In making the expectations as brought out in National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 a reality, an innovative framework named as ‘Flexible Academic Program’ (FAP) is prepared. It aims to infuse the standard UG, PG, and Ph.D. programs in an integrated package such that it can easily facilitate multiple exits with provisions of re-entry (from the point of exit in the future), multi-disciplinary, multi-institute, multi-mode, multi-lingual, lateral entry, etc. Suggestions/consultations from many eminent persons were obtained by organizing several events including Webinars, Seminars, National Conference, etc., and accordingly, the modalities for undertaking a pilot run are prepared, as presented hereunder. Further, IIITA’s section-8 Company, IIIC, along with its industry partners and collaborators are developing the FAP Integrated Services (FAPIS) platform for FAP students as a single-window solution for all needs.
Indian Institute of Information Technology Allahabad (IIITA) Prayagraj is an institute of national importance, which is governed by the act of parliament, IIIT Act 2014. IIITA has instituted a non-profit (Section 8) company IIIC which has built this FAPIS platform with the help and support of its industry partners under the supervision of its consultants, the heads of various consortiums and the National Coordinator FAP. Also, C3i Hub IIT Kanpur is extending support to us in developing the blockchain based 'Academic Bank Credit (ABC)' module for FAP students.
To begin with, the Flexible Fee (i.e. Flexibility to choose teachers offering the same course from the same or different institutes), Flexible Languages of instructions for different courses (as available), Flexible Mode (ONLINE/ONCAMPUS), Flexible duration (speed up by adopting 24 credits in each session, speeding down by adopting lower credits per semester, but an active student needs to register for at least 10 Credits in each session), Multidisciplinary (choice of specialized 16 Credit modules in 6th and 7th semesters; and Human Engineering & Social Sciences(HESS) courses), Reentry, etc. are enabled for FAP students. Later on, more Flexibility may be opened. FAP enables the students admitted to a lower rank institute to learn a few core subjects as well as the latest specialized modules from the very high quality teachers (in ONLINE mode and for a few of them on campus mode too).
Observing the above advantages higher ranked students will be attracted which will uplift the overall quality of the institute. When an established research group will offer specialized modules to institute ‘with FAP’ students in ONLINE mode then it needs to involve a few local teachers/research scholars too for undertaking lab/project/workshops pertaining to the respective module; also some of these trained students will be able to undertake multidisciplinary projects under institute’s faculty members, all such things will surely open up new collaborations opportunities for undertaking joint research and development. Besides offering courses to the institute’s FAP students, the faculty members may offer the same or other courses to FAP students of other institutes belonging to the same consortium; as well as FAP students of other FAP consortiums. These activities will generate additional revenue for the institute.
India does not have enough GDP to create all facilities everywhere for all students, so there is a need to optimally utilize all resources creating fair opportunities for all deserving students. In the long run, FAP is going to take care of this aspect. A lot of students are taking one or more years to drop to study Chemistry, Mathematics, and Physics in various coaching classes for getting admissions in a high-rated institute. It is not only a huge useless burden on their parents, but it is a great loss to the nation too, as its best minds are getting delayed to serve the nation. FAP is creating a great opportunity of learning from highly qualified faculty members of a better institute (to begin with it may be short durations on a returnable basis but in long run permanent switching to a few outstanding students) for almost all. This arrangement may motivate these students not to go for the DROP option but to study engineering subjects with similar devotion to avail the above said opportunity of learning engineering skills from experts. By this, a great qualitative shift in skills of engineering students may become visible in near future. For accomplishing such innovative movements of students for better learning a systematic mechanism through a centralized nodal agency may be created. Identifying this need, IIITA has already sent a proposal to MOE for building a Multidisciplinary Education Research University (MERU) for the wide-scale implementation of NEP2020 and FAP in particular. It is expected that this MERU may become instrumental in opening up many new dimensions and hence several innovative opportunities for all ‘with FAP’ students of various consortiums.
Disclaimer: At this point of time the proposal is under the process of approval, but for spreading awareness about FAP it is being displayed here. Final modalities (including year of admission to start with) may be different than whatever is written hereunder.
IIITA should request JoSAA-2022and CCMT-2022 to create an option of choosing its respective programs ‘with FAP’ or ‘without FAP’. As per respective merit, on a first come first serve basis, a maximum of 30% seats in BTech (IT), 50% seats in BTech(ECE); and 30% seats in each stream of MTech(IT) and MTech(ECE) may be offered ‘with FAP’ option. By this, in the worst case, if no one opts for FAP then all seats will be automatically filled without the FAP option and there is no chance of remaining any vacancy or merit violation. And if it is fully filled then also the strength remains manageable. However, it may worth mentioning that when a student admitted via JoSAA reached to MTech/PhD level with/without taking any exit option may not automatically get the respective fellowship too. The institute will separately notify the criteria for awarding fellowship to some of these PG/PhD students.
All permanent teachers of IIITA and other institutes (as mentioned in Annexure-B, the Dean (AR) may add more similarly placed institutes later on), or any other competent person as approved by the Chairman Senate, are allowed to offer courses/modules to IIITA’s FAP students via FAPIS. All students admitted under FAP will be managed via the FAPIS platform. Other IIITs (CFTIs) will be motivated to launch FAP by offering the FAPIS platform. IIITA will help them in launching FAP and will work towards creating a FAP consortium involving all these IIITs (CFTIs only). Once this consortium is built then ‘Summer Semesters’ may be used for managing students' temporary visits to other IIITs, learning some courses ON Campus mode, and returning back to the parent institute in the next regular session. A student may plan an exclusive stay in another institute for a duration of one full semester, provided under the provision of FAP student would have registered for the credits from that institute in that semester. The courses offered by various teachers will be displayed on the FAPIS dashboard of each student and they can choose any course subject to satisfaction of the prerequisite conditions (if any). Each student will be able to choose the relevant course floated by his parent institute’s teacher. He may choose another institute’s teacher’s course too (in ONLINE mode, unless ON Campus is explicitly mentioned therein) as visible on his FAPIS dashboard. Excluding the extreme scenario like COVID-19, a student cannot opt for more than 40% credits in online mode (it includes HESS courses) with reference to the next exit point, i.e. for the students admitted via JoSAA the 1st exit point is after earning 120 credits so maximum 48 ONLINE Credits may be allowed, however, if a student declares to take the exit after 160 credits then ONLINE 64 Credits may be allowed to him by the FAP Coordinator, who may, however, consider individuals requests and permit little more ONLINE Credits too. A pre-fixed class timetable from 9 AM to 9 PM on all 7 days (including Saturday and Sunday) will be made available through the FAPIS platform, before opting for a course the students will be able to see its timings (Highly demanded courses may run in multiple slots simultaneously by different teachers). The assessment procedure may be the same as applicable to non-FAP students i.e. the ‘Choice Credit Linked Continuous Assessment and Award’ (CCLCAA). To begin with, the curriculum for students admitted via CCMT under FAP as well as without FAP should be the same. However, for the students admitted via JoSAA the curriculum for FAP students will be as placed at Annexure-C. A Blockchain technology-based Academic Bank of Credits (ABC) will forever keep the credit records of all students via FAPIS. It will generate a suitable soft certificate at the exit point which will remain accessible via a specialized app. It is developed by C3i Hub IITK, a collaborator of IIIC.
The FAP students need to pay for the respective FAP course fee chosen by him/her in each session (Jan-Jun OR July-Dec), maximum of 24 credits may be opted in each session, along with other applicable fees (including one time FAPIS registration fee to IIIC at the time of admission), as may be defined by the Dean (AR). As mentioned in para C(ii) above, there is a possibility that some FAP students of another institute may visit IIITA then in addition to course(s) fee such students also need to pay an additional fee (for hostel and other facilities) as may be defined by Dean(AR). Similarly, if IIITA FAP students visit other institutes then such an additional fee needs to be paid by them. The fee of various FAP courses (X) will be defined by the institute’s FAP Coordinator in consultation with the Dean (AR). Once the system becomes mature, this decision-making may be transferred to the respective main teacher of each course. However, the Fee of specialized modules/Courses developed by other institutes will be decided by the Main Teacher of the respective module. Depending upon the lab/hands-on expenses/brand name etc. parameters some of these courses may be costly and hence it may become possible that ‘with FAP’ students, who opt for such costly modules may need to pay more fee as compared to ‘Without FAP‘ students of same batch or other ‘with FAP’ students who choose low cost (maybe free too) modules. If the department assigns a FAP course to a teacher (with TAs) as a part of his/her semester load then 0.9X will go to IIITA and 0.1X to FAPIS. In other cases, the distribution of course fee (X) may be as follows: X= 0.5X (Main Teachers Honorarium) + 0.2X (Supporting Teachers/Assistants Honorarium) + 0.15X (IIITA’s convenience fee) + 0.05X (Main Teacher’s Parent institute convenience fee) + 0.1X (FAPIS course fee to IIIC) All Fee collection will be done by the FAPIS through ONLINE transactions, and it will transfer the proportionate funds to the respective institute’s account within a predefined time.
It will be done as per the CCLCAA ordinance of IIITA i.e. whenever a student could not qualify for a course, he will be dropped and no credits will be earned by him. In the case of a hard core course, the student needs to again enroll in the course whenever it is offered next time (may be in a different institute/ with a different teacher). However, in case of HESS or soft core courses, he may opt for another subject in subsequent sessions.
To begin with, no exit option should be given till the completion of 120 Credits for students admitted via JoSAA (approximately equal to the completion of 3rd year as compared to the current scheme which is equivalent to Advanced Diploma OR B.Sc.), and 64 credits for the students admitted via CCMT. As 3 years of teaching after higher secondary is already a standard in other fields so this proposed exit is allowed as a 1st exit point so that the outgoing students get duly recognized in the society; the candidates may get meaningful employment and hurdle less bank loans, if they chose to become a entrepreneurs, etc. The vacancies created after exit with a MTech degree should be filled via standard Ph.D. admission procedure and in the former case (after completion of 120 or more credits) it may be decided as and when the need arises i.e. after 3 years. Later on, intermediate exit points may be opened.
The FAP students will be eligible for re-entry into the FAP at any point in time in the future, subject to availability of seats at that point of time including the decision of the Chairman Senate for accommodating a few deserving candidates by creating supernumerary seats. The FAP coordinator and respective HOD (or his nominee) may define additional credits to be earned by such students, on a case to case basis (depending upon the experiences of the candidate, his field of interest, etc.), for becoming eligible for the next exit option(s).
IIITA proposes to take admissions ‘with FAP’ as mentioned in para C(i) above w.e.f. 2022-23 academic year, offering limited flexibility as pointed out in para B(i) above utilizing the FAPIS platform.
IIITA will approach other centrally (fully) funded IIITs requesting them to replicate the action (i) above in their own institute and to formally constitute a consortium of these homogeneous institutes.
IIITA will approach its own and other institutes (as per annexure-B) research groups motivating them to build specialized 16 credit modules (which fits into 6th Sem OR 7th Sem FAP Curriculum), innovative individual courses of both Technical and HESS domains for offering to its ‘with FAP’ students with reasonable fee.
IIITA will extend its supervision to other types of homogeneous entities in building their own independent consortiums e.g. NITs, PPP IIITs, IITs, AKTU, GTU etc. IIITA will allow its faculty members to offer courses/modules in ONLINE mode to the students of these consortiums too. However, larger engagements like allowing their students to visit IIITA for physically attending courses, doing projects etc. will be decided by the Dean(AR) on the recommendations of the FAP Coordinator and the Main teacher of the respective course as and when it is requested.
Little later, short-duration Intra/inter consortium movements (on returnable basis) for the ‘with FAP’ students may be provisioned as per the mutually agreed terms and conditions approved by the Chairman Senate on the recommendations of the Dean(AR). It may be easily coordinated through the FAPIS platform. Accordingly, more flexibility may be opened up in the future.
As soon as the MERU (as introduced in para B(3) above) becomes operational, the new age of the education system will start in India.
Any renowned institute approved by the Chairman Senate
Any renowned Institute approved by the chairman Senate
ECE FAP Curriculums Pg 48-54 of the FAP book
IT FAP Curriculum Pg 55-61 of the FAP Book
Prof. IIT Kanpur
Professor IIITA Prayagraj
CSE Dept. IIT Kanpur
IPM Cell, JNU, New Delhi
Director, NIT Delhi
Director, GBPSSI, Prayagraj