IIT Madras is gearing up for the inauguration of its Zanzibar campus, sprawled across 215 acres in an ambitious endeavor marked by diversity, research, and sustainability. The temporary campus, set to be operational from October 24, boasts an international mix of students and faculty, offering a plethora of multi-disciplinary courses within sustainable infrastructures.
The inaugural batch will witness 50 students enrolling in the BS program and 15 to 20 students in the MTech program, both focusing on cutting-edge fields of data science and AI. Additionally, plans are underway to introduce specialized courses in ocean structures, internet of things (IoT), robotics, as well as interdisciplinary degrees in medicine and humanities.
Preeti Aghalayam, director in-charge of IIT Madras Zanzibar campus, highlighted the campus’s readiness, with fully-equipped facilities, including classrooms, faculty offices, student hostels, and a dispensary. Modifications aligning with IIT Madras’s identity are in progress. Aghalayam shared the vision, emphasizing a vibrant and diverse campus where research stands as the cornerstone. “We want to carve our own path,” she affirmed.
Significantly, the campus is witnessing a surge of interest from Tanzanian girls aspiring for engineering courses. While a substantial portion of students hails from India and Tanzania, a considerable number from Kenya and Ethiopia are expected to join. Fifteen esteemed faculty members from IIT Madras will make the shift in the inaugural year, ensuring a seamless transition of knowledge.
A distinguishing feature of the campus is its commitment to sustainability. Ligy Philip, professor in charge of infrastructure, outlined the eco-friendly initiatives. The campus will harness renewable energy, recycle wastewater, and employ sustainable construction materials. The architectural blueprint incorporates a fusion of Indian and Zanzibar styles, set to materialize within the next six months.
In terms of climate, Zanzibar mirrors Chennai’s warmth but with reduced humidity and a lack of cyclonic disturbances. A rich culinary experience awaits students, with a variety of seafood and vegetarian options available in local restaurants and hostels.
The Zanzibar venture is poised to uphold IIT Madras’s reputation for green campuses and wildlife conservation, embodying the institution’s commitment to pioneering education, research, and sustainable practices on a global scale.