IIT to Establish Second International Campus in Abu Dhabi by 2024, Says Education Ministry
The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-Delhi) is gearing up to establish a new international campus in Abu Dhabi, UAE, by 2024. The announcement was made by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who revealed the signing of an agreement between the two governments on Saturday. This marks the second global campus of an Indian Institute of Technology, with IIT-Madras having recently announced the launch of its campus in Zanzibar, Tanzania, scheduled for October. Additionally, IIT-Kharagpur is currently in discussions to establish its own international campus in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The plan for the IIT-Delhi campus in Abu Dhabi has been in progress since last year, as mentioned by IIT-Delhi director Prof Rangan Banerjee in a January interview with News18. The Ministry of Education, Abu Dhabi's Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), and IIT-Delhi have signed an agreement to establish the first campus. Minister Pradhan described this Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as a significant step towards the internationalization of India's education, highlighting the IIT-Delhi campus in Abu Dhabi as an emblem of India-UAE friendship and a testament to the innovation and expertise of the new India.
The signing ceremony took place in the presence of UAE President Sheikh Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Abu Dhabi's Undersecretary for Education, the Indian Ambassador to UAE, and IIT-Delhi's director were the signatories. IIT-Abu Dhabi plans to collaborate with prominent higher education institutions in the UAE, including the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, Khalifa University, New York University Abu Dhabi, Technology Innovation Institute, and Hub71. Their collaboration aims to offer complementary programs, conduct cutting-edge research, and promote the local startup ecosystem.
The forthcoming IIT-Delhi campus in Abu Dhabi is expected to offer a diverse range of bachelor's, master's, and PhD programs. It will likely house research centers specializing in sustainable energy, climate studies, computing, and data sciences. However, the specific courses to be offered at the international campus have yet to be announced by IIT-Delhi.
Meanwhile, IIT-Madras director Prof V Kamakoti revealed earlier this week that the IIT-Zanzibar campus will initially focus on providing a Bachelor of Science (BS) program in data science and AI, as well as an MTech program in the same field.
The establishment of an IIT campus in the UAE was envisaged in the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) signed between the two countries' top leadership in early 2022. Subsequently, IIT-Delhi was chosen by the Ministry of Education to undertake this strategically important endeavor for the country. The IIT campus in Abu Dhabi is envisioned as a research-centric extension of IIT-Delhi, aimed at making a global impact in education and research.
In preparation for the new campus, IIT-Delhi has already initiated outreach programs for school students in the UAE, contributing to the academic ecosystem of the country. Additionally, short courses and executive programs catering to industry needs are expected to commence soon, according to the director.