“Education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think.” – Albert Einstein, renowned theoretical physicist
Studying in an IIT is the dream of thousands of students. Still, only a few can make it due to the fierce competition involved in the entrance examinations. Moreover, many students pursuing their education at non-IIT institutes also have a lot of qualities and capabilities. They only need the right push and mentorship for kick-starting their journey of extraordinary achievements.
Harshita Gupta, a final year student in the Electronic Communications department at JK Lakshmipat University (Jaipur), shared her experience. She said, “The Non-Degree Programme brought me face to face with the IIT education system. It is all about critical thinking, problem-solving, and concept implementation in real life. Currently mentored by eminent professors, I am a part of a vibrant research-oriented environment at IIT Gandhinagar. All this has paved the way for the development of my career as well as personality.”
Started in July 2010, the Non-Degree Programme at IIT Gandhinagar is a unique initiative where non-IIT students across the world can study at the Institute. Since then, this initiative has gained immense popularity in the country. As a part-time or full-time student for a semester, they can work on cutting-edge projects and internships, participate in breakthrough research with leading faculty, study various courses and utilize several other academic facilities of IITGN. The primary purpose is to provide these students with a chance to be exposed to the traditional culture of the IIT system. Meaning, they are no more restricted to qualify JEE, GATE, or similar assessments to get familiarized with the academic excellence of IITs.
Another student, Deepshikha, who is pursuing integrated BS + MS from IISER Pune, explained, “The research exposure here is world-class. Another point which I would like to mention is the student-prof relationship at this Institute. I have not seen anything quite like it. The faculty is extremely friendly and understanding and follows an open door policy, providing round-the-clock guidance to students. The students respect their gurus and strive hard to live up to their expectations. Not just the academics, but the extracurricular activities are interesting and fun as well.”
A crucial step towards broadening the scope and updating the notion of IITs, this initiative is all about promoting an educationally progressive environment that is transparent and inclusive of all. The participating students pay the semester fees and follow the guidelines of the Institute. Exposed to world-class facilities, which includes healthy meals and proper housing, the students also have access to the computer centre, laboratories, and sports facilities, to name a few. They also get library services, internet access, and an opportunity to meet the most distinguished minds of their respective fields. They receive a certificate upon their term completion, beneficial for their future academic and professional careers.
In the words of B.Tech students Videsha Bansal (Chemical Engineering), Priyal Jain, and Nikita Khoj (Computer Science Engineering), “We attend our classes with the regular degree students of IIT Gandhinagar. It fosters healthy and innovative discussions encouraging everyone to brainstorm the most feasible solutions. This experience is helping us to come out of our comfort zones and explore our true potentials. A green campus, healthy and delicious food, friendly people, and progressive environment continuously encourage us to push our boundaries further and become strong and independent in our quests to achieve success in life.”
Admissions are possible for both Semester-I and Semester-II. Students wishing to take part in this programme can submit online applications. Eligibility for full-time admission requires the students to complete at least one year of college education in a recognized institute in India or abroad. Also, their college or university should sponsor them to fulfil their academic requirements at IITGN. Students, engineers, or scientists can apply for part-time non-degree studies while pursuing endeavors at their parent organizations.
“There a beautiful balance between curricular and extracurricular activities here. The air is always thick with a sense of cooperative competition. Being a part of this programme has helped us get a taste of the IIT flavour. We are always a part of all the celebrations and fun at IITGN. The certificate which we get on completing our terms, along with the letters of recommendation from the renowned faculty, will be beneficial for us while applying for jobs or higher studies in elite universities,” expressed Aditya Rathore, Mohil Gupta, and Vishwa Vaghela, B.Tech students at JK Lakshmipat University (Jaipur) and L.J. Institute of Engineering and Technology (Ahmedabad).
So friends, what keeps you waiting? Hurry, be a part of this educative and engaging programme and delve deeper into the mysteries of history, the wows of science, the brilliance of research and technology, and the fun of festivities and celebrations through a sea of opportunities.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela, anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist