Brand IIT Goes to the World
Gets OK to Set Up a Campus in Qatar
The Indian Institute of Technology may finally get its first
offshore campus. The proposal to set up an IIT campus in Qatar has
reportedly been given an initial go ahead.
To be called the International Institute of Technology, it is to be
set up by all the IITs in a concerted effort. To be co-ordinated by
the IIT Council-the apex decision-making body for all IITs-this
proposed new institute is learnt to have got the first green signal
from the Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry.
While the HRD Ministry has traditionally been opposed to IITs or
IIMs venturing abroad, arguing that "elite" educational institutions
must focus their energies on India alone, the new dispensation in
the ministry is keen Brand India makes a mark abroad. It is learnt
that the ministry has, in principle, said it has 'no objection' to
the Qatar plan.
"To be called the International Institute of Technology, it will
have the support of all the IITs. There will be a joint venture
between the Indian government and the Qatar government," said an
IIT Qatar, when it comes up, will rub shoulders with elite
institutes like Carnegie Mellon University, Virginia Commonwealth
University and Georgetown University School of Foreign Service that
have set up branch campuses in Qatar's Education City.
The Qatar Foundation, chaired by the Emir's wife, Her Highness
Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, has been instrumental in
getting major American varsities set up centres in Education City-an
educational district on the outskirts of Doha. The project aims to
make oil-rich Qatar a knowledge economy by 2030.
About four lakhs students had appeared in the test last year for nearly
8200 seats in 15 IITs, IIT-BHU and ISM Dhanbad. The number of candidates
is expected to go up this year as the seats in these institutes will be
increased to over 10000 as the older IITs are expanding their intake for
implementing the OBC quota.