science and use it later in their sphere of work.

An estimated 11.4 million jobs is expected to be created in the data science sector, according to the course developers.

Institute director Bhaskar Ramamurthi said, “This programme not only embraces the trend of moving eduction online but also provides a platform to create skilled and employable women and men in a data-driven world. With our rich experience in the online education space, we are well-equipped to handle scale and seamless delivery and provide an enriching and engaging experience to all students.”

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