Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Liberal Program Changes 2018

This year we have allowed change of program to 87 students in a batch of 821 students. Also, we allow program changes even after 3rd and 4th semester. I am quite sure that at least 25-30 students will get their programs changed in the next two semesters. This means that almost 15 percent of the batch would have their programs changed. That is a very large number (though I will never be satisfied, I think there is still scope to tinker with the rules).

I wrote a blog yesterday in which I mentioned this, and there were requests to make public more details of program change at IITK. Hence this article, and here are the rules:

Each program strength can go up by 2 (from the maximum of current strength, or the number of seats announced for admission). This means that there are at least two vacancies in each program. Other vacancies get created because an odd student does not join, and a few students' programs have been terminated at the end of 1st year due to poor academic performance.

Each program strength can go down to a minimum of 55 percent of the number of seats announced for admissions. This means that the least popular program, which happens to be Chemistry, some low CPI students will have difficulty in leaving for a new program.

Program changes can be done at the end of 2nd, 3rd, and 4th semester, strictly in the order of CPI. CPI is computed based on all courses of 1st year. This also means that if you haven't passed all courses, you are not eligible to change your program. And indeed there are students who do not go for morning exercises but have a decent CPI, and are not eligible for program change, since morning exercises is a compulsory course in the first year.

If there is only one vacancy in a particular program but more than one student who have the same CPI and want to change to that program, all of them will be granted change to that program. (This allows a large number of students to get Computer Science, since all of them have a CPI of 10.0 while there are only 2 vacancies in the program.)

Following is the statistics for program change this semester (only for those who got admitted in 2017 and have completed 2 semesters):

CSE, 2 vacancies, 10 in (last at CPI 10.0), 0 out, no vacancies left for next semester
EE, 2 vacancies, 10 in (last at CPI 9.5), 7 out, no vacancies left for next semester
ECO, 2 vacancies, 2 in (last at CPI 9.0), 0 out, no vacancies left for next semester
MTH, 3 vacancies, 6 in (last at CPI 9.0), 1 out, no vacancies left for next semester
ME, 2 vacancies, 10 in (last at CPI 8.8), 6 out, no vacancies left for next semester
CHE, 2 vacancies, 11 in (last at CPI 8.4), 9 out, no vacancies left for next semester
AE, 2 vacancies, 6 in (last at CPI 7.7), 4 out, no vacancies left for next semester
CE, 2 vacancies, 11 in (last at CPI 6.2), 9 out, no vacancies left for next semester

PHY, 3 vacancies, 7 in, 5 out, 1 vacancy left
MSE, 5 vacancies, 12 in, 13 out, 6 vacancies left
BSBE, 3 vacancies, 2 in, 6 out, 7 vacancies left
ES, 3 vacancies, 0 in, 11 out, 14 vacancies left

CHM, 3 vacancies, 0 in, 16 out, 19 vacancies left, No one else can leave Chemistry due to 55% rule.

The last student allowed to leave Chemistry has a CPI of 6.5. A student at 6.4 CPI has not been allowed to change. Only one more student can leave Earth Science to hit 55 percent rule.

Note that new vacancies can get created next semester because someone leaving IIT (voluntarily or involuntarily) and also in some cases a student seeking a change from a more popular program to a less popular program.

I mentioned in the beginning that there is still scope for tinkering with the rules. One rule is that a student can get program change only once. This makes the system a lottery which is highly undesirable. So, if you are in Earth Science, and you have a decent CPI that can get you Mechanical after the second semester, should you apply for it now, or hope that after the 3rd or 4th semester, an additional vacancy will get created in a more popular program and there will not be as much demand then, so one waits. But of course no additional vacancy may get created and you didn't get Mechanical either because not this too is full.

Also, one can allow additional program changes at the end of 2nd year. Someone who is willing to work extra hard to do a program of his/her own interest, can be encouraged.

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