IIT Bombay introduces liberal arts, sciences, engineering programme

IIT Bombay has announced the launch of the liberal arts, sciences, and engineering (LASE) programme with new courses in the programme.

IIT Bombay introduces liberal arts, sciences, engineering programme IIT Bombay introduces liberal arts, sciences, engineering programme
Pritha Roy Choudhury | Jun 29, 2021 - 11:38 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI : Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay has announced the launch of a new undergraduate programme, the Liberal Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (LASE) Programme, which will admit its first batch of students in the autumn semester of 2022, Subhasis Chaudhuri, director, IIT Bombay, said in a social media post. The students for this programme will be selected from the batch that will take admission in 2021.

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“The novel type of undergraduate programme is all about student choice and interdisciplinary foundations”, Chaudhuri said.

The students will have the freedom to specialize in interdisciplinary fields in this programme, the post said. AI and EdTech or healthcare engineering will be the subjects within engineering sciences or biology within natural sciences are possible examples, Chaudhuri added.

All students will also have to complete a final year project.

IIT Bombay and liberal arts

Selected undergraduate students at IIT Bombay will be given the option to join the LASE programme at the end of their first academic year. For the batch taking admission in autumn 2021, that will be in 2022.

“The “liberal arts” are often confused with the humanities but a liberal format is essentially a way of delivering a curriculum,” wrote Chaudhuri. “The combination of broad foundations and so many choices makes the LASE program in STEM areas a "liberal arts" style offering that is a first in India.”

Students will take some prerequisite courses but will have a pool of special and open electives to choose from.

LASE students with the help of their academic advisors have to finalize possible “concentrations” by the end of the second year. They will also have to take a set of foundation courses in their second year.

IIT Bombay: Areas of study

Students selected from the programme will be able to choose from one of five fields or “concentrations”: engineering sciences; natural sciences; social sciences; art and design or design your own custom concentration. They will be awarded a BS degree in whichever they choose.

The programme will begin with a set of “foundation courses” in the second year. These will focus on areas such as modern South Asian history, the history of science, contemporary digital societies, current social structures, reading and writing literature, apart from STEM subjects., said the IIT Bombay director.

“The motivation behind such courses and the programme as a whole is to enable the cultivation of diverse all-round proficiencies for those who want to explore different fields, venture out in new directions or pursue untrammelled and untraveled paths”, Chaudhuri wrote. “A look at the best institutions globally shows that such a combination is highly effective for innovation and leadership across disciplines. It was time we had such a programme of our own, and now we will have it.”

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