Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras is all set to make history by launching India’s inaugural global campus in Zanzibar-Tanzania, East Africa, on October 25. This initiative will mark the first time an IIT is led by a female director. The institute stated that the campus will commence with a Bachelor of Science (BS) program in data science and AI, as well as a Master of Technology (M. Tech) program in the same field. Professor Preeti Aghalayam, the current dean of the School of Science and Engineering at IIT Madras, has been appointed as the director of the Zanzibar campus. This announcement was made by the institute on Monday following the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the governments of India and Tanzania.
Applications are currently open for the 2023 batch, offering 50 seats for the BS program and 20 seats for the M. Tech program. Professor Preeti expressed her pride in bringing IIT Madras’ extensive educational and research expertise to East Africa. The Zanzibar campus will emulate the scenic and state-of-the-art facilities of the Madras campus, featuring lush surroundings, cutting-edge classrooms, laboratories, research facilities, and innovation centers. Professor Preeti, an alumnus of IIT-M who specializes in chemical engineering, stated that she was honored to assume this role, highlighting the symbolic female representation from Tanzania in this partnership.
The faculty composition at the IIT-M Zanzibar campus will prioritize teaching expertise and adhere to the quality standards maintained by IIT Madras, including maintaining robust faculty-student ratios. The campus will follow a structured approach with degree programs hosted by different schools. The School of Science and Engineering will be the first to launch, offering the planned degrees for the 2023-24 academic year. Professor Preeti added that a comprehensive roadmap for academic programs is currently in development, with valuable input from experts in India and Zanzibar/Tanzania.
During a press interaction held in the capital, IIT Madras Director Professor V Kamakoti expressed his excitement over the campus’s inauguration, describing it as a major milestone in the institute’s history. He explained that Zanzibar was chosen due to the region’s requirement for such a campus and its strong foundation in school education, which promises to attract highly promising students. While initially focusing on data science and AI, Kamakoti expressed future plans to introduce additional courses such as Electronic Systems and marine engineering.
The launch of IIT Madras’ global campus in Zanzibar is a significant leap forward for Indian education, forging stronger ties between India and Africa while fostering academic excellence on an international scale.