IITs plan to introduce new age courses including AI and ML

Sensing the huge gap between the job market and the academic syllabus followed by engineering institutes of India, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have planned to introduce new-age courses including ones on the buzzwords — Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) among others, according to IE report.

According to industry grapevines, in excess of 50,000 jobs in data science and ML were lying vacant in 2018 because of lack of relevant talent. “India lacks massively when it comes to talent in data science, machine learning and artificial intelligence. With jobs increasingly becoming data-driven, the need of the hour is for professionals to upskill themselves to stay relevant,” Hari Krishnan Nair, co-founder of Great Learning was quoted as saying by the report. While the IITs have now decided to start the courses on ML, AI; it is much later than the leading foreign-based institutes which have been providing both online and offline courses in the field since around a decade now. For instance, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, provides the course on AI from 2010.

IIT-Hyderabad

The IIT-Hyderabad introduced courses on first B.Tech in Artificial Intelligence, while IIT-Kharagpur introduced a certificate (six-month) course on the same programme. The IIT-Kharagpur director, Partha Pratim Chakrabarti, cited that every year thousands of jobs are created in the AI sector and it is growing on an annual basis of 10-15%. Chakrabarti said, “The programme is aimed to strengthen the talent pool in ML and AI. As these technologies are the future which will blend into our lives more in the coming days.”

The new course at IIT-Kharagpur was started on March 10 with 300 students at its Kolkata-based campus and a rented premise at Bangalore, said head, Centre for Artificial Intelligence, IIT-Kharagpur, Sudeshna Sarkar. The course will have 16 modules with duration of 12-hours. The classes are conducted by 60 per cent from the IIT faculty and 40 per cent by experts from the industry. “Every course module will be based on assignments and exams and a certificate will be awarded based on successful completion of the modules. It will be rigorous,” she said.

Meanwhile, IIT Hyderabad will start a full-fledged B.Tech program in AI from August, 2019 onwards. The institute became the third globally to start a full-fledged Tech program in AI after US-based Carnegie Mellon University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The course will begin with only 20 students, and the admission will be done on the basis of the JEE-Advanced score. The Director, IIT Hyderabad, UB Desai, said, “The basic aim is to create a complete ecosystem for AI academics and research. This involves B.Tech, M Tech and different minor programs in the field. Moreover, the R&D will be strongly entwined with academics.”

The B.Tech program in AI will be of 16 modules which include the study of AI, Internet of Things (IoT), Blockchain, and Quantum Computing. Apart from the JEE Advanced score, to take admission to the course, candidates will have to go through written test and interview. The course fee of the program is Rs 2.65 lakh including taxes. Apart from the bachelor’s program in AI, ML, the institute is launching a Master’s program in Development Studies. The course will be conducted by the Liberal Arts department. The application process for the course will begin from May 4, 2019. IIT Hyderabad’s Department of Liberal Arts in collaboration with faculty from Computer Science and Electrical Engineering has also launched a minor program in ‘AI and Humanity.’

IIT-Madras launches start-up to teach AI

The IIT Madras has launched a start-up called ‘PadhAI’ – an online platform that offers courses on AI. Under the initiative, the top-performing students will be invited to a ‘summer garage’, an AI-residency program at IIT-Madras Research Park where they can work on research, tackle problems of societal impact, or find solutions to commercial value. The four-month courses which started on February 20, 2019 comprised of 80-hours of lecture content and as much time in solving assignments. The course consists of a capstone challenge hat trains participants to build an app that works like Google Lens for a few Indian languages. The mathematical and programming know-how for solving the complex capstone challenge will be sequentially built up with simplified explanations and interactive tools through the course. The start-up was founded by Mitesh M Khapra and Pratyush Kumar, assistant professors in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras, and incubated by the IIT Madras Incubation Cell.

B.Tech program by IIT-Ropar

The IIT Ropar will soon launch B Tech program on computational data sciences. The programme which will start emphasising on AI will be run jointly by the Mathematics and Computer Science department. “The B Tech program will begin in August. The course will be distributed in 18 modules focusing on deep learning, spatial computing, security analytics, and advanced computer vision,” a Professor, Dept. of Mathematics, IIT Ropar told the daily.

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