Applications open for IIT Madras’ Online Data Science Program: An early adopter of NEP 2020

Ø The First Batch saw more than 70 CEOs, Founders, Directors and Vice-Presidents of companies, officials from the State Governments and the Union Government besides ISRO & CSIR Staff. Ø With Data Science now being applied in many disciplines to solve real-world problems, the program attracted people from sectors as varied as Accounting, Engineering, Healthcare, IT, Law, Marketing, Teaching and Training. Ø This Program fits into the vision of the National Education Policy (NEP), giving an opportunity for students to pursue multi-disciplinary learning along with on-campus courses of their choice.


CHENNAI : Indian Institute of Technology Madras is calling for applications for the next batch of the Online Data Science Program, the first-of-its-kind initiative launched in 2020.

A revolutionary concept, the program aims to make a Data Scientist out of anyone who has cleared Class XII and studied English and Maths in Class X, regardless of their geographic location, academic background, and profession. The classes for the next qualifier batch will commence in September 2021.

The success of this program can be gauged from the fact that it attracted learners from as many as 27 States and five Union Territories for the Foundation level, with participants ranging from students, bankers, engineers, researchers, managers, teachers, and CEOs, among others.

This Program provides a unique opportunity to study from IIT Madras without having to go through Joint Entrance Examination (JEE). Students can pursue the Diploma in Programming and Data Science along with their on-campus courses. The last date to apply for the next batch of this Data Science Program is 30th August 2021. Interested students can apply through the website –

Highlighting the unique aspects of this program, Prof. Andrew Thangaraj, Professor In-Charge, Data Science Program, IIT Madras, said, “One can build a career in Programming and Data Science through this Diploma from IIT Madras. The first batch is completing Foundation Level in August 2021 and Convocation is being planned.”

Further, Prof. Andrew Thangaraj said, “With this program, IIT Madras is delivering the highest quality learning opportunity to a very large number of learners, without compromising the rigor of the process. The combination of online classes and in-person invigilated exams accomplishes this. At each stage, students will have the freedom to exit from the program and receive a Certificate, Diploma or a Degree, from IIT Madras.”

IIT Madras offers the Diploma in Programming and Data Science with a unique model of learning combining online course delivery with in-person evaluation making it a first of its kind in the world. IIT Madras is providing scholarships upto 75% of the course fee to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Further, Dr. Vignesh Muthuvijayan, Professor In-Charge, Data Science Program, IIT Madras, said, “Data science is becoming an effective tool in solving many real-world problems and is being increasingly adopted across industries to make informed business decisions. The specializations in Programming and Data Science were chosen since the concepts can be taught completely online, including hands-on practical learning.”

A total of 7,116 learners have joined the first batch of the foundation level after clearing the qualifier process. Students through regular entry can join the diploma level after completing foundation level. At diploma level, students can either do a Diploma in Programming or a Diploma in Data Science or both.

Sharing his feedback on taking this Data Science Program, Mr. Aman Tiwari, a Student from Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, said, “Thanks to IIT Madras for coming up with this great program. This is not just an ordinary program, a ray of hope for so many students like me. We are getting the opportunity to learn the best from the best faculty and Professors of India. Structure of this program and organisation of each and every activity is very smooth. There are lots of things like the student houses, clubs etc. that make this program exciting and unique.”

Mr. Dheeraj Kumar, a learner in the Foundation Level and an Assistant Manager at a Multinational bank said, “This is one of the best programs that I can find online. The structure of the program is very relevant as per the industry and the quality of the content is as good as the IIT on-campus program. This is also the cheapest program available given the quality of the content.”

As a part of the application process, all the applicants will go through a qualifier process, wherein IIT Madras provides four weeks of online training through video lectures, assignments, and live interactions with the course instructors. Upon completion of the online assignments, students are eligible to appear for the qualifier exam. Learners who clear the qualifier exam will be offered admission to the foundation level.