Finding people in IITs who are enrolled in a branch that was not their first choice is not a rarity. Also, owing to the limited knowledge that people have content the different branches and their curriculum, choosing the right branch for yourself is not as easy as it may seem. In order to compensate for this almost all the IITs provide an option of branch change for the students including IIT Roorkee. Contrary to most of the other IITs that offer an option of branch change at the end of the first year, at IIT Roorkee the process takes place at the end of the first semester itself.
Talking content the technical details related to branch change, there isn’t much actually. As stated in the UG Ordinances and Regulations 2016 , all the undergraduate students except for the students enrolled in the B.Arch course are eligible for a branch change. This also means that there are no restrictions placed on changing from a five year course to a four year course or vice versa. Earlier, the change of branch takes place against the number of vacant or unoccupied seats in the branch or two(2) whichever is higher, but recently the number has been increased to 10% of the total number of seats in the branch. The unoccupied/vacant seats are filled only on the basis of merit(read SGPA) in that particular category in which the seats are vacant, however the two extra seats are filled on the basis of combined merit and have no reservations. Also, in the cases where two people with the same SGPA have the same preference of branch, the JEE Advanced rank is used as a tiebreaker. There are a few other criterias that need to be fulfilled for a branch change such as not having backlogs and not having been penalized for indiscipline, but in most cases these will be implicitly fulfilled even if you have a near-decent shot at a branch change.
When we come to the rigour associated with getting a branch change, it actually depends on the branch that you are trying to change to. Based on general trends, the branches which are most sought after in the JEE counselling also become the most desired branches during branch change. For branches like CSE, the competition is very tough and one might miss it even after scoring a perfect 10 SGPA. As we move other branches, it becomes comparatively less difficult but is still arduous enough. The most efficient and probably the best way of scaling this task to workable limits is consistency. Attending the classes regularly and taking proper notes are recommended if not exhorted. The pursuit of getting a branch change will also involve some sacrifices on your part such as completing all the tutorials on your own (and watching your batchmates copy them, thanklessly) and missing out on some chapos, but in the end it will be all worth it. The added benefit is that even if you miss out on a branch change by some grade points, you will have a healthy CGPA at the end of your first semester, a thing that will prove to be really helpful in the long run.