IIT Delhi is considering the options of setting up a campus in UAE, IIT Madras is exploring potential sites for campuses in Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Tanzania. The Centre had earlier this year appointed a 17-member committee headed by IIT Council standing committee chairperson Dr. K Radhakrishnan to investigate these options.
IITs, or India International Institutes of Technology, may soon have offshore campuses, according to sources. These campuses would be free to decide their student strength, but the percentage of Indian students attending would have to be less than 20%. This is an exciting development for IITs, as it provides more opportunities for students to study abroad.
A committee set up by the Centre for the global expansion of IITs has submitted its recommendations. It has been suggested that the ownership of starting an IIT abroad should rest with the particular higher educational institute (HEI).
There should be a provision to depute faculty from an existing IIT to an institute abroad. This would be particularly beneficial during the formative years of the new institute, as it would gain valuable experience from the faculty here. Several IITs have been receiving requests from the Middle East and South Asian countries to set up their campuses.
While IIT Delhi is mulling over the option of setting up a campus in UAE, IIT Madras is considering expanding to Sri Lanka, Nepal and Tanzania. The Centre had earlier this year appointed a 17-member committee headed by IIT Council standing committee chairperson Dr K Radhakrishnan to explore these options.
A panel has recommended the creation of a generic system of institutes called IIT, NIT or IISER, which would establish a series of institutes overseas. The current IIT Act does not provide for setting up an IIT outside of India.
The suggested name is sufficiently close to IIT with “international” added to clarify that the institute is located outside India. This difference in name with sufficient similarity will allow the newly established IITs to evolve their own identity and ethos while drawing up the strength of existing IITs.
The panel has recommended that there could be more than one model of establishing the institute, depending on the specific location. For example, in the UK, a collaboration with a reputed host university will be preferred. However, the sources said that this collaboration has to be entered with care so that the expectations and responsibilities of participating IITs are aligned with those of the host university.
The number of students in a given programme needs to be large enough to make the course economically viable, but the institute gets to decide the exact number. The panel recommended that the percentage of Indian students in these institutions should be less than 20 per cent.