Chapter One: MIT Manipal Academics

A Comprehensive Guide to Academics in MIT Manipal

Packing up for MIT Manipal, leaving home behind and embracing hostel life will obviously raise a thousand questions and depending on the student they vary from directions to the nearest library to the nearest McDonald’s. However, after all other research, people come the actual nitty-gritty, the subjects they all will be studying in their first year of MIT.

In the first year, a student would not be inducted into his/her department. All students are mixed together and put in around 25 classes to study a set of common subjects. There are 2 Cycles (set of subjects in a semester) and based on your stream you will get either the Physics or Chemistry Cycle for the first semester. People with Physics cycle in the first semester will have the Chemistry cycle in the second semester and vice versa. 2 subjects that are common to both cycles are Engg. Mathematics and Engg. Graphics. Starting from the 3rd Semester, the students join their Departments and start studying specialized subjects.

Class Schedule

Each cycle will consist of 6 theory subjects and 3 labs. The number of credits signify the number of classes per week and also tell us about the weightage of each subject in calculating the GPA. Mathematics with 4 credits, will have 4 classes per week and will account for a larger percentage of GPA. The other 5 theory subjects will have 3 classes per week and account for relatively lesser per subject while each practical class will be of 3 hours per week per subject and will account for even lesser of GPA. The timetable is from Monday to Saturday, but is extremely flexible with only 2-3 full days. Some lucky classes get the timetable with Saturdays off but pay a pound of flesh for that as they have 3 full days which may not seem a lot until you actually have to wake up for an 8 am class! According to a newly introduced rule, every third Saturday will be a holiday, giving the students at least a few proper weekends.

Physics Cycle 

  • Basic Mechanical Engineering (BME) This subject will deal with basic boilers, I.C Engines, a number of machine tools and power transmissions along with other related topics. This is offered by the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. R. Gopalkrishna, Textbook of Elements of Mechanical Engineering can be helpful for numericals, but for theory, class notes given by teachers are more than enough.
  • Engineering Physics This subject should be a walk in the park if proper attention was paid in class 12th as most of what is taught is just an addition to those topics. Some of the topics will be Optics, Applied Optics and Quantum Mechanics. This course is offered by the Department of Physics. The textbook Physics Volume 2, by Halliday, Resnick, Krane is usually required as some topics may be difficult to understand in class.
  • Basic Electronics (BE) This subject will deal with basic electronic devices and semiconductor applications. This subject requires a fair amount of focus and practice but is also based on topics taught in 12th class physics. This course is offered by the Department of Electronics & Communication. Some people may also require practice with understanding and practicing certain topics and for that the book Electronic Devices and Circuit Theory, by Robert L. Boylestad is extremely helpful.
  • Mechanics Of Solids (MOS) This subject deals with the mechanics of rigid and deformable bodies. This is a numerical based course with very little focus on theory and one that you will need a scientific calculator most for. This course is offered by the Department of Civil Engineering. If you’re the type of person to go the extra mile then you can get SS Bhavikatti Strength of Materials, but for most people the slides and notes provided are more than enough.
  • Communication Skills in English – One of the easiest topics of the Physics cycle this subject helps students with various aspects of non technical skills required by an engineer. These include things like Group Discussions, Debates, Impromptu Speeches and various listening skills. This course is offered by the Department of Humanities & Management. This is the only theory subject in the physics cycle which is of 2 credits. The other subject will be Engineering Graphics.
  • Engineering Workshops – The first lab on the list, workshop is a subject designed to provide practical knowledge in the subjects of Mechanical, Civil and Electrical Engineering. The things taught in workshop will be closely linked to the topics being taught in theory. This lab does require a workshop uniform that can be stitched at the Campus Shopping beneath MIT Food Court. It will also require a workshop manual that can be bought at Higginbothams Book Store which is located in Academic Block 1 next to the Cafeteria.
  • Engineering Physics Lab  This subject taught by the Department of Physics focuses on various experiments based on the theory being taught to aid with the understanding of concepts and to provide practical knowledge of the subject. A practical file has to be maintained along with the lab manual which can also be purchased at Higginbothams.

Chemistry Cycle

  • Engineering Biology  This subject is designed to provide information in the topics of Microbiology, Genetics and Evolution. Students tend to face some difficulty in this subject as most of them haven’t studied biology after Class 10. The course is immensely interesting but requires a large amount of concentration as some topics may be hard to understand on the first read. The course is offered by the Department of Biotechnology. Textbook guidance is usually needed in the subject and the book Campbell Biology is extremely useful for clearing conceptual doubts.
  • Engineering Chemistry (CHM) This subject incorporates the topics of chemistry which have a practical application in today’s world and focuses on topics like Electrochemistry, Modern Materials, Battery Technology. This subject is mainly theory based and requires a large amount of mugging up. This course is offered by the Department of Chemistry. Class slides and pdfs are more than enough but the book Engineering Chemistry, by P.C Jain can be used.
  • Basic Electrical Theory (BET) This subject is also numerical based and focuses on the DC and AC circuit analysis and Electrical Power Systems. Another subject where your calculator will be of utmost importance, this course is essential for basic knowledge in electrical systems. This course is offered by the Department of Electrical & Electornics Engineering. Textbook guidance may also be required for numerical practice and Basic Electrical Engineering, by Nagasarkar T.K is extremely helpful.
  • Environmental Studies (EVS) This subject focuses on the environmental impact of human activities and global environmental issues. This course is offered by the Department of Civil Engineering.  Principles of Environmental Science and Engineering, by Venugopal Rao is the Bible for this subject as the entirety of the syllabus is based on the topics of said book. This is the only theory subject in the chemistry cycle which is of two credits.  The other practical subject of two credits is Engineering Graphics.
  • Problem Solving Using Computers (PSUC) This subject focuses on beginner to intermediate level programming in the language C++. People who have studies this in previous years have a huge advantage as everything is taught from scratch. This course is offered by the Department of Computer Science. A textbook is not really required as the slides provided by teachers is more than enough.
  • PSUC Lab Basic practical programming in C++ is done in this subject. A lab manual is mandatory.
  • Engineering Chemistry Lab  Practical experiments based on titration and the theory topics is done. A lab manual and above all a steady hand is of utmost importance. Unlike physics lab, a practical file need not be maintained.

Most of the Books suggested here can be bought at the Kamath Book Store which also buys the books for a lesser price after your semester is over, or borrowed from the Central Library using your Library Card. Alternatively, books can also be borrowed at the reference section for a day and failing to return them in time results in fines being added to your dues. Some seniors also put up their old books for sale and you can even buy books you need from them.

Common Subjects

  • Engineering Mathematics I & II  These are the only 2 subjects for 4 credits in the first year and they are taught in the first and second semester irrespective of the cycle. Mathematics has always required an extra bit of focus and it is no different in engineering where constant practice will prove to be extremely helpful. Almost all students buy Engineering Mathematics, by B.S Grewal. The first semester in mathematics will deal with Differential Equations, Numerical Methods and Linear Algebra while the second semester moves on to more complicated topics like Infinite Series, Laplace Transforms and Multiple Integrals.
  • Engineering Graphics I & II This is the third lab of each semester and helps with the graphical representation of certain shapes and figures. The beginning of this course in each semester will be on graph sheets but during the end it will be done in AutoCAD which is pre-installed in the laptops provided by the university. This course requires different types of pencils, a graph holder, set squares and a compass. This is offered by the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. This course was previously of only one credit per semester but now is of two credits.

Grading Scheme

All the 6 theory subjects are marked out of 100, in which 50 marks are for internals and the remaining 50 are a part of the end semester examination. The Internal marks are divided where 30 marks are for sessionals and the remaining 20 are for assignments. The 30 marks for sessionals are further divided into two 15 mark tests which are held over a period 3-4 days, where 2 tests are held per day.These are usually conducted on days like Fri-Sat-Mon giving at least one holiday in between. All freshers have a week off after their first sessionals held in late September or early October to go back home which is known as the teaching break. The assignment pattern has changed a lot over the past 2 years where people have had 5 assignments of 4 marks each or 4 assignments of 5 marks each. In the latest semester students had 3 open book type assignments for all subjects for 5 marks each and one research project based assignment again for 5 marks.

Each practical class will be evaluated and the average of all these classes will be taken as internal marks which will be out of 60. The remaining 40 marks will be for the end semester practical examination.

To pass in each subject students will require a minimum of 75% attendance in each subject. A total of 36 classes are held in a semester for 3 credit subjects and 48 for the 4 credit ones. Hence students cannot miss more then 9 lectures of a three credit subject or more then 12 of a four credit one. Students cannot miss more then 2 labs in practical subjects if they want to pass but even that isn’t recommended as each practical is evaluated contributes to their internal score. Students with less attendance will not be allowed to sit for the end semester examination and will have to repeat that course in a later semester.

The attendance, grades and important notices can be checked on the SLCM portal where all internals marks, grades, daily attendance and attendance percentage is updated regularly.The SLCM portal will also contain the details of the teacher guardian and also give updates on changes in the timetable.

All students are required to score a minimum of 18 marks out of 50 in all end semester examinations and the grading is done on a relative scale. The passing cutoff for each subject varies in between 35-49, based on the average performance of students in that semester. For example in subjects like Communication Skills in English, the cutoff will be relatively higher, approximately above 45 while tougher subjects will have a cutoff lower, around 40. The cutoff purely depends on the performance of students and will vary according to a bell curve. This will also affect the rest of the grades and the cutoffs for A grade, B grade, all the way to E will also depends on the bell curve.

Students who fail or were unable to give the end semester examination due to some external factor have a chance to give the exam one more time. These are known as make up examinations and are held during holidays. The catch in make up examinations is that if you cannot produce a medical certificate or a valid reason as to why you missed the exam then your grade in that particular subject will be capped at a C, as in you will not be able to get A or B in that particular subject.

Grade Point Average (GPA)

The first and the second semester are of 25 credits each. The grade point with respect to grades are mentioned below:

  • A+ – 10
  • A – 9
  • B – 8
  • C – 7
  • D – 6
  • E – 5
  • F – Fail

The grade you get depends on a bell curve which is made on the basis of the marks of all the students in your batch. Thus, passing marks or cut-off marks of any subject cannot be pre-determined (even with experience).

To calculate GPA for MIT Manipal, multiply the number of credits of that subject to the equivalent grade point you got in that subject and then divide by the total number of credits in that semester. (Labs are generally of 1 credit and theory subjects are of 4 credits, whereas ENV/English is of 3 credits).

For example, if I get/aspire for the following grades,

  • Subject 1 (4 Credits) – 10 (A+ Grade)
  • Subject 2 (4 Credits) – 8 (B Grade)
  • Subject 3 (4 Credits) – 8 (B Grade)
  • Subject 4 (4 Credits) – 5 (E Grade)
  • Subject 5 (4 Credits) – 7 (C Grade)
  • Subject 6 (3 Credits) – 9 (A Grade)
  • Subject 7 (1 Credit) – 10 (A+ Grade)
  • Subject 8 (1 Credit) – 0 (Fail)

Then my GPA will be calculated as follows

(4*10) + (4*8) + (4*8) + (4*5) + (4*7) + (3*9) + (1*10) + (1*0)
______________________________________________
(4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 4 + 3 + 1 + 1)

= 40+32+32+20+28+27+10+0
__________________________
25

= 7.56

Similarly, to calculate CGPA, multiply the GPA with the number of credits in that semester and then divide by the total number of credits till the present semester.

For Example

If my GPA in First Semester is 7.56, 8.23 in second semester and the number of credits in each semester is 25 then, my CGPA will be calculated as –

(7.56*25) + (8.23*25)
_____________________
25 +25

=7.895 ~ 7.90