IITs and IISc offer free online courses for professionals

Working professionals across India will be able to enrol in up to 500 free online courses in a joint initiative by IITs and IISc.

By U2B Staff 

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Working professionals across India will be able to enrol in up to 500 free courses in a shared initiative by the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institute of Science (IISc) which led to the formation of the National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning, NPTEL.

The IITs and IISc, through NPTEL, will offer these free upskilling courses on SWAYAM, an online platform for both students and working professionals.

NPTEL certifications are open to adult learners from ages 18 to 86 and the courses will come with an option to pay for certifications and will cover topics for upskilling in various fields.

Popular courses offered through this programme will include programming, data structures, algorithms using python, basic electrical circuits, engineering thermodynamics, health research fundamentals, and constitutional studies.

SWAYAM-NPTEL currently works closely with more than 4,000 colleges in engineering, arts, commerce, science, and management disciplines across the country.


The online courses will include online videos and students will be required to submit weekly assignments and will be able to enrol in an in-person examination which will earn them a certification.

SWAYAM-NPTEL-IIT Madras Coordinator, Professor Prathap Haridoss explained that NPTEL has been working towards bringing in an industry perspective to its technically rich courses and started partnering with companies through its industry-associate initiative.

Haridoss added that through this partnership, companies can work with NPTEL and use its courses to train their freshers, cross-skill, and upskill their existing workforce.

NPTEL also offers soft skills training, and also conducts employability assessments, online mock interviews, online interactive sessions, and live video sessions, and gives personalised feedback to the students on areas for improvement in the context of employment.

Andrew Thangaraj who is also a coordinator at SWAYAM-NPTEL-IIT Madras said, “In order to streamline the efforts of learners and to guide them to obtain expertise in an area, NPTEL has initiated the idea of ‘Domain Certification.’ A domain comprises a set of core and elective NPTEL courses.”

NPTEL is also one of the largest online repository in the world for courses in engineering, basic sciences, and selected humanities and social sciences subjects.

There are currently 44 domains across 12 disciplines with more domains in the pipeline.


Through the IITs and IISc courses available on the platform, learners can upskill themselves in areas including artificial intelligence. The “An Introduction to Artificial Intelligence” course introduces a variety of concepts in the field and discusses the philosophy of AI, and how to model a new problem as an AI problem.

The course which begins on 18 January also describes a variety of models such as search, logic, Bayes nets, and MDPs, which can be used to model a new problem and also teaches many first algorithms to solve each formulation.

Learners keen to learn programming can enrol in the An Introduction to Programming Through C++ which provides an introduction to problem-solving and programming using the C++ programming language.

The course begins on 18 January and covers basic programming notions, programme design, and programming applications.

Data Analytics with Python is another course that is intended for management, industrial engineering, and computer science engineering students.

This course covers topics such as hypothesis testing, ANOVA, linear regression, concepts of MLE and logistic regression, as well as ROC and regression analysis model building and gives students hands-on experience creating analytics models.