Indian Institute of Technology, Bhubaneswar introduces dance as a subject in B-tech. The dance form introduced is Odissi. This is the first time an extracurricular activity has been included as a part of a course. On Friday, in an official meeting, director RV Rajakumar says, “Dance can broaden horizons of students studying specialised course.”

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Since dance is well known to be a good physical exercise, it will relax the minds of the students studying an engineering course as well.  As per the syllabus, Odissi would be one of the breadth course of maximum 12 credits during four years of B-tech. What he implied was that the students will have to pursue a weekly five hours of study for the course.

In the first year, students can learn Odissi as an extracurricular activity while they can choose from any of the credits including NSS, NCC, Yoga, Volleyball, Badminton or Cricket. However, the students need to clear the same, whichever they choose, in order to get a degree for B-tech. The students can opt from an “elective breadth course” in the second and third year from subjects like Odissi, Financial management, International Relations and Entrepreneurship.  In order to clear B-tech, each of the two semesters will have three credits for the breadth course. However, in the last year the students who might have opted for Odissi can continue with it or can opt out of it. They can treat the same as an optional subject. The two Odissi exponents Kumkum Mohanty and Illiana has been appointed to design the Odissi curriculum and examination pattern by the dean of academic affairs, N.C Sahoo. Classroom training, as well as the practical demonstration of techniques, will be included in the Odissi curriculum. The reasons behind this move of the authority has been varied.

According to RV Rajakumar, this type of dance courses will give the students healthy exposure in different fields of knowledge apart from the main area of study. Any student who would like to continue with Odissi in the fourth year also will get a diploma in Odissi along with the B-tech degree. This would add an extra mark to their qualification.

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