Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
- Murphy’s Law
One of the most important and potentially life-changing decisions that can be taken by a student here at IIT Kanpur is that of changing one’s branch. However, there have been some cases in the recent past where, due to human error, students have been allotted branches they do not want to be in, which could have been easily avoided.
Over the past few years there have been few such cases, once in Y12 batch where the student wanted a branch change in Chemical Engineering (CHE) but got Civil Engineering (CE) instead, and a recent one in Y15 batch, who wanted to apply for Chemical Engineering (CHE) but got B.S. Chemistry (CHM).
The nature of error has been pretty common. All of them have mentioned wrong branch codes and hence have been allotted branches they did not expect. The source of error being, the ambiguous branch change application forms.
Although, branch codes for B.Tech. and B.S. streams are separately mentioned, individual branch codes are neither expanded nor there is some kind of a legend or key to abbreviation. Evidently, there will clearly be some confusion among similar codes such as CSE, CHE, CHM, CE. Though one should be careful while filling a form of such importance, a tiny error can be devastating to the student concerned. A few simple solutions can potentially rule out any scope of human error:
- Expanding all the branch codes mentioned in the form, or,
- Allowing bigger spaces to facilitate mentioning the full name of the branch, or,
- Providing a proper legend for branches with number codes, akin to the CPA form, designed to fill in a preference order.
We discussed this issue with the DoAA officials. They have taken note of this problem. We hope that some change will be incorporated in the branch change forms rolled out next year, so that such unfortunate events can be averted in future.