In a significant development, the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IIT-D) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of an IIT Delhi campus in Abu Dhabi. The MoU was signed in the presence of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, adding to the “IITs go Global” campaign. This new campus will be the second international IIT campus, following the establishment of IIT Madras in Zanzibar.
The initiative to set up an IIT campus in Abu Dhabi is seen as a symbol of India-UAE friendship and an embodiment of New India’s innovation and expertise. The campus is expected to serve as a testament to the power of knowledge in fostering mutual prosperity and global good, aligning with the vision of India’s National Education Policy (NEP). Dharmendra Pradhan, the Indian Minister of Education, expressed his enthusiasm for the venture on Twitter.
According to reports, the Abu Dhabi campus will commence offering Master’s courses from January 2024, followed by Bachelor’s courses from September of the same year. The establishment of an international campus for IIT Delhi in the UAE was announced in August 2022, as part of the joint vision statement issued by the two countries in February 2022. Among other interested IITs, the government selected IIT Delhi to execute the proposal due to its previous expressions of interest in establishing campuses in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
Responding to a question raised by Congress MP MK Raghavan, the Ministry of Education reiterated that the decision to establish an Indian Institute of Technology in the United Arab Emirates was in line with the joint vision statement issued by the leaders of both countries during a virtual summit on February 18, 2022.
This development follows the recent signing of an MoU by IIT Madras to establish a campus in Zanzibar, which holds the distinction of being the first IIT campus led by a woman. Preeti Aghalayam, the Director-in-Charge of IIT Madras Zanzibar, expressed her pride in undertaking such a significant endeavor for the institute and the country. Noting the substantial representation of women on the Zanzibar side, she emphasized the importance of approaching the initiative mindfully.
The establishment of the IIT Delhi campus in Abu Dhabi and the ongoing expansion of IITs on the global stage reflect India’s commitment to fostering excellence in education and knowledge exchange on an international level. These initiatives are poised to create new opportunities for students and strengthen collaborations between nations.