IIT Madras to offer BSc, MSc in data science, AI at IIT Zanzibar; Preeti Aghayalam to head

IIT Madras: MTech Cyber Physical Systems and agriculture-focussed academic programmes are expected to be launched soon in Zanzibar campus.

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IIT Madras director V Kamakoti addresses media and briefs about ‘IIT Madras Zanzibar’.(Image: Sheena Sachdeva/Careers360)IIT Madras director V Kamakoti addresses media and briefs about ‘IIT Madras Zanzibar’.(Image: Sheena Sachdeva/Careers360)

Team Careers360 | July 10, 2023 | 11:59 AM IST

Anu Parthiban and Sheena Sachdeva
NEW DELHI: The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) director V Kamakoti today announced that Preeti Aghayalam will head the first IIT to be established offshore, IIT Zanzibar. The international IIT Madras campus will offer BSc and MSc courses in data science and artificial intelligence (AI) for a total of 70 seats initially and the academic classes will begin from October 24, 2023, the IIT-M director said during a press conference held today.

Ranked number 1 in overall category for the past five consecutive years in the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF 2023) by the minister of education, India, IIT Madras has become the first to establish an international campus abroad. IIT Zanzibar has been provided 200 acres of land and funding of the campus administration will be provided by the Zanzibar Government, he said. Further, he said that IIT Madras will be the knowledge partner.

“The land for setting up the main campus will be ready by 2026 or latest by December 31, 2025,” the director said.

The admission process for the IIT Zanzibar has already begun. The institute will offer two full time academic programmes - 4-year BSc Data Science and AI and 2-year MSc Data Science and AI.

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In the next few years, it also is planning to launch three new undergraduate courses. Additionally, MTech in Cyber Physical Systems and agriculture-focussed academic programmes are also expected to be launched soon.

As per the fee structure, candidates who wish to pursue UG programmes in IIT Zanzibar will have to pay 12,000 US dollars per year and those who want to study PG courses will have to pay 4,000 US dollars, excluding hostel fees.

Students will be selected based on a screening test developed by the faculty experts of IIT Madras and interview round.

Why Zanzibar?

Explaining further on why the institute opted for Zanzibar, Tanzania for setting its first offshore campus, IIT-M director Kamakoti said: “There are three important things. We saw a very good interest from their government and the response was very fast. Africa is an important place and school education is very good there. We are confident that we will get good students.”

The initiative ‘IIT Madras for all’ focussed on increasing the gross enrollment ratio (GER). “We aim to increase the GER to 15% by 2035,” he said.

The institute is also planning to set up a research park like in IIT Madras. The existing IIT Madras Research Park (IITMRP) is India's first university-based research park. “It aspires to build a knowledge and innovation ecosystem where industry leaders and scholars can collaborate with state-of-the-art technology to integrate and apply advancements in knowledge to real-time products or services”.

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IIT Madras on international ranking

IIT Madras has retained its top position in the NIRF Rankings 2023 for the five consecutive years and ranked number one under engineering category for eight consecutive years. However, because of a “new parameter of sustainability and some miscommunication due to which we were not able to achieve the top 200 ranking in international ranking”, Kamakoti said.

“The focus is on industrialization but that's impacting the number of parents. Also, the agenda of the translational research of IIT Madras is different from the focus of international ranking. We don't want to change our agenda due to ranking,” he said.

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