IIT Madras launches world's first online BSc degree in Programming and Data Science

New Delhi, Jun 23 (PTI) The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras on Tuesday said it has launched the 'world's first' online BSc degree course in Programming and Data Science.

The course will be open to anyone who has passed class 12 with English and Maths at class 10 level, and enrolled in any on-campus undergraduate course. Even the current batch of students who are completing their class 12 are eligible to apply. Graduates and working professionals can also take up this programme.

The programme was launched by Union Human Resource Development (HRD)Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' and Minister of State for HRD Sanjay Dhotre.

'IIT Madras has introduced world's first-ever online BSc degree programme in Data Science and Programming. Analysis reveals that every year 7 to 7.5 lakh Indian students go abroad in search of better education and our talent as well as our revenue goes outside the country,' Nishank said at the launch.

He said institutions such as IIT Madras have the 'vision and mission' to help the nation move forward on its path to self-reliance by bringing such quality education and unique courses right here in India.

'Even during this challenging time, when the nation is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic and everyone is forced to be at home, IITs have come together to innovate for the sake of the nation. Several innovations such as ventilators, masks and drones have come from the continuous research from IITs. I am confident that this educational initiative will help many students in India,' the Union minister added.

According to officials at IIT Madras, Data Science is one of the fastest growing sectors that is predicted to create 11.5 million jobs by 2026. The World Economic Forum (WEF) has predicted that by 2022, data analyst and scientist will be the number one emerging job role in the world.

'We are delighted to offer a programme that will make quality education inclusive and address a pressing need in today's challenging higher education environment. This programme not only embraces the trend of moving education online but also provides a platform to create skilled and employable women and men in a data-driven world,' said Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras.

The programme will be delivered on a state-of-the-art online portal and will attract learners from even remote parts of India where outreach of digital literacy is minimal and will help them stay ahead in their career journeys, he said.

Ramamurthi said the programme will have videos from faculty, weekly assignments and in-person invigilated exams just like any other regular course It will hone students' skills in managing data, visualising patterns to gain managerial insights, model uncertainties and build models that assist in producing forecasts to make effective business decisions, he said.

The course will be offered in three different stages - Foundational Programme, Diploma Programme and Degree Programme. At each stage, students will have the freedom to exit from the programme and receive a certificate, diploma or a degree, respectively, from IIT Madras.

These students will go through course lectures online, submit online assignments and write an in-person qualifier exam at the end of four weeks. In contrast to the typical admission processes of IITs, which are constrained due to the limited number of in-campus seats, in this programme all students who clear (with an overall score of 50 pc) the qualifier exam will be eligible to register for the foundational programme, he added. PTI GJS KJ