IIT New Delhi during Jan 26, 2022 Repubic Day celebrations
IIT New Delhi during India's Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2022 Image Credit: Twitter/@iitdelhi

Dubai: The first Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) planned in the UAE will admit Indian expats, Emiratis and other international students, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE Sunjay Sudhir has revealed.

India and the UAE agreed to set up an IIT in the UAE under a joint Vision Statement by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which followed the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two countries on February 18.

“Confirming the historical relations existing between the two countries and realising the need to establish world-class institutions that encourage and support innovation and technological progress, the leaders agreed to establish an Indian Institute of Technology in the United Arab Emirates,” said the Vision Statement.

IITs are the premier national higher education institutes of India and there are 23 IITs offering a diverse range of degrees starting from undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to doctoral programmes. Bachelor of Technology (BTech) and Master of Technology (MTech) are the most popular courses offered at IITs.

Some of the most famous 'IITians' include Google CEO, Sundar Pichai; face of Indian IT Industry N. R. Narayana Murthy; best-selling novelist and columnist Chetan Bhagat; and former Reserve Bank of India Governor and economist, Raghuram Rajan.

Global recognition

Sunjay Sudhir

Speaking to Gulf News about the decision, the Indian Ambassador said: “The IIT brand has global recognition. It would be the first time that a campus of IIT will be set up overseas and the government of India has chosen the UAE for this purpose. The IIT so established will be open to Emiratis, the Indian diaspora as well as international students. It will be a shining example of how our countries are collaborating in the field of higher education.”

Admission in IIT is conducted through Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced. Top-ranking JEE Mains qualified students are eligible to appear for JEE Advanced. Indian expat students usually visit India for writing these exams.

The envoy, who himself secured a BTech from IIT-New Delhi before pursuing Diplomatic Studies at Oxford University in the UK, added that discussions are underway for the establishment of the premier Indian education institute in the UAE.

“We are already in discussions with the UAE Government on the details for setting it up,” he said.

Further details including the exact location of the IIT as well as admission procedures for overseas students are expected to be released later. Meeting of minds

Commenting on the Vision Statement, Sudhir said: “(It) builds on the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership signed in 2017 and embodies a meeting of minds of our leaders – PM Modi and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Vision document lays out the roadmap for future trajectory of the relationship and identifies focus areas and outcomes.”

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'Festival of Ideas'

His comments came ahead of a two-day event to be hosted by India and the UAE at Expo 2020 Dubai to create the path ahead for both the countries after the successful signing of the CEPA with the UAE, India’s first bilateral trade agreement in the Middle East and North Africa region. Titled ‘Be Inspired: Festival of Ideas,’ the event on Sunday and Monday will explore innovation across sectors that presents solutions and opportunities for the future of the world with key speakers from India, the UAE and elsewhere.

Hosted at the auditorium of India Pavilion at Expo, the event is organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), in partnership with the Office of Public and Cultural Diplomacy (OPCD) at the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and India Pavilion.

The festival has been curated by Teamwork Arts, India’s leading art and culture curatorial company and the producer of the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival.