GIAN offers international elective courses in Indian technical education

The Global Initiative of Academic Networks-GIAN began on November 30, 2015 by the HRD Minister Smriti Irani. The initiative aims to collaborating national institutes in India providing post graduate degree with international universities, and provide students with an opportunity to pursue unique technical electives. These courses then add up as credit points of the student. GIAN will not only help the students to gain exposure to international teaching but also open doors to pursue further education in these foreign universities.

It is not just the institutes classified as ‘nationally important’ but, engineering institutes across the country have an opportunity to send MHRD proposals to initiate these elective courses. “Apart from IITs, IIMs, Central Universities, IISc Bangalore, IISERs, NITs and IIITs GIAN also will subsequently cover good State Universities. These universities must have necessary infrastructure and the willingness to implement these courses,” said Prof. Amar Nath Samanta, from IIT Kharagpur, who is the Head Co-ordinator for GIAN.

So far GIAN has not faced any teething issues in the process of implementation say the professors’ in-charge. This initiative has been implemented in over 40 institutes across India. However, Prof. Samanta did raise concerns about the participating institutes to be able to provide with the necessary infrastructure to the students. “These are unique courses, and though the collaboration with the foreign institutes and the funding can be easily availed, the institutes must ensure proper accommodation facilities and the necessary technical equipment.” he said.

Institutes will assign one professor who will be working with international professors. This collaboration will then be carried forward until the completion of the course. As long as the institutes can manage the necessary pre-requisites the courses can be easily sanctioned. These elective courses are also an opportunity to enable students gain experience with subjects which are not a part of their core specialisation.

The students can register online for the courses for a nominal fee of Rs. 1000/- per course, which too may be waived off with time. “The move is being contemplated at the moment. If implemented, it will probably persuade more students to apply for the courses. Students will only have to pay for course material.” He added. He also added that though there is a possibility that registrations for these courses might increase, the effectiveness will depend only on the student turnout for the courses.         

At present, 201 courses like Analytical Overview of Substance of Abuse, Pre and Post-natal Exposure, appreciation of Literature, Impersonal, Interpersonal, and Hyperpersonal Communication at Work, etc have been approved across various institutes and more are to be followed.