It gives us immense pleasure to congratulate you and your ward for the exemplary success at IITJEE Advanced 2013. The Institute Student Mentorship Program (ISMP) would like to welcome you and your ward to one of the most prestigious institutes in India, IIT Bombay (IITB). As you might know, this institute has been home to some of the most distinguished personalities on the global map, and we look forward to developing many more such minds that will serve for the betterment of technology, our country and above all, mankind.
We believe that, as well-informed parents, you should be familiarized with both the academic and the extra-curricular lifestyle of students at this institute and get an idea about the various opportunities that your child can get as well as the underlying responsibilities. The faculty at this institute strives hard to make sure that all the academic needs of each of their students are taken care of and also to make his/her stay here fruitful. However, there may be times when students require help, academic or otherwise, and we, at the ISMP see to it that these requirements are met promptly and in the best way possible. We would like you to extend your assistance for the same by simply making sure that you know a few things about this institute, to get a general idea of how things function here. This letter is written with the purpose of helping you understand the same.
Institute Student Mentor Program (ISMP):
At this institute, we have respected and well accomplished senior students in their fourth/fifth year of study mentoring all first year students and these mentors, constitute the Institute Student Mentor Program – aimed at providing guidance and help to first year students. The mentors help the first year students’ make a smooth transition from life at home to life at this institute and help in clearing out hurdles in their path. It would be advisable for you to meet the mentors when when you arrive on campus for the orientation. It would be beneficial if you could also stay in touch with mentors during the course of the semester.
A typical academic year at IIT Bombay is divided into two semesters – Autumn Semester (July-November) and Spring Semester (January-April). The curriculum at IIT Bombay is based on the credit system. Each course is allotted credits based on the number of lectures, tutorials and lab hours per week.
There is continuous evaluation by means of quizzes, assignments, mid-semester, end-semester examinations and lab work throughout the semester. At the end of each semester, the student gets an SPI (Semester Performance Index) which is an average of the grades in each of the courses he/she had registered for in that semester weighted with the credits of those courses respectively. CPI (Cumulative Performance Index) is a weighted average of all the SPIs (till date) weighted on the number of total credits each semester.
A detailed explanation of the formula to calculate SPI/CPI, the grading structure and the attendance policy can be found in the appendix at the end of this letter.
The importance of maintaining a steady attendance in classes here cannot be understated. It is advised that students do not miss classes due to trips home or otherwise. Also, it is absolutely compulsory for all students to attend classes during the first week of each semester, except for genuine medical reasons. When medical problems arise, the student is advised to inform the mentor and the professors concerned if he/she is missing classes. Professors might require medical certificates issued or authenticated by the IITB Hospital or other supporting documents in such cases.
Students who enter this institute every year are some of the best brains in the country. Due to the competitive environment here, we have often experienced cases where students, who until then had always topped their class, found it difficult to get grades that meet their expectations. This has often led to one of two extremes: some students face excessive parental pressure, while others simply adopt an indifferent attitude which further reduces their academic performance. We hope that you would encourage your ward to put his/her best foot forward - treat the best effort from his/her side as the objective, rather than the results.
At this institute, we believe in the overall development of our students. General lifestyle of students includes a lot of extracurricular activities in fields of sports, cultural and technical activities, at intra-hostel, inter-hostel and inter-college events. The environment is very conducive to growth and our institute has some of the best facilities across India. So, we encourage students to take up whatever interests them and we request you to support them in their choices. There is enough time in a normal IIT student’s day to fit in both academics and extracurricular activities without much stress. But, at the same time, it is advised that care must be taken to ensure proper time management such that academics are not neglected because of such activities.
Hostels form an integral part of every IIT students’ life. The hostels are well equipped with necessary infrastructure and mess facilities. First year students stay in double-sharing hostel rooms with their batchmates.
The transition of your ward, from your loving and caring hands to a completely new competitive environment of IIT could occasionally cause adjustment problems in the initial period of their stay. Many students find it difficult getting used to a roommate and hostel life for the first time. Sometimes, cultural, social and language differences further delay the settling process. As mentors, we help the freshmen have a smooth transition so that this settling process is as short as possible and your wards feel comfortable in this new setting quickly.
In case you are worried about how expensive it is going to be to put your son/daughter through college, don’t be. Help is always given at IITB to those who need it, whether that be of academic, financial or any other kind. Scholarships in the form of Merit cum Means and Free Messing are provided to the eligible students that discount the tuition fees and the mess fees respectively. You can find more information about these in the leaflet on scholarships that you will receive shortly or ask your ward’s mentor.
Some important issues:
Ragging in any form is strictly banned in the campus. The student should report any such untoward incident to his/her mentor immediately. We assure you that it will be dealt with confidentiality and with highest priority. We believe that you will be reassured by the steps that have been taken by the institute to prevent ragging. Interaction of the freshmen with seniors (other than the appointed mentors) is heavily curtailed during their first month, so they get time to adjust. Strict penalties are very much in place, and mentors are always available to resolve any situations promptly. Rest assured, ragging has all but vanished from the IIT-Bombay campus.
However, it is expected that the freshmen develop a healthy rapport with seniors as they themselves are amongst the brightest in the country and excel at various activities. In fact, a healthy senior junior interaction has been the hallmark of this institute and we would like to maintain that.
It has also been commonly observed that students with laptops/computers in their first semester get distracted by excessive gaming/internet and don’t experience all the institute has to offer. We would, therefore, suggest against providing your wards with laptops for the first semester, since computer facilities for academic needs are adequately available in the Institute. However, in case you feel that he will be able to learn better with a laptop/computer at his disposal, we leave it to your discretion.
During the first two months, your ward will be witnessing numerous orientation programmes for various cultural and technical programs and festivals, with the aim of encouraging them to contribute to these campus activities. He/she is encouraged to attend these orientations and familiarise himself/herself with these activities and hopefully explore their other interests and talents. However, it becomes really important to realize the need of prioritizing and planning to succeed both academically and otherwise.
Our purpose of sharing the above mentioned problems with you is to make you aware of them. As parents, you need not be alarmed, but mental preparation and precautionary measures would definitely help.
We hope that this letter gives you a fair idea about the life of your ward in the next few years. This institute offers a wide range of opportunities for all who wish to learn in the various spheres of life and we hope that he/she has a productive and memorable time in the institute.
Student Mentor Program
Calculation of SPI and CPI:
Suppose in a given semester a student has taken four courses having credits C1, C2, C3 and C4 and grade points in those courses are G1, G2, G3 and G4 respectively. Then,
SPI = (C1 x G1 + C2 x G2 + C3 x G3 + C4 x G4) / (C1 + C2 + C3 + C4)
CPI = (SPI1 x Credits in semester1 + SPI2 x Credits in semester2 + ...) / (Total credits)
For example, if in a given semester a student has taken four courses having credits 6, 6, 8, and 6 and grade points in those courses are 10, 9, 8, 6 respectively. Then,
SPI = (6 x 10 + 6 x 9 + 8 x 8 + 8 x 6) / (6 + 6 + 8 + 6) = 7.62
If the student has an SPI of 7.62 in the 1st semester worth (say) 32 credits and 8.2 in the next semester worth 36 credits,
CPI (at the end of 2nd semester) = (7.62 x 32 + 8.2 x 36) / (32 + 36) = 7.93
Do note that all semesters have more or less equal credit weightage, so it is important to do well throughout, and not just in final exams, in order to maintain a good CPI.
The system of grading here, in most courses, is relative. The highest grade (worth 10 points) is set according to the highest score obtained in the class, and proportionately, grades are allotted to all students. Grading, in integral values out of 10 is done based on the student’s performance throughout the semester and goes from 10 to 4 (AA-10, AB-9, BB-8, BC-7, CC-6, CD-5, DD-4),.
Detailed rules can be found in the ‘Rules and Regulations’ booklet which you will receive subsequently. Parents and students are requested to go through and understand it carefully.