The pressure to perform well and switch branches in the second year can be challenging, especially for students attending prestigious colleges like IITs who already suffer tremendous stress. IIT Bombay has responded by making the key choice to remove the branch-change option for second-year students. By eliminating one course per semester, the institute also hopes to reduce the academic load on first-year students. These steps are intended to reduce stress and promote a more supportive and balanced learning environment.
Students in various IITs who were unable to receive their selected branch during JoSAA counseling are provided the chance to switch their field of study after completing their first year.
The decision to eliminate the branch-change option in the second year has merits and cons, just like any other choice. On the one hand, the branch-change process provided students the freedom to pursue their academic interests and preferred fields of study without being forced into a subject they were uninterested in. But because of this approach, students felt enormous pressure to do well in their first year in order to get into the branch they wanted. As a result, this may have a negative effect on students’ mental health because of increased stress and anxiety.
In response to a recent tragic event involving a student suicide, IIT-Bombay has made a ground-breaking move among the first-generation IITs to handle academic stress. During the 256th Senate meeting, the institute discussed different measures to ease the burden on first-year students. Full semesters will be added to half-semester courses as part of this program. Students will now be evaluated comprehensively based on their performance throughout the semester, after the elimination of mid-semester exams. This progressive approach showcases IIT-Bombay’s dedication to fostering a supportive academic environment.
Professor Subhasis Chaudhury, the Director of IIT Bombay, emphasized the institute’s commitment to ensuring a positive and inclusive learning experience for all students, regardless of their cumulative performance index (CPI). He stated that IIT Bombay aims to create an onboarding process that caters to the diverse backgrounds of students, allowing them sufficient time to adapt to the academic rigors of the institute. The objective is to foster an environment where every student can thrive and enjoy their educational journey within the campus’s learning ecosystem.
The prospect of raising the number of seats in popular branches during the admissions process was mentioned in the official release from IIT-Bombay. The institute has also agreed to lower the first-year student credit requirement from 39 to 32–33 credits. This adjustment entails reducing one course in per semester. These actions are intended to lighten the academic load and foster a positive learning environment for IIT-Bombay students
The implemented reforms will mandate that students choose their intended field of study carefully during JoSAA, beginning with the 2023 batch. This modification suggests that a student will graduate in electrical engineering if they join the same program at IIT-Bombay. This new regulation assures that students remain committed to their chosen profession throughout their academic career, in contrast to the prior practice where students could switch to a different branch depending on excellent exam grades. IIT Bombay has taken the lead in removing branch changes from the first generation; IIT Hyderabad and IIT Jammu had already done so.