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December , 2017
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CS at IIIT01

The International Institute of Information Technology, or IIIT for short, is a deemed university which started out in 1998 as an endeavor to promote research in and popularize the field of Information Technology and has gone from being a “just-started” college to being one of the best that AIEEE offers.

Though Electronics and Communication has been introduced in the recent years, CSE remains the flagship course offered by the institute. The Computer Science department offers both the regular 4-year B.Tech course as well the research-oriented integrated dual degree course. The fee structure is pretty reasonable and the tuition fee cum hostel rent for a semester comes to about 50,000 with the mess charges accounting for another 9,000. The administration has a strict no-no policy for any sort of reservation or donation and the students are admitted solely on the basis of their merit. In 2008, the opening and closing ranks for CSE were 162 and 1729, and for CSD, 157 and 2613. This year, however, IIIT has made a change in its admission policy and has decided to enter further rounds of counseling as opposed to its policy of only 1 round of counseling till last year, and so the closing ranks are expected to be lower as compared to previous years.

The faculty believes that IIIT follows the international pattern of teaching and has a “cutting edge curriculum” modeled after stalwarts like MIT, etc. The administration feels that teaching the important subjects early on helps build a good foundation. Most students seem to agree with this. “I used to find it ridiculous that we had so many courses so soon but now I feel we’re ahead of many other colleges and that definitely gives an edge”, said Shantanu when asked for his views on the same.

The faculties’ credentials leave nothing to be desired with most of them being ex-IITians, usually with teaching experience in one of the IITs. Indeed, Prof Rajeev Sangal, the Director, is among the chief proponents of Artificial Intelligence and has world-wide acclaim. Krishnapal, a 3rd year student adds, “the faculty is really good in the sense that they offer practical guidance when you do projects”.

At work in a lab. Credit - Seargent Arbit

At work in a lab. Credit - Seargent Arbit

If labs are all steaming chemicals and test-tubes to you, then think again, for in IIIT labs, you’ll find nothing but state-of-the-art computers, wired connections for round the clock connectivity and an air conditioned plush environment to help you unclutter your mind. There are several research departments, the more popular ones being CVIT ( Centre for Visual Information Technology), CDE ( Centre for Data Engineering) and LTRC( Language Technology Research Centre ) and when the time comes for the CSD students to take up research, they are absorbed into these departments. A CSE student can also opt for honours in which case he/she is obliged to work on a project in one such department.

This year, two new dual degree courses have been introduced- B.Tech in Computer Science and MS in Computational Natural Science, and B.Tech in Computer Science and MS in Computational Linguistics. Though it’s part of the plan to introduce more research-oriented courses in the institute, the announcement has met with less than favourable response from the students. “As if it wasn’t bad enough asking 17 year-olds to choose whether they wanted to take up CSD, now they are asking them to finalise the field of research as well, when we barely understand those terms ourselves”, says a disgruntled 3rd-year student.

Brickbats and bouquets don’t matter however; figures talk and IIIT- CS has managed to maintain its 100% placement rate even in the year of recession and indeed, was ranked 7th overall by Dataquest in the 2008 ranking.

In the end, IIIT is at par with the best when it comes to quality education and the experts seem to agree.

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