IIT Bombay has seen a huge rise in the number of students who are unable to cope with academic pressure and start performing poorly. Since it started the “academic rehabilitation programme (ARP)” in 2009, the number of students registering for it has gone up from two in the inception year to 34 last year.
The ARP, acting as a buffer for such students, gives them a second chance and provides them with an opportunity to stay in IIT for completion of their degree. While 15 students registered for the ARP in 2010, the figure for 2011 and 2012 were 16 and 31 respectively. Students are yet to be assessed for the current academic session.
“While students toil day and night to enter the IITs, some fail to deliver their best once they become an IITian. Some are under-prepared in terms of their scientific preparation while some others face language problems. Problem also arises when students have irregular attendance, are not attentive and also when they focus too much on extra-curricular activities at the cost of their academics.
So, when they are part of ARP, students are given personal attention. Some students have turned out to be outstanding performers after undergoing the programme,” said an IIT Bombay faculty member. According to institute officials, what is significant is that since the inception of this programme, no student has been asked to discontinue his or her studies at IIT Bombay due to poor academic performance. Students can continue to be under ARP for years.
“The ARP committee convenes a meeting to assess the performances of academically weak students and the need for putting a particular student under the programme. Thereafter, the transition from regular student to ARP has to begin with a meeting of the students and their parents or guardians, with the committee overseeing the performance of such students,” said an IIT Bombay official.
During their stay in the programme, each student works in close coordination with a faculty member. In due course of time, the ARP committee assesses individual cases in terms of the report from the faculty coordinator, the department mentor, besides evaluating the performance of the student in the semester. “A decision is taken based on these criteria. If the students perform well in his ARP time, he or she is transferred back to the normal curriculum load,” said the official.