Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) Director Prof V Kamakoti officially inaugurated the IIT Madras Zanzibar campus virtually today. The campus in Zanzibar was inaugurated by H.E Dr Hussein Ali Mwinyi, President of Zanzibar.
Calling it a historic moment, Prof V Kamakoti attributed the success of opening India's first IIT campus abroad to both the Indian as well as the Zanzibar governments for speed tracking all the official procedures within 6 months.
“ The basic motivation for the opening of the IIT Madras campus abroad is the rapid internationalisation. Having a campus in a country abroad will bring in a much more diverse culture which will be a real turning point in the IIT system. We are happy that we chose Africa. We need to go to a country where there is a need for an IIT and the country should support us. Zanzibar government did all that was promised and has been very supportive,” said IIT Madras Director Prof V Kamakoti at the hybrid media conference.
According to IIT Madras, classes commenced last week at the Zanzibar campus. 50 students have been selected for two courses which are BS in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science and MTech in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science.
More than 200 acres of prime land has been sanctioned for the permanent campus by the Zanzibar government and the temporary campus in which the classes are being held is equipped with all facilities. All the funding for the campus is being undertaken by the Zanzibar government including the salaries of the faculty, the IIT Madras director said.
The selection procedure according to Prof V Kamakoti involved an eligibility test followed by a personal interview and the feedback received said that the students were brilliant. Dedicated faculty for the campus are being recruited and in the coming 5 years, IIT Madras plans to introduce 5 new courses in the Zanzibar campus.
“We requested the public sector banks to treat the Zanzibar campus the same as IIT Madras and hand out loans to students who wish to study there,” said Prof V Kamakoti.
Preeti Aghalayam, an alumna of IIT Madras, the first woman director of an IIT, is appointed as the director in charge of the Zanzibar campus. The courses that are available at the campus are a 4-year Bachelor of Science in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence program and a 2-year Mtech in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence program.
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