IIT Madras director inaugurates Zanzibar campus virtually; to launch 5 courses in 5 years

IIT Zanzibar admission was done for BS Data Science based on an eligibility test and personal interview within a short span of 1.5 months.

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Preeti Aghayalam will be heading the IIT Zanzibar campus. (Image: IIT-M Zanzibar official website)Preeti Aghayalam will be heading the IIT Zanzibar campus. (Image: IIT-M Zanzibar official website)

Anu Parthiban | November 6, 2023 | 12:07 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) director V Kamakoti today inaugurated the IIT-Madras Zanzibar campus virtually. “We are starting with around 50 students for two courses - BS Artificial Intelligence and Data Science and MTech in AI and Data Science,” he said during the hybrid press conference. It is the first IIT to be established offshore.

Speaking at the inauguration, the IIT Madras director said: “We are happy that we have chosen Africa: We needed to go to a country that needed us, a country's school education that needs values from IIT.”

Stating that the IIT Zanzibar admission process was a ‘massive success’, he said that the seats were allotted for BS Data Science based on an eligibility test and personal interview within a short span of 1.5 months.

He also announced plans to start five programmes - three postgraduate and two undergraduate - in the next five years. The entire expenses will be taken by the Zanzibar government, he informed.

Lauding the efforts of the Zanzibar government, IIT-M director said: “It's a historic moment because an IIT is opening a campus abroad. The action wouldn't be possible with the government of Zanzibar and India. The government of Zanzibar has authorised close to 2,000 acre campus for IIT Madras Zanzibar. It's almost a residential campus.”

He further expressed his confidence and said that “Zanzibar will become the top most campus in Africa”.

Preeti Aghayalam will be heading the IIT Zanzibar campus. Initially, the institute said that the classes will commence with 70 seats. However, the campus has been inaugurated today with 50 seats. Out of the admitted students, 50% are from India and 50% are from Africa.

Also read | Women still minority at IITs, efforts on to achieve gender balance: 1st woman IIT director Preeti Aghalayam

The IIT Madras director said that they are aiming to become an educational hub in Africa and also have a cultural exchange programme with the country. “We have filled 100 positions in India and close to 6 faculty for IIT Madras Zanzibar. Moreover, 198 centres are being run in rural areas in India to spread awareness about education,” he said.

12,000 US dollars per year is the academic fees UG course and Zanzibar campus may launch a course in mining.

Similarly, IIT Delhi will also start their courses in their new campus at Abu Dhabi.

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