IIT Guwahati. (File Photo: IANS) Image Source: IANS

IIT Guwahati. (File Photo: IANS)

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are a group of engineering and management institutes. There are 16 such institutes nationwide and they are considered as institutes of national importance. They are linked to each other through a common IIT Council. The IITs award UG, PG and doctoral degrees. The older IITs offer M.Tech programmes, besides, These centres of national importance offer graduate degrees like MSc and MBA and the admission is though CAT, JAM and CEED.

JEE as IIT entrance test

Joint Entrance Examination is a common entrance examination conducted at the national level for admission to various engineering courses under the central government fo India. JEE falls into two categories- JEE-Main and JEE- Advanced. Admission to undergraduate engineering programmes at NITs, NIITs and Centrally Funded Technical Institutes is through JEE- Main. Admission to IITs and Indian School of Mines (ISM) is though JEE- Advanced. The paper 1 of JEE main is considered as the eligibility test for JEE- Advanced. Candidate aspiring to do undergraduate programmes offered by IITs need to take JEE advanced. Some state like Gujarat and Maharasthra have joined the JEE system and students in these states have to appear for JEE- Main for admission to state-run institutes.

Education at IITs

The most common undergraduate degree offered is B.Tech. It is a four-year programme where dual degrees and integrated courses are five-year courses. The dual degrees integrates undergraduate and postgraduate studies in selected areas of specialization. Integrated master of science programme also is offered by IITs. IITs offers postgraduate programmes like M.Tech, MBA, MSc and master of design. The admission to these master’s programmes are based on the scores of the Graduate Aptitude Test in engineering (GATE) and Joint Admission Test to MSc (JAM). Doctoral students pursuing PhD have to provide a dissertation and orally present their arguments as well. They usually work on a consultancy project given by the industries or a topic of academic interest.

Entrance competition

The admission test for India Institutes of technology popularly known as JEE is one of the most competitive test in the world. In 2012 half a million students sat for JEE. JEE is the sole entrance criteria for admission to the undergraduate programme (B.Tech). Usually only 2 percent of the students taking the test get admission, compared to 5.9 percent at Harvard or more than 6 percent at top engineering colleges internally. The preparation for joint entrance examination begins two years before the student takes the test. The highly competitive nature of the test have led to the establishment of a large number of coaching centres across the country.

Continuing education at IITs

The centre for continuing education at IITs coordinates continuing educational programmes. It aims to assist working professionals in the industry to widen their knowledge and enhance their skills. It also promotes strong industry-institute interaction, helping the industry to be globally competitive. Open programmes lasting for 2- 5 days are conducted ensuring participation from industry or organizations. The in-house programmes are meant for specific a company or organization. Also participants can register postgraduate level courses held in the evening hours. Besides, distance education programmes are offered to a large number of participants through video broadcast lectures supported by course handbooks.