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A Comprehensive Guide to Open Electives (2018)—Semester VI


This guide is for batches up to 2018. The latest version can be found here.

Picking an open elective can often put you in a pickle—you might end up with a subject well-tailored to your interests, or you might just end up staring wistfully at the stars as the lecture drones on. We have compiled a list of all the Open Electives offered in the sixth semester, sorted according to their respective parent streams.


  1. IIE5202: Digital Medicine
    Present day practice of medicine. Limitations of scalability in the present framework. Introduction to computing, algorithms, big data, semantic web, mobility. Communication-WAN/LAN, 3G/4G and 5G. Patient/Electronic Health records. Experience with these records elsewhere Wearables, the physics of data capture. Practical demonstration of wearables Genomics, an introduction. Computational genomics including the software. Imaging -an introduction ionizing and non-ionizing. Imaging software and science of diagnosis. How all the four 4 pillars-PHR/EHR, Wearables, Genomics and Imaging come together with software as the glue to change the world of medicine.

Digital Medicine’s main course outcome is to identify the impact of technology on the medical world. With the course-plan outlining topics like- current medical practices from the purview of India, medical imaging, fundamentals of computing including big data, and basics of computational languages. Students will learn all aspects of medical care ranging from genomics to electronic health records.

“Genomics is reminiscent of first-year biology, and if you are not comfortable with it, genomics may be a struggle to understand. An interest in biology is recommended for this open elective.”

2. IIE5201: Health Science
Understanding Economics. Efficiency. Rational decision making. Opportunity costs. Supply and demand. Price discovery. Defining health. Human capital. What do supply and demand mean in the context of health? The arrow on the uncertainty and welfare economics. The Moral hazard. DALY and QALY. Epidemiology. The Production possibility frontiers. The production function for health care. Health policy. Defining equity. Standards of healthcare provision, Production of health care. The concept of elasticity. Types of expenditure. Sources of funds. Health as a public good. Preventive health. The impact of Immunization. Family planning. Nutrition. Sanitation. Who demands? At what price? Individual versus aggregate demand. Price elasticity of demand. Behavioural economics, Health insurance, Moral hazard, Subsidies, Adverse selection. Deadweight losses. Externalities. Understanding public finance and Health Financing. Understanding epidemics, Neglected diseases, Non-communicable diseases. Drugs, procurement issues, Price control, the WTO flexibilities under the Doha round, TRIPS, Generics, bulk drugs, Regulation, The FDA. Obamacare. The NHS, Fighting polio in Nigeria, HIV AIDS in Africa, Ebola, neglected diseases. National Health policymaking in India

“Health Science involves a comprehensive study of a healthcare sector from the pricing and production of pharmaceutical drugs, to disease prevalence. The open elective also includes an introduction to health economics. A theory based subject, it may require a certain degree of rote learning. The elective does include very interesting sub-topics such as demand and supply for healthcare as well as case studies on Obamacare, Fighting polio in Nigeria, and National Health policymaking in India.”

3. BIO3281: Introduction to Biofuels and Biopolymers
Renewable energies and introduction to Biofuels, feedstock for various biofuels, Life Cycle Analysis of biofuels, ethanol from fermentation and comparison to different technologies, diesel from Jatropha, waste cooking oils, Microalgae, biogas and biological hydrogen, basic concepts of microbial fuel cells. Introduction to biopolymers, biopolymers vs synthetic polymers, synthesis of various biopolymers eg hemicellulose, starch etc. Commercially available biopolymers, uses of biopolymers, manufacturing technologies, fillers and reinforcements, market and economics, biodegradability.

“The name of the course sums up the syllabus quite well. This subject would involve studying importance to biofuels, life cycle analysis, biodegradability and biopolymers. The subject is mostly voluminous theory, which may be difficult for some.”

“The professor knows the subject very well, but goes off on a tangent while teaching so he takes a lot of time.”

Printing and Media

  1. PMT3286: Publishing Science
    Publishing and its process, Types of Publishing, Media – Writing for mass media, styles of reporting, editorials, features. Components of a story, Design & Editing – Significance, techniques and functions. Editing tools and symbols for mass media. Advertising Key Principles for promotional writing, Specialized reporting for Science and technology. Publishing Laws – Types of Publishers, Legal Issues – Intellectual Property Rights, Copy Rights, Trademark, Privacy Policies, Licensing, Memorandum of Understanding. Plagiarism and other malpractices. Electronic media versus print media. Case study. Recent advances andfuture trends in publishing.

“Publishing science goes through the nitty-gritty of writing and reporting for mass media. Varying from reporting styles, specialized reporting for tech as well as editorials. The subject also includes editing tools. Modules also touch upon advertising and promotional writing.  This elective also introduces you to the legalities involved in publishing. You will get to study Publishing laws, International Property Rights, Copy Rights, and Privacy Policies etc.”

Mechatronics Engineering

  1. MTE3285: Product Development and Marketing
    Generic development process, product planning process, evaluating and prioritizing projects, customer needs, gathering and interpreting raw data in terms of customer needs, concept generation, activities of concept generation, concept selection and testing, concept screening, concept scoring, concept test, survey population, communicating the concept, customer response, product marketing, strategy and planning, market definition and entry strategy, consumer measurement, perceptual mapping, segmentation, forecasting and launching of products. Strategy and planning, Market evolution, Successful product development, new product strategy, a proactive new product development process, Market definition and entry strategy.

“This open elective goes through the steps of product development, from the generic planning process to market definition and entry strategy. The elective comprehensively goes through every step- from data collection, surveying, market evolution etc. An easy elective to score in, it is a mix of interesting parts as well as cumbersome theory. The faculty helps make it interesting, but a vested interest in marketing and product development would help ace this elective.”

Electrical and Electronics Engineering

  1. ELE 3282: Electric Drives
    This open elective is essentially a condensed course on electric drives. Several aspects of the subject are covered starting right from the basics. The topics taught are generic and the concepts are straightforward. The elective in itself is quite scoring and the faculty is also decent. Fewer students tend to take up the subject and the classes are easy to understand.

2. ELE 3284: Energy Auditing
The course starts off from basics such as energy types and needs, and covers the important terms and activities involved in energy auditing, including Energy Conservation Act 2001. It involves minimal theory and the numericals are quite basic. The portion for the subject is very compact and to the point, involving mostly numericals. This elective is very easy to score in and the faculty is decent.

3. ELE 3288: Lighting Design
The course starts with the basic anatomy of human eye, covers spectral sensitivity, deals in terms related to lighting, lamps construction and working, and finally, interior lighting design and control. The course is quite interesting and the concepts learned prove to be useful in the future. The GPA cutoff tends to be low. The faculty involved is good and the course by itself is not too complicated. 

Information technology

  1. Networking with TCP/IP
    The course starts off with the basics of the Internet and goes on to cover the OSI and TCP/IP network models, and also the protocols involved in the different layers.

Many students chose not to opt for the course as it was perceived as difficult and the portion was considered vast.

Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering

  1. MME 3285: Introduction to Alternative Fuels and Applications
    As the name suggests, this elective focuses on the properties, availability, and performance of alternative fuels for spark ignition and combustion ignition engines. It covers everything- from the manufacturing and storage to the performance characteristics- of alternative fuels, going into the details of the specific needs of both types of internal combustion engines.

“There’s a whole lot to remember in this elective but if you’re actually attentive in class it becomes pretty straightforward.”

2. MME 3288: Introduction to Operations Research
One of the more broad-scoped electives offered by the MME Department, Operations Research relies heavily on one’s mathematical capabilities, dealing mainly with mathematical modelling and linear programming. The field itself deals with the use of mathematical analytical techniques to aid decision making.

“This isn’t an elective you’d want to choose if you’re looking for something simple or if you’re not very comfortable with math.”

3. MME 3289: Introduction to Quality Control
Another mathematics-based elective, Quality Control involves the generous use of statistical techniques for the quantification and analysis of industrial production. This elective has a broad application base and provides knowledge that is useful to have in most manufacturing industries. Again, this isn’t the ideal choice for someone who’s not particularly interested in the manufacturing field.

“It’s a useful but very dry elective; not recommended for those who aren’t into production-related fields. There’s a good amount of math involved, so be warned.”

4. MME 3294: Thermal Treatment of Metals and Alloys
Much like the Material Science and Metallurgy course offered by the MME Department to the students of mechanical engineering, this elective largely deals with the science behind the material properties of various industrially important metals (like iron and aluminium), and the processes involved in attaining those properties.

“The knowledge on offer is very useful if you want to get into the field of mechanical design.”

“It’s an information-packed elective. It’s not something you should take unless you’re sure you’re interested in what it offers.”

Humanities and Management

  1. HUM 3306: Introduction to Philosophy, Religion and Culture

“It’s quite fun and relaxed- you just need to keep some concepts in mind. Plus, you need to write regularly. For end sems, you need to read 2 books apart from the ones you’re through with. There isn’t much to study for sessionals.  For regular assignments, you have to maintain a portfolio.  He’ll regularly give you topics to write on, and more drafts result in more marks. This was the scheme for us, but he was trying to get it changed to no sessionals or assignments and allocate the entire 50 marks for the portfolio. The end sem was all writing. Highest was 36 this time. Only one person gets an A+, and he got it at 78-79.”

2. HUM 3307: Creative Writing

“The faculty was brilliant, and we were taught no theory at all. He would come to class and read out a few pieces of writing and explain different styles. The exams had questions that asked us to write a story with a given plot, another one was to rewrite the given passage in third person or first person. For internal marks, he asked us to submit assignments and graded us on the basis of those. It’s the perfect OE to take if you like to write.”

3. HUM 3308: Graphic Novels: History, Form and Culture

As the name of the subject suggests, this course provides an intensive study of graphic novels. The course is extremely well structured, starting with a brief history of graphic novels, to reading and analysing them. The main aim is to appreciate graphic novels as a form of art. Once the students are familiar with the know-how’s, the curriculum introduces them to comics. No prior knowledge of the subject is required.

“Surprisingly enough, it has given me literature I’ll hold in high regard throughout my life.”

4. IIE 3202 : Indian Ethics and Epics

“It’s a discussion based subject, and you are hardly tested on your knowledge in epics’ trivia. You’re encouraged to question them and draw ethical questions and their answers with these epics as the backdrop. However, the discussions often become monologues by the teacher when they shouldn’t be, and could be more open. It’s easy to score an A in, but he also awards marks on the basis of attendance so that’s often a sore point.”

5. IIE 3206: Introduction to Art Appreciation- Culture and Creativity

How to read a visual, how to enjoy or feel an art form, what is Creative Thinking? Indian Art:
Heritage & Culture; Art Appreciation: Western Art, Artist & Art Movements: Raja Ravi Verma, Tagore,
Da Vinci, Van Gogh; Aesthetics: Beauty, Feel & Expression; Art & Science; Art & Film; Art: Freedom &
Society, to be an art literate. A journey to immerse in the world of Art.

An opportunity to learn what to look for. The curriculum includes both Indian as well as International artists whose work you get to study. While the subject focuses heavily on creativity and personal interpretations, it’s one of the harder Humanities’ Open Electives.



  1. MAT 5284: Mathematical Modelling
    “It’s an interesting subject if you’re into math and quite easy too. They cover topics like basic differential equations, difference equations, game theory, probability, and lpp. It’s pretty easy to score. The teacher knows the subject but has a little difficulty clearing doubts. But he gives notes in class i.e. writes stuff on the board and explains the concept while he teaches. Make sure you write notes.  If you like math you’ll enjoy it.”

2. MAT 5283: Applied Numerical Methods
“The professor made us solve all kinds of problems from related topics. And you can approach him with doubts anytime you like- he is strict during class but that’s to ensure he has the entire class’ attention at all times. As long as you know the method to solve the question, he gives the marks you deserve. The course is related to Runge Kutta methods, Euler’s equation and other kinds of iteration methods. If you really like maths, then this subject is fun, plus it has lots of application in the engineering field.”

3. MAT 5286: Stochastic Processes and Reliability
“The course is really good, and everything that’s written in the course plan is delivered in time. Scoring wise, the topics are easy, with a few formulae and derivations. The derivations may be hard to understand initially but the end result is easy to remember, as long as you have the basics of probability and statistics at your fingertips. Topics covered are statistics, probability, queuing theory, Markov process/chain, birth-death process, and reliability analysis, among others. The faculty is efficient and not very strict about attendance or coming late to class. The overall difficulty of the course is moderate. The end sems and sessionals were numericals, reasoning and derivations, with a few conceptual questions sprinkled in.”

4. MAT 5282: Applied Linear Algebra
“The topics included were matrix algebra, simultaneous equations, Eigen values, application of Eigen values to solve simultaneous difference equations, constrained optimization, and computational methods among other things. Faculty-wise, I didn’t find the subject to be as enjoyable as expected. The professor just stuck to the course plan strictly and the overall teaching method was very average, according to me. The class was filled with 8.5+ CGPA holders from different branches, so I think the subject had a high GPA requirement.”

5. MAT 5285: Optimization Techniques
“Handled by senior faculty who had excellent command over the subject, the class was interactive. He discussed each topic in detail and then wrote everything on the board, including the procedures. However, he expected students to be very punctual and disciplined in class and set lengthy question papers which needed a lot of practice in order to get good grades. As for the subject, it’s quite fun to learn, basic maths used with lots of calculations. Be careful about silly mistakes, though,  they can make your entire solution go wrong. The class is common for both B.Tech and M.Tech students and is mostly filled with toppers. For those who are interested in solving real-life problems and good at quick math, it’s pretty easy.”

Civil Engineering

  1. CIE 3285: Contract Management

The course basically describes the process involved in making contracts, for example contracts between a seller and a buyer. The job of a contractor, the involvement of the Government in contracts and tenders are all covered. The course is entirely theory based.

“It’s quite irrelevant to our regular course. Our faculty was good and explained things really well. She would show us the documents which are involved in agreements and contracts etc.  A lot of theory is involved. You can score a good grade if you are a theory kind of person.”

2. CIE 3286: Earth Sciences

“The course content was kind of interesting, familiarity with basics of geography helps. Quite a lot of free periods and an easy to score in subject. Putting in effort one night before exam can get you through. If someone has interest in geography and geology, it’ll be a cake walk.”

Instrumentation and Control Engineering

ICE 3282 Programmable Logic Controller

Evolution of PLC- Introduction, Architecture of PLC, Components of PLCs. Programming a PLC, Bit Logic Operations, Timers & Counters, Special Instructions, Analog PLC Operations & Networking of PLC and applications of PLC. PID Instructions. Levels of Industrial control, Types of Networking, Buts Networks, Protocols – Profibus, Modbus overview of each bus with an application. SCADA & DCS: Architecture, different networking, layers of control, application with a case study.

An easy subject to score in if taught properly. Programmable Logic is a balance of both theory and ladder diagrams. Which is a new method of diagrammatic coding. The coding aspects involve finding logical solutions to problem statements. The theory part can get tedious to study, but it is easy.  Depending on the faculty, you can either breeze through the problem statements or find it hard at first.

ICE 3283 Virtual Instrumentation

Block diagram and architecture of a virtual instrument, Conventional virtual instrument, Virtual instruments V/s Traditional instruments, data flow techniques, VIs, Components of VI and sub-VIS, loops and charts,
arrays, clusters and graphs, case and sequence structures, formula nodes, local and global variables, string and file I/O, Origin of signals, signal grounding, transducers, sensors, actuators, general signal
conditioning functions, DAC-ADC specifications, device connections, DIO, opto-isolation, timing interrupts, DMA, Current loop, system buses, interface buses, VISA, IVI, basic message passing, image acquisition
and processing, motion control, Design of ON/OFF controller for mathematically described processes using VI software.

Your result in this subject largely depends upon how well your faculty teaches you. The concepts may be a bit difficult to grasp at first.  A vested interest in the modules would probably work in your favour for an A.


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