The IITs are key to India’s rise as a knowledge economy. Today, they produce more engineering masters and doctorates than graduates. By some accounts, IIT alumni have the power to influence $10 trillion of the global economy. Hemali Chhapia and Yogita Rao trace the IIT story from its modest beginnings in the 1950s
Classes at the first Indian Institute of Technology in Kharagpur started 70 years ago, in 1951, but the underlying idea for a top-notch engineering college in India had been floated in British times. Ardeshir Dalal from the Viceroy’s Executive Council put it down in a note foreseeing the future prosperity of India depended on technology. Soon after WW-II, the Nalini Ranjan Sarkar committee recommended setting up technical institutes, in its interim report submitted in 1946.
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