How offshore campuses can help IITs rise in rankings – Times of India

In their efforts to formalize plans for setting up offshore campuses abroad, IITs are trying to work out a roadmap for the future and work out feasibility options. “IIT Madras is in discussions with several countries including Tanzania and some other African countries for setting up offshore campuses. Some of the models and proposals under discussion include country-specific courses, which may be of local relevance,” says an IIT Madras spokesperson.

Elaborating further, he explains, “There is a demand for mining related courses in African countries. In Nepal, there is a demand for courses on energy systems, while courses in data science are in demand everywhere. The institute will arrive at various models based on the viability and employability in the host countries. IIT Madras and other IITs, along with the Government of India’s Ministry of Education, are looking into what courses can be offered, although a final decision is some time away. ,

A draft report is being prepared by a 16-member committee headed by Dr K Radhakrishnan, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the IIT Council which will provide the blueprint for expansion plans and setting up of satellite campuses. Director of seven IITs – Mumbai, Delhi, Kharagpur, Madras, Kanpur, Guwahati and Dhanbad – and the University of Delhi, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Banaras Hindu University, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hyderabad and Director of Indian Institute. Vigyan, Bengaluru, is among the members of the committee.


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Back in December 2020, a letter was issued from IIT Delhi to the Ministry of Education seeking permission to open a campus in Saudi Arabia. V Ramgopal Rao, former Director of IIT Delhi and Pillai Chair Professor in EE, says, “The idea was to start a 4-year BS program in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence and Bioinformatics, for which admission may be based on eligibility criteria such as SAT ” He points out that BTech as a degree has a direct correlation with JEE Advanced, hence, it would have been very difficult as an admission criterion for international students. “The point was to give the BS program its own identity,” he adds.

“The objective of the initiative was to enable foreign students to spend one year of their degree program at the IIT Delhi campus which will help the institute to generate foreign revenue and achieve greater cultural and social diversity. Additionally, international student groups on campus will increase the number of students leading to an increase in both revenue and rankings. While the ministry had said that the letter was sent to the law ministry to look into the possibility of further implementation, now a committee has been constituted to look into the various modalities,” says Rao.

Last year, the Center had issued guidelines to allow reputed institutions to open foreign campuses after obtaining the education ministry’s approval and no-objection certificates from the ministry of external affairs and home affairs. This was said keeping in mind the National Policy on Education (NEP) 2020.

In the current scenario, a senior IIT Delhi spokesperson said on the condition of anonymity, “Combination of both undergraduate and postgraduate programs is being considered, however IIT Delhi will focus more on offering undergraduate engineering programs in four streams.” Will go While the ministry has given IITs the green light to undertake their overseas endeavor, setting up a campus in a new ecosystem is a challenge due to the varied regulatory environment – ​​not many universities with their satellite campuses abroad succeed. A lot also depends on the diplomatic relations between those countries which keep on changing with the times.

The spokesperson further informed that a strong research component and PhD programs will be offered by IITs to attract foreign faculty to these campuses. He further added, “IITs will explore their options individually, and not work jointly to realize their global aspirations.”

BJ Rao, Vice Chancellor, University of Hyderabad, which is part of the 16-member committee, said, “The countries where the campuses will be set up gave their requirements, after which the partner institutions are identified through mutual consultations. These institutions – which are mostly IITs in the first round of implementation – will work on the financial details of the model, and the recipient country will bear the expenses.

They claim that the campuses will be set up in a few months to a maximum of a year, with a massive faculty pool drawn from IITs. “India is a country of surplus talent, hence, offshore opportunities like this will reflect its knowledge base. Universities will be considered in the second round of selection,” he says.