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Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT)
The Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) are a group of 15 autonomous engineering and technology oriented institutes of higher education established and declared as Institutes of National Importance by the Parliament of India. The IITs were created to train scientistsand engineers, with the aim of developing a skilled workforce to support the economic and social development of India.
In order of establishment, they are located in Kharagpur (1950; as IIT 1951), Mumbai (1958),Chennai (1959), Kanpur (1959), Delhi (1961; as IIT 1963), Guwahati (1994), Roorkee (1847; as IIT 2001), Ropar (2008), Bhubaneswar (2008), Gandhinagar (2008), Hyderabad (2008), Patna (2008),Jodhpur (2008), Mandi (2009) and Indore (2009). Apart from these ITBHU Varanasi is also slated for conversion as IITVaranasi. Some IITs were established with financial assistance and technical expertise from UNESCO, Germany, the United States,Japan and the Soviet Union.
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 Joint Entrance Examination (popularly known as IIT-JEE) to select around 8,000 undergraduate candidates a year, who will eventually receive a B. Tech. degree in Engineering. The equally coveted graduate level program that awards M. Tech. degree in engineering is administered by the older IITs (Kharagpur, Bombay, Madras, Kanpur, Delhi) and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. M. Tech. admissions are done on the basis of the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, (popularly known as GATE test). In addition to the B. Tech. and M. Tech. programs that IITs are mostly known for, IITs also award other graduate degrees such as M.S. in engineering, M.Sc in Math, Physics and Chemistry, MBA and Ph.D. through tests such as JMET, JAMand 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.
Admission to undergraduate B. Tech and integrated M. Tech programs are through IIT-JEE (the Joint Entrance Examination) in which around 400,000 students appear annually out of which only 7,500 get selected, (49.5% of the seats are reserved and therefore not merit based). Admission to most postgraduate courses in IITs is granted through various written entrance examinations: GATE (forM.Tech.), JAM (for M.Sc.) and CEED (for M.Des.). The admission for Ph.D. program is based primarily on a personal interview, though candidates may also have to appear for written tests.
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 the B.Des. (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 Technologyand 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 2006 over 300,000 students competed for 4,935 seats, a ratio of acceptance of less than 1 in 60. 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 appear for 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 have 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 organised 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 and interview that follows the IIT-JEE result. The interviews are usually spread over five days.
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 JAM (Joint Admission to M.Sc.) for M.Sc., and JMET (Joint Management Entrance Test) for Management Studies.
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