The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi, is preparing to establish a campus in Abu Dhabi, following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Ministry of Education and the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge. This significant event took place in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Saturday. This new campus will be IIT's second international expansion, with the first being a campus in Zanzibar signed by IIT-Madras on July 6.
This is a big step in the internationalisation of our educational system and is evidence of India's innovation capability. The thread that ties us together and the flame that ignites invention is education. We will combine our efforts to use this power for our mutual benefit and the advancement of humanity.
Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan expressed his excitement about the IIT-Delhi campus in the UAE, stating that it would not only symbolize India-UAE friendship but also serve as an example of innovation and expertise in the "New India." The aim is to leverage knowledge to promote mutual prosperity and contribute to the global good, in alignment with the National Education Policy (NEP).
IIT-Delhi has already begun outreach programs for students in the UAE, and short courses as well as executive programs for the industry are expected to commence soon. Starting from 2024, IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi will offer degrees across various disciplines such as Energy and Sustainability, Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science and Engineering, Healthcare, Mathematics and Computing, and other fields in engineering, sciences, and humanities. Professor RanganBanerjee, Director of IIT-Delhi, emphasized that the new campus in Abu Dhabi presents both challenges and opportunities to make a global impact through education and research. The decision to establish an international IIT campus in the UAE was announced in August 2022 and was part of a joint vision statement released by India and the UAE in February 2022. IIT-Delhi was selected by the government to execute the proposal, despite having previously shown interest in setting up campuses in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.
The IIT-Madras campus in Zanzibar holds significance as it is led by a woman, Preeti Aghalayam, who is the Director-incharge. Aghalayam expressed her honorand pride in being an alumna of IIT-Madras and playing a role in this endeavor for the institute and the country. The representation of women in Zanzibar's academic sphere was a noticeable factor that led to a mindful approach in establishing this campus.
In conclusion, the IIT-Delhi campus in Abu Dhabi aims to collaborate with key players in the academic, research, and innovation ecosystem, including Mohamed bin ZayedUniversity of Artificial Intelligence, Khalifa University, New York University Abu Dhabi, Technology Innovation Institute, and Hub71. Through such partnerships, the campus intends to offer complementary programs, conduct cutting-edge research, and contribute to the local startup ecosystem.