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The Indian Institutes of Technology or IITs, are a group of seven autonomous engineering and technology oriented institutes of higher education established and declared as Institutes of National Importance by the Government 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.
In order of establishment, the seven IITs are located at Kharagpur, Mumbai (Bombay), Chennai (Madras), Kanpur, Delhi, Guwahati, and Roorkee. Some IITs were established with financial assistance and technical expertise from UNESCO, Germany, the United States, and the Soviet Union. 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. Graduate Admissions are done on the basis of the GATE. About 15,500 undergraduate and 12,000 graduate students study in the seven IITs, in addition to research scholars.
IITians have achieved success in a variety of professions, resulting in the establishment of the widely recognised Brand IIT. The autonomy of the IITs has helped them to create specialised degrees in technology at the undergraduate level, and consequently to award the Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) degree, as opposed to the Bachelor of Engineering (BE) degree awarded by most other Indian universities. The success of the IITs has led to the creation of similar institutes in other fields, such as the National Institutes of Technology, the Indian Institutes of Management and the Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT).
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