These are apex institutions for engineering education and research. At present, there are fifteen Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) viz. at Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras, Guwahati, Roorkee, Hyderabad, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Ropar, Jodhpur, Gandhinagar, Indore and Mandi. Out of these first seven 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. Remaining eight new IITs are registered as society under Society Act. The new Institutes are in various stages of consolidation and development.
The main objective of IITs is to impart world class education in engineering and technology; to conduct research in the relevant fields, and to further advancement of learning and dissemination of knowledge. These Institutes are also contributing significantly to education and research in basic sciences and humanities. As part of the national plan of science and technology, five Centers of Advanced Study and Research have been set up in the Indian Institutes of Technology in Energy Studies (Delhi), Material Science (Kanpur), Cryogenic Engineering (Kharagpur), Ocean Engineering (Madras) and Resource Engineering (Bombay).
The IITs offer undergraduate programmes in various branches of engineering and technology; postgraduate programmes with specialization and Ph.D. programmes in various engineering and science disciplines, interdisciplinary areas; and conduct basic, applied and sponsored research. At present, IITs offer B. Tech., B. Arch, M.Sc., M. Design, M. Phil., M. Tech, MBA and Ph.D. Degrees. The quality of teaching and research in IITs is of international standards. The Institutes are continuously evaluating and modifying curricula as per the emerging trends in the industry. They also contribute to updating the knowledge of faculty of other Engineering Colleges through Quality Improvement Programmes. As host institutions under the Early Faculty Development Programme (EFDP), IITs act as nuclei to cater to the technical requirements of the respective regions.
Students into UG programmes in IITs are admitted on the basis of Indian Institute of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) and in PG programmes through Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)