Published: 03rd July 2017
From Yoga to Yakshagana, Manipal gives its Engineering Students offbeat electives to pick from in syllabus upgrade
MIT has also decided to allow students to pursue courses online and get those credits added to their academic records
If you're an engineering student, picking an elective is usually a toss us between Maths or Physics. Literature and History in the rare colleges where those departments exist, perhaps. Things will be a little different at Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) next academic year, as students have been given the option to pick artsy subjects like yoga and yakshagana as electives as part of their new course structure. Open electives are those subjects that students can choose to study which are not essentially from the same subject of specialisation they have chosen as their main stream. MIT is all set to upgrade their syllabus starting soon.
Speaking to Edex, Dr G K Prabhu, Director, Manipal Institute of Technology said that the move is intended to introduce flexibility in the courses and give students a good set of options to chose from. “These are courses outside the programme For instance, a student from an Electronics and Communication branch can study foreign languages or chose another engineering subject as elective. Some branches have pre-requisites the others don’t,” he said.
Mind speak: Dr G K Prabhu is the Director of Manipal Institute of Technology
He explained that this is being translated into reality, thanks to the interdisciplinary nature of the campus. “We have all the disciplines spread across our various schools, so if want an Engineering student to study life skills, we can help our students get access to experts. For someone wanting to do journalism, they can find it at our communication school. We have experts from various fields under one roof which makes it possible to offer a range of subjects,” he said.
Dr Prabhu explained that the varsity firmly believes in giving students a hands-on experience and hence lays emphasis on projects. Now, students who are working on projects can also choose this as their elective. “We have students working on several projects that have done well in several competitions. We want to encourage them to do this more seriously. For instance, there are students working on projects such as designing F1 cars. We hope to build such major projects as open electives,” said Dr Prabhu.
The institute which houses 8,500 UG students and 1,500 PG students will let UG students chose from options such as music, dance, drama yakshagana, yoga and more
Should the students opt for more open electives than they mandatorily need to do, certificates that they've done those courses will be awarded — as they will be considered minor specialisations. Students will also be allowed to take up courses online and swap it with a set of subjects that are not of primary importance to their subjects. They can choose from platforms such as Coursera. In an interesting addition, students can also choose to pursue a semester in an approved college abroad and have the credits transferred here. “For instance, a sixth sem student wants to study elsewhere for one semester, so he can do that in varsities approved by the college and can transfer credits here," said Dr Prabhu.