IITs to go Beyond Boundaries

The country’s premier educational institutes for technology and management are gearing up to open their wings abroad.

The central government is paving the way for the launching of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and Indian Institute of Management (IIM) campuses in Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and Dubai. 

The IIT Delhi director, Mr. V Ramgopal Rao, had corroborated this at a recent press conference. Mr. Rao said that the proposition to branch out abroad is still at the early stage of discussions. The Ministry of HRD is in communication with IIT regarding the setting up of campuses outside India. 

The NEP has communicated its intentions to open IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) campuses outside India.  The NEP encourages high-performing Indian universities to set up campuses abroad. 

PM on IITs abroad

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged IITs to think beyond boundaries. The PM had appealed to IIT Guwahati at a function in September to take up India’s Act East Policy and bolster India’s place in Southeast Asia.

The PM had also suggested to the institute to stretch beyond boundary expansions, advising the premier tech school to view Southeast Asia for its expansion and education cooperation.

The Prime Minister was the chief guest at the fifty-first convocation ceremony of IIT Delhi on November 7, 2020. He had addressed the students at IIT. Two thousand nineteen students, including two hundred and ninety-eight Ph.D. scholars, will be graduating from IIT Delhi this year. 

Not a recent plan

IIT Delhi had proposed opening a research academy in Mauritius in 2013 and start work for it in 2014. But the proposition to open the academy did not see the light of the day.

The HRD minister Smriti Irani under the new regime had questioned the legality of such a move. The ministry had vetoed the plan in 2014. Parenthetically, the Government of Mauritius was equally apprehensive then. 

The Government of India had also turned down a proposal of IIM Bangalore to open a campus in Singapore. 

When will the campus come up abroad?

The IITs are yet to firm up schedules and locations for the campuses abroad. Once it goes through, this will be the first time IIT centers will come up outside India.

Mr. Rao believed that branching outside India will aid in the Indian institute’s increasing the GER (Gross Enrolment Ratio).

Making footprints in foreign countries will not only involve enrolling students outside India but also engaging faculty from other countries. Mr. Rao said that if the IIT opened a center in Dubai, it would invite local students and faculty to be part of the institute. This setup would boost the institute’s global ranking, opined Mr. Rao. 

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