Open Electives- VI Semester

It can always be daunting to choose from a plethora of subjects, especially since the battle between the heart and the brain is always unresolved. Should I go for a laid-back OE and get one subject off my back? Or should I study that subject which will look shiny on the CV? How desperate is the need to improve my CGPA, or how much can I compromise with my grades? To make that choice slightly easier, here’s an article which covers the course content of the electives offered for 6th semester, along with inputs on how cool(or not cool) the professor is, how easy it is to score, and how many bunks can you manage. MTTN acknowledges all the seniors who took time off their busy schedule and helped us out with keen insights.

AAE 3282 – Introduction to Avionics and Navigation Systems
The course syllabus is said to be mostly easy, so you can score well with minimal amount of studying. It involves introduction to aircraft and flight mechanisms, dynamics of aircrafts, avionics, power systems and satellite communication. The professor is a nice fellow and lenient when it comes to attendance.

AAE 3284 – Automotive Pollution and Control
This course has bits of thermodynamics and basic automobile engineering concepts. The faculty is largely good, and it’s easy to score once you grasp the concepts. It’s good for the CV if you’re going for an industrial job later on. Not a lot of studying required for end semesters, or sessionals, hence highly recommended if you’re looking for something chill in the field of automotives.

BIO 3281 – Introduction to Biofuels and Biopolymers

This course involves the synthesis of biofuels and biopolymers, renewable energy sources and their use in the present world, life cycle analysis of biofuels, and synthetic polymers. A lot of rote learning involved, but overall a chill OE.

BME 3281 – Bio-medical Instrumentation
The is one course that is chock full of theory. There is a lot of things to learn by-heart, but nothing too hard, and hence the cut-off goes really high. The faculty is okay, and gives good notes. Not a very useful subject overall.

CHE 3282 – Industrial Pollution Control
This course has a lot of theory, and is mainly relaxed if you already have some basic knowledge of Environmental Science. Scoring is not hard at all, and the professor is really chill too.

CIE 3281 – Environmental Management

This is one course which seems to be laid-back, but is the exact opposite. There is a lot of rote learning involved. The professor is pretty good at the subject, so opt for this only if you’re really interested.

CIE 3285 – Contract Management
Contract Management deals with how to make a contract right up to how you can follow up on it till the deal is set. It’s a pretty theoretical subject, deals mostly with bidding, tendering and so on. Since it is offered by the Department of Civil Engineering, it revolves around contracts made in that very disciplinary. However, much of it is relatable to the real world as well.

CIE 3286 – Earth Science
Earth Science is a lot like Environmental Science from the first year, with the presentations and everything. Professor Maddodi is the faculty for this subject, which probably tells you more than you need to know. Attendance is chill, there are hardly any classes held. Course content is easy but involves a lot of writing. If your basics of 1oth standard Geography are clear, this subject should be a cake-walk. It covers things like Water cycle, rock formation and so on. Overall, an essentially tranquil course. Pro-tip from seniors: Pay attention in class for 1 markers.

CSE 3286– Linux Basics and Programming

This is an incredibly easy and scoring course. It is a well-defined fundamental and structured course. From installation of the operating system, all the way to explanations of different code words and their applications, everything is covered in the curriculum. It gives an edge to anyone from the non-CS background if they wish to try their luck in the CS/IT placements. The professor though extremely well versed and helpful with the subject, is a bit strict about attendance. The subject is easy and scoring, but cut offs definitely go high. Not recommended if you want that A+ for sure, but definitely recommended if you want to add a new language to the list!

CSE 3281—Database Management Systems
This course requires you to have some prior knowledge of scripting languages, so only opt for it if you’re already familiar with the basic tenets of programming. It teaches you how to create and manage the database of any organization, how to store a huge amount of database of years and how to query the results as per the needs of clients. Useful for Non CSE students as every field in the world today has tons of data, and it helps if you have prior knowledge of how to handle that data. The professor is helpful, but scoring is a problem. However, subject is not that tough, it is quite interesting.

CSE 3288– Principles of Software Engineering
This subject is more like a course on Human Resources. There are a few concepts which you need to know, otherwise this course is pretty easy. It deals with the different phases of developing a software and different models applied to develop it. It talks about various models based on the user’s specifications. Scoring should not be a problem.

CSE 3283– Essentials of Industrial Computing
This course gives you a good overview on computing and algorithms and cryptography. It’s a great elective for people thinking of going into computing later on. Scoring isn’t easy, and you have to give a lot of time to this subject.

ECE 3285 – MEMS Technology
This course only barely brushes the basics of MEMS technology. The faculty is nice and lenient. Overall, one of the better electrical electives.

ECE 3287– Neural Network and Fuzzy Logic

It is a subject well dominated by numericals and application based questions, apart from the general theory of Neural Networks. Course, though not a lot, is definitely not something you can blindly run through a day before exams. It is a highly scoring subject. The subject is relatively easy for some, and difficult for others, depending on how much of an aptitude you have for fuzzy logic. The professor is not excellent, which might be a deal breaker.
ECE 3289– Applications of Signal Processing

This subject deals with the classification of different signals and systems, digital to analog conversion, and the different applications of signal processing such as bio-medical signals and image processing. Not an easy course.

ECE 3290– Introduction to Nano-science and Technology
An interesting course, but the faculty might not be so great. One of the more scoring courses in E&C, it is an introduction to the world of nano-tech and nano-robots. Not too hard if you pay attention in class.

ELE 3282– Electric Drives                                                            
This course is about the energy required on industrial levels and its efficient consumption. Requires prior knowledge about basic electrical engineering. Faculty has a firm grip on the subject.

ELE 3286– Microcontrollers
This course is mostly about 8051—how are the different addressing modes, timers, counters, interrupts, serial port communication, basic architecture and the general basics of how to do assembly language coding. Quite useful for programming using microcontrollers and helpful for students who wish to know assembly language programming and interfacing. If you have prior knowledge of the basics of microprocessor architecture, this course is easy, otherwise not. The professor is good.

ELE 3288—Lighting Design

This one is mostly about different illumination techniques and the visible spectrum, its properties, etc. It involves properties of light control elements and if one wishes to work in the lighting sector in future this course can come in handy.

ICE 3282– Programmable Logic Controller
This course is purely about architecture of PLC, and is 50% theory. Talks about ladder logic, types of programming in PLC, various instructions in PLC, and smart sensors. Requires only minimum prior knowledge of logic gates and such for scoring good marks. The professor is level-headed, and gives a lot of free attendance. The course content can be completed in 3-4 hours. Helps in the CV if you’re hoping for an industrial job later on.

ICE 3283– Virtual Instrumentation
This course requires the use of LabView to solve problems and develop models of processes. Not really as tough as it sounds, and scoring here is pretty easy.

ICT 3284– Networking with TCP/IP
One of the most brilliant courses, it contains TCP/IP without the harder areas of the subject. The faculty might be good or bad, depending on your section, but they will give you marks nonetheless. Effortless to score in, you can study the whole subject in a single day too.

ICT 3285– Machine Learning
One of the most amazing courses, that teaches you the basics of Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision/Pattern Searching. If you’re into Math intensive courses, specifically where you’ll learn the hard math part as well as its real applications, then this course is tailor-made for you. The professor is quirky, makes learning the subject extremely easy and adds to the fun. Overall an excellent teacher, which is why this course is as good as it is. Easy to score if you’re logically sound. For someone looking for an IT background for IT jobs, this one’s a perfect choice. It’s the next big buzz in the world of Computers so if you’re a computer enthusiast stuck in a non-Computer branch, definitely go for this elective!

MME 3285—Introduction to Alternative Fuels and Applications

Alternate Fuels is a lot of rote learning on different fuels available in the industry, and how they can be used effectively. From Gobar Gas and it’s applications to the various alcohols you can mix to produce useful fuels, this course talks about how to stop using non-renewable sources and use renewable ones instead. Overall, effortless if you can mug up easily!

MME 3288—Introduction to Operations Research

Operations Research is a subject that will provide you with a useful skill in any walk of life you care to tread on in the future. With its roots in World War 2, Operations Research was originally created to provide for the most optimal bombing patterns, but as time went on, its other applications became apparent to the public and it became a household name among scientists and optimization enthusiasts alike.

Operations Research in Manipal is taught by a brilliant faculty member who has been teaching in MIT for 51 years, and it’s his enthusiasm that drives the subject and makes it as interesting as it is. Every hour spent in those classes will be worth it. The classes themselves are insanely well structured and organized, with a worksheet provided for every important lecture. If logic is something you find easy, Operations Research bodes well for you.

MME 3289—Introduction to Quality Control

This subject talks about quality control and different ways you can undertake for successful control over quality in firms. Talks about risks involved with quality control as well and is quite useful when it comes to quality definition is any field. Hence an useful subject for all branches, but much information is not available regarding how easy it is to score, or how good the faculty is.

MME 3294—Thermal treatment of Metals and Alloys

Thermal treatment, as with most of the subjects offered by this department, involves a lot of rote learning. If you’re comfortable with rote learning about the advent of thermal treatment of metals and alloys in detail, this subject is not tough. However be prepared for a lot of mugging up. Helpful if you’re looking for a core job in a mechanical sector. Faculty doesn’t play a huge role since it mostly involves self-study.

IIE 3206—Introduction to Art Appreciation: Culture and Creativity

This course will be conducted by Dr. Unni Krishnan K. The subject boasts of having field trips, UNESCO Heritage Site visits, and field work. Candidates who enroll for their course need to have the basic pre requisite of an inclination towards art and culture as well. The course boasts of bringing out the inner artist in you, and realize it to your full potential. It revolves around artists throughout the ages, appreciation and understanding the relationship of art with respect to other dimensions.

IIE 3207– Nutrition and Health

This subject is offered by WGSHA. The professors keep changing throughout the course, but all of them are laid back in terms of attendance and in general. This course aims to develop a basic understanding about nutritional balance in humans and demonstrate the consequences of deficient/excessive intake too. The subject includes knowledge about Yoga and alternate therapy techniques, balanced diet, tips for a healthy living and so on. A few workshops are held during class hours in which willing students can perform the different techniques taught in class. The syllabus for this OE is finished one month before end semesters. Classes are called off after that, so you get a lot of free time in hand. Internal assessment includes two sessionals of 15 marks, and one test of MCQs worth 20 marks. Overall, it’s a fun and chill OE, and definitely recommended if you’re pro health!

IIE 3205– Medical Emergency and First Aid—This course is about developing proficiency in medical emergencies and knowing all about how to provide First Aid to victims in Emergency situations. It is a mandatory course if you work in any core technical sector, so definitely comes in handy later on. It talks about different emergencies in varied fields. The evaluation pattern involves two sessionals of 15 marks each( sessionals will have 5 MCQs and 5 Short notes) and one assignment of 20 marks along with regular End Semester of 50 marks. Offered by the College of Nursing, the course is both chilled out, and useful in the long run!

IIE 3202– Introduction to Indian Ethics and Epics
This course will be conducted by Prof. Srinivasa N Acharya(Contact: 9986085634). Perhaps one of the easiest courses ever. Attaining high grades in this subject is really a problem, if you’re not into mythology and stories. The course promotes opinionated discussions on various events that happened during the ages of epics and the mingling of ethics with those epics. It discusses ethics, morality, discussion on those(meta ethics,normative ethics and so on). There are also discussions held on the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. If you love discussions, debates and like to challenge ideas and philosophies– this one is the perfect choice for you.  The faculty is relaxed and enthusiastic but doesn’t give away free attendance. Doesn’t really reflect much on the CV, but is extremely interesting and fun. Protip from seniors: be open to discussions, and make sure you’re noticed.

IIE 3203—Introductory Course in Italian Language and Culture

This course will be taught by Prof. Sara Maddalena. It is a new OE, offered by the Department of European Studies. As the name suggests, the OE is about learning the basics of Italian and knowing about what the Italian culture has to offer. A very attractive course, there’s a chance this might have a high cut off for an A+. Looks shiny on the CV, and learning a new language can never go amiss.

IIE 308 – Gandhian and Peace studies
Taught by Vardhesh Hirgange, the director of Gandhian and Peace Studies Department, this OE is one of the easiest the college has to offer. Held at NLH itself, the subject is majorly about Gandhi, his ideologies and their applications in today’s world. The professor is sweet, chilled out, and pretty lenient in terms of attendance. The exam pattern is as follows—you have one class test for 25 marks, the material for which is provided beforehand, and you need to research on Gandhi, do a project on it, and give a presentation in class which carries 50 marks. The rest 25 marks can be obtained from doing some social work for which the professors recommends you to VSO and such organizations. The secret to getting an A in this subject is just submitting all assignments. Definitely recommended if you want one subject off your back.

IIE 5201– Health Economics
This course will be taken up by Ms Maitri (Contact: 9742773830). It takes a multi-disciplinary view of the economics and the business of healthcare, and the different factors that healthcare depends upon in our country. It is a fascinating course for those who wish to use cutting-edge tech to solve major healthcare problems. It has various categories to explore from the growth in GDP, demand vs supply, how it has affected the health of the country, to major employment in the healthcare sector. It is a combination of both: a bit of Economics and a bit of Biology. There’s a lot of cross country case studies involved as well. The subject seems promising.

IIE 5202– Digital Medicine
This elective was taught by Prof. Raghupati Cavale, senior Vice President of Infosys and hence it was conducted only through skype sessions. The course coordinator this year is Dr. Fayas SM(Contact: 8714340053). The course deals with the presence of computers in the present-day practice of medicine, like wireless communication between patients, wearable technologies, etc. It also talks about how the four pillars- PHR/EHR, Wearables, Genomics and Imaging come together, with software acting as the glue, to change the world of medicine. It is intriguing if you are interested in the application of technology for solving problems or innovations in general, but one drawback is that the teaching material is inconsistent so you don’t know where to study from. Classes are mostly held on weekends, so you can audit a course for the extra hours during the week. Attendance is relatively chill. Reflects well on the CV especially since it teaches you about Machine learning.

IIE 3201—Introduction to Hinduism

This is a new elective being offered by the department of MCPH. Taught by Dr Mrinal Kaul, this OE is a keen insight on Hinduism, dimensions of tradition, and various ideas of Hinduism as portrayed by narratives worldwide. Though it looks like an extremely interesting concept, much information is not available regarding the course plan. Unlikely to enhance the CV.

MAT 5281– Applied Graph Theory
A course which encompasses the basics of graphs and relations. Apart from mathematics this a subject heavily used for modelling in the areas of computer sciences,biology,social and information systems. The subject is purely theoretical peppered with derivations. Only opt if you wish to pursue research in the future. Cut-offs soar due to its ease.

MAT 5284– Mathematical Modelling

This course deals with the characteristics and classification of different mathematical models, by using first order algebra, differential equations and linear programming. The course content is satisfactorily good and it helps to solve real world problems to do well in this subject. Questions like the probability of who will win a battle or how to maximize profit of a farm using a lot of assumptions are common examples. The professor doesn’t make the subject as cool or interesting as it sounds and his poor communication skills don’t help much either. Marking is lenient, and overall the subject is easy so cutoff is generally high for an A+. Attendance is not that chill, you need to attend classes and have that 75% to be safe later on.

MAT 5285– Optimization Techniques
A course completely based on algebraic mathematics. This is a huge boost for your CV as it vouches your logic and problem solving abilities. Scoring is easy only if you listen in class. The professor has an excellent command over the subject.

MAT 5286– Stochastic Processes and Reliability

It deals with static and dynamic probabilities, the classification of different states, and the different processes and distributions associated with them. It also gives a brief overview about Reliability Theory and the Laws of Failure.

MAT 5282– Applied Linear Algebra
One of the easier maths based electives. The course mostly deals with matrices, but a prior knowledge of maths is helpful. The previous professor was easy-going, and scoring is also quite easy.

MAT 5283– Applied Numerical Methods
This subject is purely formula based, but make sure you’re into Maths before you take this. It is mostly a higher application based version of numerical methods you studied in first year. Involves mathematics using Matrices and other iterative methods. It is a highly scoring subject, hence making it highly competitive.

MCA 450 – Introduction to Linux and Shell Scripting
A highly recommended elective. If you’re interested in working with different operation systems, you will not regret taking this. The professor is adept and it’s easy to score too. She’s stern in her ways, which basically means you can’t bunk too many classes. The environment is relaxed, and last minute studying can get one an average of 10-12 marks in sessionals. It is a scoring subject, gives one an increased knowledge of the Linux environment. Calls for knowledge of basic programming. An advantageous tool in anyone’s arsenal.

The difference between the Linux course offered by CSE department, and this one is that the CSE one majorly deals with theory with very little coding, and they use bash scripts. The MCA one is completely coding based, and involves little theory.

MCA 451 – Introduction to Data Analytics

In this course, the basics of Data Analytics is taught using various relevant case studies and hands-on exercises using tools such as WEKA and R. This is an elective only open to non-computer students. No prior coding experience is required for it. Taught by Ms Rohini of the MCA department, this elective is no child’s play. However if you’re regular to class it promises not to be tough. Most of the problems of Data Analytics are business oriented so it is relatable. One can also proceed to write a research paper on data analytics and get a recommendation as well as the required assistance from the professor. Helpful during placements if you wish to target specific data analytics firms, and definitely adds on to your profile.

MTE 3285 – Product development and Marketing

This subject, offered by the Mechatronics department, talks about product planning, marketing and meeting the needs of the customer efficiently. It introduces to the idea of market evolution and planning of the products as well as how to develop a new product. Extremely important for one who wants to be a Product manager or wants to make a career in Marketing and sales.

HUM 3306—Introduction to Philosophy, Religion and Culture

This course will be taught by Dr Tungesh GM. Pretty laid back in terms of attendance, he’s one of those professors who is really passionate about what he teaches and makes you appreciate the subject as well. If you’re looking for a subject which is easy to score, this one’s for you. Not very useful for the CV.

HUM 3307—Creative Writing

This is a new elective.

HUM 3308—Graphic Novels: History, Form and Culture

This course is taught by Professor Abhay Shetty, so it comes with a promise of fun. It talks about the advent of comics and how they transformed and so on. A moderately chill OE in terms of subject matter, this OE is definitely worth taking if you have a keen interest in comics. Not very useful for the CV.

PHY 3284–Radiation Physics

This course deals with the different sources of radiation, and their detection through various instruments. It also deals with the study and measurement of their interactions with each other.

PMT 3286– Publishing Science
Pre-requisite knowledge of printing technology might alienate some students, as it largely builds on that. Also requires a fair bit of effort to score as it is largely theoretical.



A voracious reader and passionate writer, I am known to be the excellent communicator. A zodiac freak, I will always form impressions about you based on your star sign. Essentially curious, I love exploring places and from what I’ve been told, my expressions generally tend to give away too much. A T.V shows addict, my current goals include travelling the world and reading every book I can get my hands on.

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  • Wich of these subjects take place after class hours? And which take place outside the MIT campus?

    • prattusha

      Last year, Digital Medicine was held after class and so was Gandhian Studies. So anyone who applied for these had free time to audit other courses. However whether the same pattern will be followed this year or not, is not yet known.
      As for the location, Gandhian was held at School of Life Sciences for a couple of days, after which due to inconvenience it was shifted to NLH. All classes are mostly held at NLH or AB5 irrespective of the department offering it.

  • Apurv Agarwal

    Damn good and helpful article, thank you so much

    • prattusha

      Happy to help 🙂

  • Asmita

    We have syllabus for every OE but not for maths ones , it would be helpful if you can provide the link or something ? :p

    • prattusha

      I’ll try to get more details. Keep following the article.

  • thanks a lot re! 🙂

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