Tracking Change: In Century Of Biology, IITs Make Space For Life Science

The curriculum tweak by the IITs, however, isn’t just limited to the introduction of basics of biology. IIT-Madras, which has a mandatory course since 2005, revamped it in 2015 to introduce electives, such as big data in biology, bio-energy.


FROM MECHANICAL, civil and chemical engineering to cell structure, evolution, genetic code and disease control. In the “century of biology”, IITs across the country are adapting to a new reality.

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With internal surveys showing that an estimated 20 per cent of start-ups that sprout in their ecosystem tilt towards healthcare and medicine, several IITs are tweaking their curriculum in the new hope that engineering can lead to breakthroughs in biology and medicine. Over the last decade, at least six IITs — Kanpur, Kharagpur, Delhi, Bombay, Madras and Guwahati — have introduced Biology or Life Science as a compulsory course for undergraduate students across engineering branches.

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