IIT Madras BS (Data Science and Applications) graduates 177 students

The event is significant as the first batch of 10 BS graduands were awarded their Course completion certificates, having completed the entire credit requirements of the 4-year BS program in just 3 years


CHENNAI : IIT Madras BS (Data Science and Applications) graduated 177 students who completed their Degrees and Diplomas during an event on campus on Thursday (30th May 2024).

The certificate distribution event is significant as the first batch of 10 BS graduands were awarded their Course completion certificates. These students have taken the fast track to complete the credit requirements of the 4-year BS program in 3 years.

A unique feature of this program, which became the world’s first 4-year BS Degree in Data Science and Applications, is that it provides students with options to exit earlier in the foundation, Diploma, or BSc degree level.

Speaking on the occasion, IIT Madras Alum (1998 BTech), Mr. Nalinikanth Gollagunta, CEO, Automotive Division of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd., said, “It is truly amazing to see the kind of students going through this program as I saw an IAS Officer, cardiologists and even an octogenarian. This program truly democratizes education without diluting the quality of program…I have no doubt that each of you are going to be extremely successful in your careers. There are going to be lots of companies who, as they learn about this program, are going to be very keen to be recruiting you as well. I congratulate the IIT Madras faculty here who have created a program that is going to have humungous impact on the education system in India.”

Mr. Nalinikanth Gollagunta added, “See your life as a ‘Lifetime of learning’. If you have the willingness to learn at any stage, the best of education is available to you. If you stop learning, somebody is going to get better than you. It is a lifelong learning… You have to do something new, you have to try different things, outside of your comfort zone. Do take risks, try to do something different and do not be afraid of failure. If you do not fail, you are not pushing yourself.”

During the event, 26 students who chose to exit the program with a BSc in Programming and Data Science were awarded their degrees. Another 120 students received their provisional BSc degree certificates while they are currently pursuing their BS degree.

In addition, a total of 122 students collected their Diplomas in Data Science, and 19 students collected their Diplomas in Programming and 10 students collected both Diploma in Data Science and Diploma in Programming. As many as 411 students were awarded provisional Double Diplomas, as they continue studying at the degree level.

In a Video Message, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “As we see hundreds of students collecting their degrees and provisional certificates, we are excited that we have, as an Institute, contributed to your professional development. With the advent of AI and massive digitization, and also with the advent of advanced communication techniques like 5G, India is aspiring to become a multi trillion economy at the earliest possible time. This essentially means there are going to be very explorative, interesting, new and unconventional types of jobs that are going to come up. And each of these jobs will also certainly have a crucial component of data analytics and AI that will guide the system developer to come out with affordable and effective products.”

Further, Prof. V. Kamakoti said, “I am sure this will be extremely use for your (students) career growth whether you are a fresh student, a working professional who wants to upskill yourself or you are totally new to computer science and you have just joined and is now taking these courses for a new pathway in your career. I congratulate the entire BS Data Science and Electronics Systems Teams for having put together these wonderful programs.”

The BS program currently has more than 29,000 students studying in it, and more than 25,000 applications have been received for the May 2024 term. The next window to apply will open for the BS in Data Science and BS in Electronic Systems programs by 15th June 2024.

Welcome the first batch of BS (Data Science) graduates into the IIT Madras Alumni Community, Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras, said, “The quality of the students that we are seeing graduating today has certainly validated the idea that there is absolutely no dilution in the quality. This program is as difficult as any JEE (Advanced) conducted. You are a member of this IIT Madras Alumni community starting today and you will have the full perks and will be able to enjoy the facilities offered to IIT Madras Alumni. We welcome you to contribute to this network and also take advantage of it for your own growth.”

Addressing the students, Prof. Prathap Haridoss, Dean (Academic Courses), IIT Madras, and one of the founding coordinators for this program, said, “I take this opportunity to welcome to the campus all the students and their parents, and I even see the kids of our students. I also congratulate all the degree winners on this occasion.”

Presenting the Program Report, Prof. Andrew Thangaraj, Coordinator, IITM BS program, said, “MoUs being explored with more institutes within and outside India to enable BS Students for their Masters and PhD Programs, doing courses on their campuses and getting credits. IIT Madras BS has also started to partner with schools.”

Prof. Andrew Thangaraj added, “More than 1.5 lakh people have applied for this program of which 42,000 have qualified. A total of 29,051 students are currently active in this program today, which makes it among the largest online program if not the largest undergraduate program in the world. About 20,382 are registered at the foundation level. It’s a diverse community from not only all geographical regions but also from diverse age and socio-economic backgrounds. The students are from all over the country and some even from abroad as well including 114 from UAE. We are constantly looking at how to make this course even better through more and more electives.”


The event was also an occasion to recognize the toppers who have completed two diplomas or the BS level. The program follows an absolute grading system. Ms. Ayushi Sharad Gang from Hyderabad completed her BS credit requirements in Dec 2023 on the fastest track of three years with a CGPA of 9.74. She has been admitted to a Masters’ in Computer Science at the University of Southern California.

The four toppers at the end of two diplomas are Dr. Nikhil Sadineni, a medical doctor by profession, who has a CGPA of 9.95, closely followed by Ms. Sherry Thomas, who has a BA in Philosophy and a CGPA of 9.94. Ms. Sanjana Mohan is a Marketing Associate with HDFCI is the third highest with a CGPA of 9.94, and Mr. Srikanth, an alumnus of the Department of Aerospace Engineering, IIT Madras and currently Associate Director of Kadal Lab, has secured the fourth highest CGPA of 9.91.

Apart from this, 85 students from varied backgrounds and ages were awarded the Certificates of Academic Distinction and Certificates of Merit for their exemplary performance during the foundation and diploma levels.

The BS program also has a Direct Admission to Diploma program where learners can choose to enroll directly for a Diploma. This option is tailored for learners who are interested in upskilling in Data Science or Programming but are not looking to earn a degree from IITM.

The toppers in the Diploma in Data Science admitted through this stream are Ms. Shilpa Paul and Mr. Aashrit B.K, who have both secured a CGPA of 9.94. The training from this program has fueled Ms. Shilpa Paul’s career switch from being a Maths teacher in a school to a Data Analyst at Fragomen. Mr. Ashish Pukale, who is a System Engineer at TCS, is the topper in the Direct Diploma for Programming stream with a CGPA of 9.91.