IIT Delhi is in advanced stage to develop a policy framework for launching online certificate courses for the industry. This will be part of the continuous learning offering of the institute to fulfil specialised technical needs of the industry.
Dr Mahim Sagar, Professor, Department of Management Studies and Head, Continuing Education Program (CEP) at IIT Delhi says these online courses will be different from Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) so as to maintain the exclusivity and the brand of IIT Delhi.
The certificate courses will have a cap on the number of enrollments and a qualification and work experience criteria depending on course requirements, he says. Some courses might also have an entrance test which will be decided by the respective department. "These courses will be positioned as aspirational and exclusive online programmes to meet specific requirements of the industry," says Sagar. The focus will be on sectors such as AI, ML, telecom, banking, and engineering, among others.
These courses will be offered through channel partners/platform providers, essentially online higher education platforms that have the marketing and technology know-how. "If we do it on our own, we won't be able to market it properly, and that is where joining hands with online education companies becomes important," says IIT Delhi's Director V. Ramgopal Rao. The institute has already issued a Request for Proposal and is working on the details of the vendors to onboard.
IIT Delhi has 550 faculty members in its 26 Departments. To ensure academic rigour and excellence, the premier technology institute is in the process of drafting a first-of-its-kind policy framework for a government institute to offer online Continuing Education Program (CEP) courses.
The policy will outline the checks and balances for the courses related to revenue share with the platforms, commitment from faculty, governance and quality checks and assessments methodology. The policy is in the process of evolution and it is likely to go for institutional review and approval of various institutional bodies and finally to senate and board in the next two-three months.
Some of the key areas for the programmes are likely to be around cybersecurity, strategic innovation, business analytics, supercomputing amongst others. "As an academic institute we want to have a balanced approach while choosing courses and not get swayed away by commercial topics but do justice to areas of pure sciences that are equally relevant," says Sagar.
One of the key reasons behind the move is sustainability. "This is one of the ways in which we are exploring to generate additional revenue for the institute," says Rao of IIT Delhi.