Economics in IIT-K: Why was it introduced and why should you opt for it!
How about studying a subject like Economics at an illustrious institute like the IIT? Yes, you read it right! After engineering sciences and mathematics, it’s the turn of social sciences! The elite IITs offering a social science subject like Economics sounds a bit weird.
The authorities of IIT Kharagpur and IIT Kanpur linked economics with the IIT tag in the year 2005 by introducing a course that was instigated by the corporate need.The course was later transformed into the 4 year B.Sc course offered at Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur called as Bachelor in Science or B.S. in Economics. Now the first questionthat rises is thatwhy does a prestigious institute like IIT Kanpur offer a bachelor’s degree in Economics? And even if it does why a person should study a social science subject like Economics at an institute of technology?
You are right that economics is a social science subject but it is not isolated from engineering. Economics has certain attributes of engineering disciplines too. If you compare economics with engineering you’ll realize that both are inter-related. Engineering is that domain of science which design, building and use of machines and structures. Now, many of you would say that this is not what economists do! Agreed! But, friends just ponder over the keywords used in the definition of engineering. They are precisely the same as the ones used to define the dominant methodology of Economics, Economic Modeling.
Many examples can be cited in this direction.The relation between the two disciplines is given below:
- Nano was designed smelling the requirement of cheap cars. This can be addressed as theprocess of framing a problem and then devising a solution.Economists too work in a similar fashion. They are expected to find solutions to countless social problems.
- The manner in which economists attempt to formulate and offer solutions to social problems is quite similar to the method adopted by engineers for solving engineering problems. The pivot for both is rigorous mathematical modeling.
IIT Kanpur sensed that Mathematics based education which lays the foundation for engineering courses also forms the core of modern education in Economics. It was due to this that Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur decided to introduce four-year bachelor in sciences (B.S) in economics.
Thorough knowledge of economics is critical for the development of a country. Engineers need to work in cooperation with economists in order to attain best results. The USA and UK, took help of economists to design a market mechanism to allocate spectrum, and were able to generate huge surpluses for their respective societies.
Another course called MSc. Economics has also been introduced. The course curriculum includes core economics besides technical, computational and statistical subjects.
Another striking fact is that the economists are far better placed than engineers as far as placements are concerned. The department witnessed cent percent placement this year.
In spite of outstripping various other engineering streams, top rankers in IIT JEE exam don’t consider it a very good option. Thestudents presently pursuing the course make all possible efforts to convince others about the importance and relevance of the branch in IIT. The department has started gaining momentum and closing rank is increasing year after year.