The National Institutes of Technology (NITs) (राष्ट्रीय प्रौद्योगिकी संस्थान), are a group of public engineering colleges of India. On their inception decades ago, all NITs were referred to as Regional Engineering Colleges (RECs) and were governed by their respective state governments. NITs were founded to promote regional diversity and multi-cultural understanding in India. Comprising thirty autonomous institutes, they are located in one each major state/territory of India. In 2007,the Indian government declared these schools as Institute of National Importance. NITs offer degree courses at bachelors, masters, and doctorate levels in various branches of engineering and technology. All NITs are autonomous which enables them to set up their own curriculum.