Backed by a history of over 150 years, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee is one of the finest institutes providing scientific and technical education in India. Started in 1847 as an institute aimed at training local youth for the engineering works being started around India, IIT Roorkee, today, has become a force to be reckoned with in the sphere of technical education with its students and alumni having a good standing and reputation at the global stage. With an intake of approximately 1000 undergraduates every year, IITR has around 8000 students enrolled in its UG, PG and PhD courses as in 2016.
The academic year for students at IIT Roorkee is divided into two semesters (Autumn and Spring) with course work evenly divided among them. Generally, the semesters begin in the months of July and January and run for a length of around four and a half months. For most of the students, the number of courses taken in a semester lies between 5-7. The courses for all the students of a particular branch are largely same for the first two years while for the latter half students have the liberty to take diverse set of courses based on their preferences of electives, minor specializations or audit courses. The two semesters are suitably spaced out by the two vacations; the summer break which is approximately two months long and the winter break which is one month long and runs for the duration of December. These vacations are utilized by the students by taking up some research projects or internships. Learning new skills and exploring new interests is also one, and probably the most-recommended, way for spending the vacations for the first-year students.
As far as the academic evaluations are concerned, a credit based system is followed wherein every subject is allotted a certain number of credits based on the number of hours (or sessions) for which a student will be engaged on that subject weekly. These credits form the weights for a subject while calculating the SGPA or Semester Grade Point Average. The CGPA or Cumulative Grade Point Average is the weighted average of all the semesters. The grading for a particular subject is done on a scale of 10. The grading pattern followed is relative in which the grade of a student is determined on the basis of his position in the statistical distribution of all the marks scored in the subject. This basically means that the grade for a student not only depends on the marks that s/he has scored but also on the performance of his/her peers.
As far as the course structure is concerned, courses for students pursuing either the four-year B.Tech or the five-year B.Arch programme are divided into five categories, namely- Institute core, Programme core, Institute elective and Programme elective courses and extra-curricular activities. The former two are important to give students a basic knowledge of their majors. Electives are provided so that the students can choose from a list of courses under various departments based on their personal interests. Different departments have different institute and core electives for students to choose from. Most of the courses have lectures and tutorials sessions while practicals are available for some. Students must earn a certain number of credits to receive their majors. Minors and honors are also available to students with CGPA>7.5.
All in all, IIT Roorkee provides ample opportunities for its students to explore their branch; at the same time the curriculum and the work hours are lenient enough to let you explore your interests in other branches and even in fields out of academia like entrepreneurship, arts etc.