Friday, July 22, 2011

Branch Change

Yesterday, there was a meeting of Academic Senate, and one of the agenda item was to permit branch changes to undergraduate students who were admitted in 2010. As per rules of the Institute, no general category student could be allowed a change of branch (and only two reserved category students were allowed a change of branch). Of course, there is a tradition in the Institute that students who get all 'A' grades in the first year, and hence a CPI of 10.0, are allowed a change of branch of their choice. Continuing this tradition, 7 students, all with a CPI of 10.0, were allowed change of branch.

What is interesting is that the existing rules did not allow even a single branch change to general category students, and if we include every type of branch change, only one percent of the first year students could be allowed a change of branch.

Till 10 years ago, we had amongst the maximum number of branch changes in the IIT system, and now we have the lowest. Something has gone seriously wrong, and we need to fix it.

Conservative branch change rules are one of the many factors that get discussed on various admission counselling sites on the Internet, and therefore discourages at least a few students from choosing IIT Kanpur.

Also, a liberal branch change regime reduces the stress on students. They don't see JEE as the final word on their life. They see that they have yet another chance to do what they like. If we could liberalize our rules, we will be doing a service to the society by reducing stress.

Further, a liberal branch change regime encourages people to ignore last year's closing ranks and choose what they like. In today's context, a lot of students and parents argue that they should fill up the choices in the order of closing ranks since it will be easier for them to change branch to the "lower" branch next year. If they opted for the "less popular" branch this year, it would be impossible to go to "more popular" branch next year. But if there is a reasonable chance that someone can indeed go from "less popular" to "more popular" branch next year, at least a few brave souls would ignore the closing ranks data in filling up their choices, and start thinking of their innate passion.


  1. Maybe, the solution to the whole shebang of branch change is to allot branch after first or second year , based on CPI.

  2. What's are the arguments in favour of conservative branch change rules?

  3. @Saurabh, No "unpopular" department wants to let go of few students with 8.0+ CPI that it has.

  4. why general category students aren't allowed to change branch???? even if they perform much much better than others???

  5. @Rishi, This is a very old post. The rules have been changed since then, and once again, IITK has become fairly liberal in branch changes.

  6. how many students on average get to change branch including first and second year?what is min cpi req last year formech branch?