IITs spread their wings in India

By Vijay Badhwar

Some 40 Delhi IITians, from generations spanning five decades, hosted a reception for the visiting Director Prof V Ramgopal Rao at Zaaffran Indian Restaurant at Darling Harbour on 13 March. Prof Rao updated on the latest news from India’s premier institution – its changing emphasis from merely being a technology institute to now a thriving hub of research and startups.

The changes had been extraordinary since the early days when there were only five IITs in India, he said. Now there were 23 spread across the length and breadth of India.

The focus has also shifted from merely being in science and technology – where IIT Delhi is ranked 47 in the world – to major collaborations with the industry, with a vision to become a holistic centre of learning, the visiting Director said.

Another big change in IIT character was the gender mix – from a virtually zero representation of females in the late sixties, now there were 20 percent females in such diverse fields as in science and technology, research and management, Prof Ramgopal said.

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