They were established as independent institution of higher learning for Science and Engineering
The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), are a group of fifteen autonomous engineering and technology-oriented institutes of higher education established and declared as Institutes of National Importance by the Parliament of India. The IITs were created to train scientists and engineers, with the aim of developing a skilled workforce to support the economic and social development of India after independence in 1947. The students and alumni of IITs are colloquially referred to as IITians.
These schools are listed below in the table in order they were established.
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It is clear from this table that original five were established between year 1950 and 1961. There was a major expansion in the last ten years and the last nine of them were established between years 2000-2009. There is one more in making that will be located at Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh.
Each IIT is an autonomous university, linked to the others through a common IIT Council, which oversees their administration. They have a common admission process for undergraduate admissions, using the Joint Entrance Examination (popularly known as IIT-JEE) to select around 4,000 undergraduate candidates a year. Postgraduate Admissions are done on the basis of the GATE, JMET, JAM and CEED. About 15,500 undergraduate and 12,000 graduate students study in the IITs, in addition to research scholars. SourceThese institutions are geographically distributed all across India with some what higher concentration in the north. The following interactive map that allows different overlays, pan and zoom options shows their locations on the map.
You can move around the map or change the view of the map by using the control bar on the top left side of the map and by using the satellite and hybrid option to add more information to the map. Also more information is available by clicking on the marker shown in the map.
Click here to View This Map in a full screen mode
The graduates from these sister institutions in general have done well locally in India as well as internationally with US as being one of the main destination.
IIT alumni have achieved success in a variety of professions. Owing to the autonomy of the IITs, these institutes are among those few institutes (the other institutes being National Institutes of Technology or the NITs) in India that offer degrees in technology (B. Tech.) at the undergraduate level as opposed to the Bachelor of Engineering (BE) degrees awarded by most other Indian universities. Most of the IITs were created in early 1950s and 1960s as the Institutes of National Importance through special acts of Indian Parliament. The success of the IITs led to the creation of the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) in the late 1990s and in the 2000s. Source
A CBS 60 minutes video talks about IIT's
The two videos tell many interesting facts and stories about these institutions of Engineering learning.
IIT graduates were noticed by Scott Adams, who himself is an Engineering graduate for their mental prowess. He uses a cartoon character "Asok", an IIT graduate in his very popular satirical cartoon strip DILBERT
In the strip below Asok has been promoted to project manager from the lowly intern position. He boasts about his mental prowess simultaneously displaying a low emotional intelligence quotient.
The next day's strip builds on the same theme
and it is now February 1,2009 Asok has survived in his job and has mellowed considerably. He has learned how not to boast about his superior mental abilities to function within corporate culture while the company is going down hill financially under severe recession.
Recently he fell for a management trick from his pointy hair boss
Asok providing his brief bio