IIT-Indian Institutes of Technology

The Indian Institutes of Technology is a group of autonomous engineering and technology-oriented institutes of higher education. The IITs are governed by the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 which has declared them as “institutions of national importance”, and lays down their powers, duties, framework for governance etc. They were created to train scientists and engineers, with the aim of developing a skilled workforce to support the economic and social development of India IITs are listed as societies under the Indian Societies Registration Act.
The 1961 act lists seven institutes, which are, in order of establishment, IIT Kharagpur in Kharagpur (1950; as IIT 1951), IIT Bombay in Mumbai (1958), IIT Madras in Chennai (1959), IIT Kanpur in Kanpur (1959), IIT Delhi in New Delhi (1961; as IIT 1963), IIT Guwahati in Guwahati (1994) and IIT Roorkee in Roorkee (1847; as IIT 2001).
In addition to the seven IITs, the Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Act, 2010 seeks to add nine new institutes to the list. Of these, eight are new institutes, in order of establishment, IIT Ropar in Rupnagar (2008), IIT Bhubaneswar in Bhubaneswar (2008), IIT Gandhinagar in Gandhinagar (2008), IIT Hyderabad in Hyderabad (2008), IIT Patna in Patna (2008), IIT Rajasthan in Rajasthan (2008), IIT Mandi in Mandi (2009) and IIT Indore in Indore (2009). These IITs are registered as societies and are in various stages of consolidation and development. The ninth is Institute of Technology, Banaras Hindu University (IT-BHU), which is currently a faculty under the administration of Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, which is to be named "Indian Institute of Technology (Banaras Hindu University), Varanasi", which is to be abbreviated IIT-BHU. The bill was approved by the Indian Cabinet in February 25, 2011, and the Lok Sabha passed the bill on March 24, 2011. It is still to be adopted by the Rajya Sabha.
Each IIT is an autonomous university, linked to the others through a common IIT Council, which oversees their administration. They have a common admission process for undergraduate admissions, using the very selective Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE), which in 2011 had an acceptance rate of less than 1 in 50 (485,000 candidates and only 9,618 seats). Undergraduate students will eventually receive a B. Tech. degree in Engineering. The graduate level program that awards M. Tech. degree in engineering is administered by the older IITs (Kharagpur, Bombay, Madras, Kanpur, Delhi, Guwahati, Roorkee) and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. M. Tech. admissions are done on the basis of the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). In addition to B. Tech and M. Tech programs IITs also award other graduate degrees such as M.S. in engineering, M.Sc in Math, Physics and Chemistry, MBA and more. Admission to these is through Common Admission Test (CAT), Joint Admission Test to M.Sc. (JAM) and Common Entrance Examination for Design (CEED). About 15,500 undergraduate and 12,000 graduate students study in the IITs, in addition to research scholars.
IIT alumni have achieved success in a variety of professions. Most of the IITs were created in early 1950s and 1960s as the Institutes of National Importance through special acts of Indian Parliament. The success of the IITs led to the creation of the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) in the late 1990s and in the 2000s.


The IITs are located in:


Short Name     




Current IITs:

IIT Kharagpur





West Bengal

IIT Bombay






IIT Madras





Tamil Nadu

IIT Kanpur





Uttar Pradesh

IIT Delhi



1961 (1963‡)

New Delhi

New Delhi

IIT Guwahati






IIT Roorkee



1847 (2001‡)



New IITs:

IIT Rupnagar






IIT Bhubaneswar






IIT Hyderabad





Andhra Pradesh

IIT Gandhinagar






IIT Patna






IIT Rajasthan






IIT Mandi


IIT Mandi



Himachal Pradesh

IIT Indore





Madhya Pradesh

IIT (BHU) Varanasi



1916 (2011‡)


Uttar Pradesh

‡ - year converted/planned to convert to IIT.

Admission to undergraduate B. Tech and integrated M. Tech programs are through IIT-JEE (the Joint Entrance Examination). Admission to most postgraduate courses in IITs is granted through various written entrance examinations. The admission for Ph.D. program is based primarily on a personal interview, though candidates may also have to appear for written tests.

Entrance examinations

Admission to undergraduate programs in all IITs is tied to the Joint Entrance Examination, popularly known as IIT-JEE. Candidates opting for the B.Arch. (Bachelor of Architecture) program in IIT Kharagpur and IIT Roorkee, and the B.ed(Bachelor of Design) program in IIT Guwahati, have to clear an aptitude test as well. Candidates who qualify admission via IIT-JEE can apply for admission in B.Tech. (Bachelor of Technology), Dual Degree (Integrated Bachelor of Technology and Master of Technology) and Integrated M.Sc. (Master of Sciences) courses in IITs, IT-BHU and ISM Dhanbad. IIT-JEE is a science-oriented entrance exam, testing candidate's knowledge of mathematics, physics and chemistry. It is conducted by an IIT chosen by a policy of rotation. Admission is very competitive since the entrance exam is generally considered tough and also because of the very high number of test takers. In 2011 over 485,000 students competed for 9,618 seats, a ratio of acceptance of less than 1 in 50. Only students who have completed their 12th and secured at least 60% in their exam (higher secondary studies from a recognised educational board) are allowed to take admission through IIT-JEE. The IIT-JEE is well known for frequently changing the types of questions asked in order to discourage study by rote. In recent years, though the level of questions has become easier, the competition for a seat in an IIT has grown exponentially. Since IIT-JEE 2006, the format of the question paper was changed to a single objective test-based paper, replacing the earlier system that employed two tests. The candidates belonging to the general category must secure a minimum aggregate of 60% marks in the qualifying examination of the XIIth standard organized by various educational boards of India. Candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC), Scheduled Tribe (ST) and Physically Disabled (PD) categories must secure a minimum aggregate of 55% in the qualifying examination. The upper age limit for appearing for the [IIT-JEE] is 25 years. The age limit is relaxed to 30 years for candidates classified in the SC, ST and PD categories. Starting with IIT-JEE 2007, a candidate can take IIT-JEE a maximum of two times, and students who are selected for an IIT cannot attempt the examination again. Students select their institute and department of study based on what is available at the time of their counselling that follows the IIT-JEE result.
The admissions into the postgraduate programmes are made through various exams, primarily the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) for Ph.D., M.Tech., and some MS courses. This exam tests the conceptual clarity in technical subjects and is one of the most difficult in the country. Other prominent entrance exams include Joint Admission Test to M.Sc. (JAM) for M.Sc., and Common Admission Test (CAT) for management studies, which replaced Joint Management Entrance Test (JMET) in 2011.
Undergraduate education

The Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) degree is the most common undergraduate degree in the IITs in terms of student enrollment, although dual degrees integrating Master of Science or Master of Arts are also offered. The B.Tech course is based on a 4-year program with eight semesters, while the Dual Degree and Integrated courses are 5-year programs with ten semesters. In all IITs, the first year of B.Tech. and Dual Degree courses are marked by a common course structure for all the students, though in some IITs, a single department introduction related course is also included. The common courses include the basics from most of the departments like Electronics, Mechanics, Chemistry, and Physics. At the end of first year (the end of first semester at IIT Madras), an option to change departments is given to meritorious students on the basis of their performance in the first two semesters. Few such changes ultimately take place as the criteria for them are usually strict, limited to the most meritorious students.
From the second year onwards, the students study subjects exclusively from their respective departments. In addition to these, the students have to take compulsory advanced courses from other departments in order to broaden their education. Separate compulsory courses from humanities and social sciences department, and sometimes management courses are also enforced. At the end of third year, the undergraduate students have to undertake a summer project at an industry or reputed academic institute as part of the curriculum. In the last year of their studies, most of the students are placed into industries and organizations via the placement process of the respective IIT, though some students opt out of this either when going for higher studies or when they take up jobs by applying to the companies directly.