The boom of IT sector and infrastructure in India has sky-rocketed the demand of engineers. While there are engineering colleges dime a dozen in the country, the Indian Institutes of Technology are the best of the breed. Every Indian who wants to be an engineer, dreams about joining one of the IITs.
As of early 2009, there are 7 IITs functioning in their own campus. These are IIT Kharagpur, IIT Bombay, IIT Madras, IIT Kanpur, IIT Delhi, IIT Guwahati and IIT Roorkee. Six IITs are currently operational from temporary campuses because they started operations in 2008. These are IIT Bhubaneswar, IIT Gandhinagar, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Patna, IIT Punjab and IIT Rajasthan. These six IITs are currently under the mentorship of older IITs and operate from their campuses.
Unlike other engineering colleges, the IITs do not need to be affiliated to any university to offer degrees. This is because each institution is considered an autonomous university by itself.
IITs offer degree courses at Bachelor and Master level. They are also research focused institutes. At the undergraduate level, the undergraduate level, all the students get a B. Tech. degree. The specific nomenclature of degree depends upon the engineering stream chosen by the students.
Each of the IITs is famous for particular engineering streams. Commonly the students choose for Computer Science, Electronics, Mechanical engineering, Aerospace, and Civil engineering streams. Whereas the study courses of first year are common for all students, the second year onwards, their study courses are decided according to the engineering stream they have chosen.
The IITs also offer an integrated degree of Master of Technology. Master of Business Administration course is also being offered along with Master of Science. The research level, Doctor of Philosophy is also offered by the IITs.
Admission to all the IITs takes place through a centralized entrance test system. The procedure of admission to IITs is known as the Joint Entrance Examination. On an average, as many as 600,000 students write the JEE every year. Of these mere 5500 students are selected for these elite institutions. To appear for the JEE, the applicant must have secured 60% marks at 10 + 2 level with science subjects. For the reserved category, the minimum required percentage is 55%. Test can not be taken more than twice and maximum age limit is 25 years (30 years for reserved categories).
Admissions at the post graduate level are made through course specific admission tests. For M. Tech courses, the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) is held. For M. Sc. JAM (Joint Admission to M.Sc.) is held whereas the admission to management programs is through JMET (Joint Management Entrance Test).
Being the top most engineering colleges of the country, completing the IIT degree is by itself a job guarantee. Most of the students get job offers through campus placement sessions. The students get numerous international job opportunities with United States based companies being one of the largest hirers of IIT alumni.
IITs are institutions where best teachers use the best resources to teach the best students of India.