On Centre’s request to consider setting up a campus in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), IIT Delhi has held two rounds of meetings with the Department of Education and Knowledge, Abu Dhabi, the Ministry of Education informed the Lok Sabha on Monday.
The development comes at a time when IIT Madras, among others, is considering requests from many countries, including Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania, as part of its expansion plans under a framework developed by a committee chaired by former ISRO chairperson Dr K Radhakrishnan.
While the decision to establish an Indian Institute of Technology in the UAE was announced in the vision statement issued jointly by the two countries in February itself, the government chose IIT Delhi, which had earlier expressed interest in having campuses in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, to execute the proposal.
“As per the joint India-UAE vision statement issued on February 18, 2022, after a virtual summit between the leaders of the two countries,…the leaders agreed to establish an Indian Institute of Technology in the United Arab Emirates”.
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“As a follow up to this, the government has requested the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi to explore the possibility of establishing a campus in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). IIT Delhi requested the Indian ambassador to the UAE to identify and arrange a meeting with the relevant UAE authorities,” according to the answer issued by the Ministry of Education in response to a question raised by Congress MP MK Raghavan.
In his question, Raghavan, who represents Kerala’s Kozhikode constituency in the Lower House, sought to know whether the government has proposed to set up IITs in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.
According to further details shared by the Education Ministry, based on IIT Delhi’s request, the Department of Education and Knowledge, Abu Dhabi, or ADEK, was identified as the relevant authority in this regard. Subsequently, two meetings were held.
“In the first ADEK-IITD meeting, both sides made presentations about their respective organisations and conveyed their eagerness and enthusiasm to move forward with this project. In the second ADEK-IITD meeting, ADEK invited representatives from the Department of Economic Development and from the Advanced Technology Research Council who made presentations on the economic vision and the research priorities of Abu Dhabi, respectively,” the statement added.
IIT Delhi, rated India’s second best engineering college after IIT Madras in the government’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF), also made a presentation on the model under which new IITs are mentored by the older IITs. IIT Delhi mentors IIT Ropar and IIT Jammu.
In 2021, IIT Delhi had in a proposal to the government expressed its willingness to set up campuses in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The proposal states that the overseas campuses will offer four-year UG courses with an annual intake of up to 240 students in four branches based on SAT scores.