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Indian Institute of Technology may open campuses in Mideast

The decision was taken by a committee of 16-member; of these, seven were directors of the IITs and vice-chancellors of four central universities.

On Wednesday, February 2, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) has decided to open overseas campuses, including the Gulf and the Middle East.

The decision was taken by a committee of 16-member; of these, seven were directors of the IITs and vice-chancellors of four central universities. The 16-member committee has prepared a roadmap on demand “from various quarters to allow overseas campuses” of Indian universities.

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According to the media reports, the committee, headed by Dr K Radhakrishnan, chairman of the IIT Council Standing Committee, will submit the framework for opening campuses abroad by March 17.

There are reports that IIT Delhi is planning to open centres in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. It suggested opening international campuses where it would provide four-year undergraduate courses and enrol up to 240 students based on standardized test scores. The 100-acre campuses will be built in close proximity to major cities.

The committee will continue its discussion on whether IITs should collectively establish a campus in abroad or every institute must be permitted to open. Apart from IITs, the committee will also consider the opening of the central universities. Around 60 percent of the faculty at the campuses established abroad would be from that nation, but teachers would be required to spend one semester every three years in India.

The committee is considering a draft report that would turn the Saudi Arabian campus into a for-profit institution. The plan said, “This would have the benefit of attracting possible investors who can really supply the funds needed to establish the campus.”

“However, IIT Delhi has no experience working with such a model, and while it may be open to explore the possibilities,” the plan further stated.

Tariq Saeed

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