Academic System

In IIT Kanpur, the academic system is devised with the joint objectives of promoting excellence and at the same time remaining as student-friendly and flexible as possible. All academic programs follow the semester system. The first semester generally begins in the last week of July and continues till the first week of December. The second semester generally begins in the last week of December and continues till the first week of May. There is also a short summer term of two months, from the middle of May to the middle of July, during which only special courses are offered.


In IIT Kanpur every student is provided with mandatory hostel accommodation. There is no provision for day scholars. As the IIT campus is self-sufficient for most of the ordinary needs, students are not permitted to leave the campus during the semester without permission from chairman of the Senate UG/PG Committee, as may be relevant.
The method of instruction is mostly through lectures, tutorials, demonstrations/discussions and laboratory work. The conduct of a course - including the pace of instruction, the order topics to be covered, the number and level of problems and home assignments, the number of examinations/quizzes, the introduction of term papers, the weightage assigned to these factors (including attendance) for awarding the final grade etc. - is the sole responsibility of the instructor or the instructor-in-charge (for multi-instructor courses).
IIT Kanpur follows the Continuous Evaluation System, which means that evaluation proceeds alongside with the progress of the courses. Every semester, there are two mid-semester examinations and an end-semester examination, as well as an unspecified number of quizzes and home assignments. Students are expected to keep themselves prepared at every stage. On the basis of the marks obtained in all the different modules, the instructor awards a letter grade at the end of the semester. These are usually awarded on the basis of relative performance, i.e. using the percentile marks rather than the actual marks. To compute the student's overall performance, each grade is assigned a numerical value, which is multiplied by a weight factor depending on the numbers of hours per week spent on the course, and averaged to calculate a Semester Point Index (SPI). The average overall semesters, i.e. the Cumulative Point Index (CPI) is the final criterion determining the student's overall performance.
Every department has a Departmental Undergraduate Committee (DUGC) and Departmental Postgraduate Committee (DPGC) for the micro-management of UG/PG programs in the department. These committees make specific recommendations to the Senate Undergraduate Committee (SUGC) / Senate Postgraduate Committee (SPGC), which ensures uniformity between departments and programs, and makes specific recommendations to the Academic Senate of IIT Kanpur, which is the highest body for making policy in all academic matters. In keeping with the democratic traditions of IIT Kanpur, it is mandatory that some of the members of all bodies be students of the relevant programs. On behalf of the Dean of Academic Affairs, these bodies also conduct a student reaction survey for each course, in which the students are encouraged to provide their free and frank opinions about each course, without identifying themselves.

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