Every engineering graduate aspires to take admission in the Indian Institue of Engineering and be a part of the legacy whose foundation stone was laid down in Kharagpur in May 1950 on the recommendation of N.R. Sarkar Committee Report (1946). Under the IIT (Kharagpur) Act, it was declared as “an institute of national importance”. After five years, in 1961, the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961, was created to build a unique framework for the funding, administration and academic development of the IITs as privileged institutions and the rest is history. Within a decade, four more IITs were established in Bombay (then), Madras, Kanpur, and Delhi to fulfill the demands of the growing economy of post-independent India.
IITs were a result of Pandit Nehru’s vision, he envisaged these institutes to be a milestone of the country’s technical education and the leader in building the industrial, technological and scientific infrastructure of the country. These institutes were established with a vision to advance the country in technology, so the post-independent India can progress utilizing its own resources and people.
According to a documentary on CBS 60 minutes, less than two percent of the applicants on an average get into the IITs, while 10 percent of engineers get into Harvard making it one of the toughest exams of the globe. IIT is not just an average educational institute with a static curriculum, the curriculum is designed to provide maximum exposure to the students. In IIT, senior most professors are assigned to teach the junior most students (first-year), because they are the senior ones and masters of their subject and are easily accessible to the students to so the students can clear their doubts in the starting phase of the education. Professors can modify the syllabus during the education process to make it more dynamic and remove the rigidity. This dynamic education process plays a key role in transforming the personality of the student. The educational infrastructure of the IITs is focused on developing entrepreneurial skills in the students and this is the reason IIT alumnus are most preferred across the globe. World’s leading companies of the Fortune 500 go after an IITian, Silicon Valley is full of IITians playing an important role in their organization.
IITs have well-equipped laboratories which support the students in acquiring practical knowledge which is a necessary aspect of education. Without practical knowledge, a student can’t move up the ranks in his career. Other engineering colleges have laboratories, but in IIT, the types of equipment are according to the global standards so the student gets to experience state of the art machines. IITians get the guidance from their seniors, professors and guest lectures. Unlike other colleges where guest lectures are a rare event, IITs organizes guest lectures often and while other students are busy in studying books written by IIT alumnus, IITians gets a chance to interact with them directly. Along with guest lectures, the foreign exchange program is the highlight of IIT where speakers from various countries interact with each other in conferences held at a regular time interval, this program provides exposure to the students to interact with different people and develop a sense of understanding of trends going around the globe. The alumni network of IIT is exceptional and besides helping each other they make their efforts to strengthen the nation.
IITs have a unique and diverse culture where students from difeerent parts of the country live and study under one roof and diverse culture helps a lot in getting accustomed to new culture, ideologies and why dissent is important because in public discourse every student will not agree on a topic, and how to work despite having a difference of opinion is the most complex thing to understand in the life cycle and IIT does that in the initial stage of the education. Many people perceive IITs as a geeky institute where everyone has confined them to the libraries and practicing how to study 24x7. But, this is a myth because IIT has much more to do apart from study, the social and cultural life of IITs are rich as there are hobbies club, the movies club, SAE club (Society of Automotive Engineers), Spicmacay club, sporting activities, astronomical club, the explorers club (where students can get a chance to go for a trek on the Himalayas) and if someone has some extraordinary talent then IITs are the place where that talent can be nurtured.
IITs contributes a huge share to the economy as they hold top positions in an organization or are leading entrepreneurs of the country. Government spends a huge chunk of money on their education and the rate of return is quite higher than the investment made. Keeping this in mind, the government is serious in upgrading the institutes and has allocated a budget of Rs, 20,000 crore on six new IITs. The government announced in 2015 to build six new IITs and out of Rs. 20,000 crore, Rs. 7,000 crore will be spent in the first phase ending in March 2020 and the rest over the next four years ending in March 2024. The new IITs will operate from temporary premises with a short staff, research work, course and students which would incur lesser amount of investment. The six states where new IITs are proposed are Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Goa and Jammu & Kashmir.
Alumni like Vinod Khosla, Soumitra Dutta, Nikesh Arora, Nandan Nilekani, Sundar Pichai, Manohar Parrikar and many more who have become leaders in their respective fields are the best examples which proves that IIT comes up with finest brains.