For the first time, you can earn an undergraduate degree or diploma from an IIT, regardless of your age or location.

The Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, has announced that its BSc degree in programming and data science will have an option for a four-year BS degree in data science and applications.

Students can do an eight-month apprenticeship or a project with companies or research institutes as part of their course.

The new subjects introduced include reinforcement learning, data visualisation design, industry 4.0, and algorithmic thinking in bioinformatics.

Students who complete the four-year BS can appear for GATE and pursue an MTech in India or apply for postgraduate degrees abroad.

Those currently in class XII can also apply.

‘This unique programme is carefully designed to offer students multiple entry and exit options, where the learner can earn a certificate, diploma or degree. This provides flexibility to learners and empowers them to choose what they want to accomplish through this programme,’ a release said.

There is no age limit and full scholarships are offered to deserving students. 

Who can apply

As data science is a multidisciplinary domain, the degree is open for students from any stream.

The classes are conducted online so there is no geographic limit.

Applicants need to have studied English and mathematics in class X.

How to apply

Interested students can apply through the official website, https://onlinedegree.iitm.ac.in.

The last date to apply for the September 2022 term is August 19, 2022.

Currently, over 13,000 students are enrolled in the programme, with the maximum number of students coming from Tamil Nadu, followed by Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh.

This degree can also be pursued while attending an on-campus degree or while working full-time.

In-person exams are conducted in 116 examination centres across 111 cities in India on Sundays.

Examination centres have also been opened in the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait and Sri Lanka.

According to Prof V Kamakoti, director, IIT-Madras, the programme is highly employment-oriented in a domain where the demand is high for skilled resources.

‘Data science will teach students to manage data, visualise patterns to gain managerial insights, model uncertainties and build models that assist in producing forecasts to make effective business decisions,’ he said.

Andrew Thangaraj, professor-in-charge, BS in data science and applications, IIT-Madras, added, ‘Through extensive hands-on training and experiential learning, the students are also well trained to meet industry standards.

‘IIT-Madras facilitates internships and placements for the students who have completed the diploma level of the programme.’ 

This first-of-its-kind initiative makes it possible for students to study from IIT-Madras without attempting the intensely competitive Joint Entrance Examination. It directly benefits students from rural areas and economically disadvantaged backgrounds for whom attending JEE coaching classes would be a significant hurdle.

With inputs from PTI.

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