IIT Madras enters its Diamond Jubilee year of pioneering Academic Excellence, Innovation & cutting-edge Research


Chennai: Fuelled by a culture of academic excellence, innovation and cutting-edge research, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras steps into its 60th year, marking it by becoming the top ranked engineering institute in India for three consecutive years (NIRF Rankings). The collective contribution of alumni, faculty and students over the past six decades has driven the rise of the Institute to become a globally recognized education centre of repute.

IIT Madras is nationally and internationally known for excellence in Technical Education, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Research besides Industrial and Educational Consultancy. Its strengths include highly motivated and talented students, qualified and dedicated faculty, comprehensive experimental and computing facilities, and well-trained technical and administrative supporting staff.

Speaking about the Institute entering its Diamond Jubilee year, Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi, Director, IIT Madras, said, “We have taken great strides since our Golden Jubilee in 2008 in every parameter by which one may choose to measure our Institute’s growth and performance. As we enter the Diamond Jubilee year, we are confident that we will accelerate even further and scale new heights in research, teaching, and innovation.”

Diamond Jubilee Activities of IIT Madras

IIT Madras is marking the Diamond Jubilee year with a series of events throughout the year. The events include ‘Technology Summits’ in various countries to showcase IIT Madras R&D, and innovations. They will be held in locations such as the Bay Area and Houston, U.S., Toronto, Canada and London, England.

Further ‘Thematic Conclaves’ will also be held in Indian cities such as Chennai, Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. ‘Campus Congresses’ would be hosted to bring together academic leaders from around the world. A ‘Technology Day’ has also been planned on campus to celebrate the Institute start-ups and applied R&D Centres.

Objectives and targets of IIT Madras:

Ø To be known as the best educational research institute in the country in all the areas we are engaged in

Ø To produce M.S. and Ph.D. graduates with high employer reputation

Ø To make significant contributions to the technology needs of the nation

Ø To achieve a Ph.D + M.S. graduation rate of 0.8

Ø + 0.5 per year per faculty member

Ø To publish a large fraction of papers in top journals where peers in the top 50 universities

Ø To nurture the unique strength of IIT Madras in research and development leading to technologies with immediate societal value (water, energy, housing, healthcare, education, etc.)

Ø To establish two or three research centres of excellence each year, built around focus themes for which IIT Madras should be known globally for the national and societal impact as well as the new knowledge that they create

A Brief History of the Institute

Inaugurated on July 30, 1959 by Prof. Humayun Kabir, the then Union Minister for Scientific Research and Cultural Affairs, IIT Madras was founded with financial and technical assistance from the then-Federal Republic of Germany with matching support from the Government of India. In 1961 it was declared as an Institution of National Importance by Parliament.

In 1959, IIT Madras had started with the first batch of 120 students. In a few years’ time, the postgraduate courses and research work started. The number of students admitted each year increased gradually. As a result of the capacity expansion, IIT Madras today has well over 9,000 students enrolled in 16 departments offering B.Tech., M.Tech., M.Sc., M.S., M.B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees.

The Institute has passed through various stages of development and growth in the sixty years of its existence. During the first decade, the Institute concentrated on faculty/staff recruitment, developing curricula, examination systems, placement of students, and setting up infrastructural facilities. A strong emphasis was given to academic excellence and for laying a good foundation for research.

During the next two decades, postgraduate and doctoral programmes as well as research, technology development and consultancy projects were actively promoted. From the fourth decade, the Institute experienced substantial growth on all fronts.

The historic milestones and achievements of IIT Madras in the past six decades are far too many to be enumerated in a single document. Some of the highlights have been given below:

Industrial collaboration

Long before it became a buzzword, IIT Madras was among the pioneers in fostering Industry-Academic collaboration. The Centre for Industrial Consultancy and Sponsored Research (IC&SR) was set up as early as 1973 to build synergistic relationships with the government, industry and sponsoring agencies, and various service providers. The Institute has been interacting with industries, research organisations and governmental agencies for taking up consultancy and sponsored research projects.

Further, the academic programmes of the Institute are strengthened by such active interaction with the industries.

IIT Madras Research Park

To facilitate the creation of a powerful innovation and incubation ecosystem jointly with industry as a trendsetter for the country, the IIT Madras Research Park (IITMRP) was established in 2010. It is an independent company promoted by IIT Madras and its alumni. The Research Park promotes research and development by the Institute in partnership with industry.

Besides serving as a catalyst for industry–IIT Madras interaction, it is a magnet for high-quality incubatees from amongst the Institute’s faculty and students, as well as external incubatees with potential for collaboration with IIT faculty members.

Centers of Excellence

A major initiative was to develop focussed Centres of Excellence in the Institute on areas with potentially large societal impact. Centres have already been created in IIT Madras in areas such as catalysis, combustion, water, decentralised power systems, nanotechnology, nanoelectronics, telecommunications, heritage structures, technology and policy, sustainable development and China studies. Many more are planned in near future.

The Institute also boasts of some of the state-of-the-art infrastructure and R&D facilities such as the P.G. Senapathy Centre for Computing Resources, Deshpande Centre for Communication Networks, Bhupat and Jyoti Mehta School of Biosciences, to mention a few.

International collaboration & Alumni Relations

The Dean’s Office of International & Alumni Relations was created to focus on building alliances with peer universities globally and to leverage the alumni community for mutual benefit. In addition to close collaboration with German universities, IIT Madras has active linkages with academic and research organisations in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, The Netherlands, Russia, Singapore, Switzerland, Thailand and the USA. A Development Office in India, and Foundations in the U.S. and Canada have enabled IIT Madras to raise nearly Rs. 75 crores in contributory funding in 2017-18.

National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL)

IIT Madras established NPTEL (National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning) in 1999 with other IITs and IISc Bangalore to provide up with video lecture-based courses across all the streams of engineering. This initiative has gained wide popularity in India and the lectures are being used by several engineering students from across India.