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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Suggestions regarding lateral entry

A couple of weeks ago, I had written about a proposal to have lateral admission into IITs. I received a large number of emails and comments. There are two ideas that some institutes are seriously considering to attract research students through lateral admission. (Both ideas are not fully developed, and are not currently implemented. Hence I have been advised that naming the institutes or persons would be premature.)

In one of the ideas, some IITs are considering offering PhD admission directly to students at the end of their 3rd year of studies. These students will join the IIT immediately thereafter. The remaining credits for the BTech degree will be done at the IIT. It is expected that the under-graduate institute of the student will agree to transfer those UG credits that have been earned at the IIT, and whenever the UG requirements are complete, will offer the degree to the student. So the IIT will not offer the BTech degree to these students, but hopefully, being in IIT for the final year will cause the student to adapt to IIT system quickly, and will be productive sooner.

Another Institute is planning to offer admission to the dual-degree program directly in the 3rd year to those who have completed 2 years of studies at another institute. (Most good institutes in the country have a 5-year program at the end of which the student gets both an undergraduate degree and a post-graduate degree, for example IITs have BTech-MTech dual degree programs.) This institute will consider research preparedness and research aptitude as the primary criteria for admission, and will be willing to offer credit transfer for the courses done in the first two years, if they are relevant to the program that the student wishes to pursue in this institute.

I see these two as examples of innovation that academics institutes are thinking of bringing about, and I hope that they will succeed.


Subrahmanya said...

This is regarding the first proposal:
1. The success depends on the quality of students in the 'under-graduate institute'. IF the quality is poor, instead of adoption at IIT system, the student may not me able to even cope up with the IIT system itself.
2. This can be used as a back-door entry. At present, the student has to write GATE, qualify-for and complete master degree, and then pursue Ph.D. Now, in the proposal, GATE is not a must and hence becomes a back-door entry.

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Subrahmanya, I did not know that the definition of back-door entry is to have an alternate channel of admission, which is transparent and open to scrutiny, and that too for a program where there are not enough takers. If this is how we will define back-door entry, then what you are arguing is that there should be no experiment done in an academic institution.

Subrahmanya said...

@Prof. Sanghi: If a student wants to get admission under the direct Ph.D. proposed, he / she can by-pass GATE. However, other students, who take the normal path (GATE - M.Tech. - Ph.D.) have to undergo GATE. Isn't this back-door entry?

Dheeraj Sanghi said...

@Subrahmanya, the word "back-door" implies that this is something that is not transparent, it is hidden, done with an intent to take lower quality, etc. Having two channels of admission does not mean that one channel is back-door. Both channels can be legitimate, and can lead to quality admissions.

For example, IISERs admit students through JEE as well as through KVPY. Would you call one of the channels as back-door.

Similarly, BITS Pilani admits students through BITSAT as well as toppers of various boards are given direct admission. Which of the two channels is back-door?

LNMIIT Jaipur offers admission through JEE as well as through AIEEE. Again, is there a back-door entry here?

IITs already admit students from within IIT system to MTech without GATE. There are IITs which are claiming to admit even others without GATE in certain cases. Are they involved in a back-door entry?

SASTRA also has two channels of admission - 12th class marks, and AIEEE. Is it indulging in back-door entry?

Kanwar brar said...

@Dheeraj Sanghi
Hello sir,

I am a student of Diploma final year.I had came to know that now NITs will allow lateral entry admission to Diploma holders.I want to confirm this from you.Sir,please suggest me some reputed Engineering Colleges which offers admission under Lateral entry scheme to Diploma holders.

I shall be very debtful to you.

Thank you.