Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT)

by V.A.Ponmelil (All rights reserved by the author)

Indian Institutes of Technology

Being a group of seven autonomous engineering and technology oriented institutes of higher education, the Indian Institutes of Technology are the Institutes of National Importance as referred by the Government of India. They were built to train scientists and engineers, with the aim to develop the skilled workforce to support the economic and social development of India after independence in 1947. Based on the order of establishment, the seven IITs are located at Kharagpur, Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), Kanpur, Delhi, Guwahati, and Roorkee. Some of these IITs were established with financial assistance and technical expertise from UNESCO, Germany, the United States, and the Soviet Union. The IIT Council oversees the administration of each of these IIT.

There is a common admission process for undergraduate admissions referred as the Joint Entrance Examination or IIT-JEE. The Graduate Admissions are based on the scores of the GATE. The autonomy of each of the IITs has helped them to create specialized degrees in technology at the undergraduate level, and consequently award the Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) degree. Based on the success of the IITs, many similar institutes such as the National Institutes of Technology, the Indian Institutes of Management and the Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) were established. The Indian Union Human Resources Development ministry has planned to set up three more Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, and Rajasthan.

IIT Kharagpur

The IIT Kharagpur established in 1951 in Kharagpur near Kolkata in West Bengal was the first of the IITs. It has a self-contained township of over 15,000 inhabitants with 29 academic departments, centers and schools, spread over an 8.5 km² (2,100 acre) campus. There are about 450 faculty, 2,200 employees, 3,000 undergraduates and 2,500 postgraduates. There are also 17 hostels. The management school, Vinod Gupta School of Management and the law school, Rajiv Gandhi School of Intellectual Property Law are located within its premises. The central library of IIT Kharagpur is the largest technical library in Asia.

IIT Bombay

The IIT Bombay was established next in 1958 in Powai, Mumbai in Maharastra with assistance from UNESCO and technical expertise from the Soviet Union. It is the largest university in Maharastra with an area of 2.23 km² (550 acres) and a total of 24 departments, centers and schools. In addition, IIT Bombay has 13 student hostels with about 2,200 undergraduate and 2,000 postgraduate students. The schools in management, the Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management and information technology, the Kanwal Rekhi School of Information Technology are situated in its premises.

IIT Madras

The IIT Madras is located in the city of Chennai in Tamil Nadu and was established in 1959 with technical assistance from the Government of West Germany. It has around 360 faculty and approximately 2,500 undergraduate and 2,000 postgraduate students. The campus is spread over an area of about 2.5 km² (620 acres), and has 15 academic departments, nearly 100 laboratories, and 14 hostels.

IIT Delhi

The IIT Delhi was established as the College of Engineering in 1961 and was declared as an Institution of National Importance under the Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Act, 1963. It has an area of 1.3 km² (320 acres) with 11 hostels and 26 departments, centers and schools. There are about 426 faculty members and approximately 2,200 undergraduate and 1,600 postgraduate students.

IIT Kanpur

The IIT Kanpur was established in 1959 in the city of Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. Through the Kanpur–Indo-American Programme, a consortium of nine US universities helped to set up the research laboratories and academic programmes at IIT Kanpur. It covers an area of 4.85 km² (1,200 acres) and has approximately 500 faculty members, and about 2,000 undergraduate and an equal number of postgraduate students live in 10 hostels.

IIT Guwahati

The IIT Guwahati was established in 1994 in the city of Guwahati in Assam. It has sprawling 2.85 km² (705 acres) campus which attracts many visitors because of its scenic beauty. There are approximately 1,300 undergraduate and 500 postgraduate students in 18 departments, which have a total of 152 faculty members. 

IIT Roorkee

The IIT Roorkee, originally called as the University of Roorkee, was established in 1847. It was renamed as the Thomason College of Civil Engineering in 1854 and was granted IIT status in 2001. The institute offers undergraduate degree courses in 10 disciplines of engineering and architecture, and postgraduate degrees in 55 disciplines. It has around 375 faculty members and the campus is about 1.45 km² (360 acres) in size with eight hostels.

New IIM Medak

The Country's eighth Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) will be established in Medak, Andhra Pradesh.


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