The Indian Institute of Technology in Tirupati (IITT) in Andhra Pradesh was established in the year 2015. During the 11th five- year plan it had been decided to expand the number of the premier educational institutes like the IITs, so few were added. By the time of the 12th five- year plan, it was decided to further expand as still some states and regions were underserviced. That is why four more IITs were started. These are popularly known as the ‘Baby IITs’. They are in- Jammu, Palakkad, Tirupati, and Dharwad. These new IITs have over a period of time gained in reputation and are fast closing the gap on the top incumbents. Lakhs of students from all over the country enroll themselves over countless hours of coaching classes in order to secure a seat at the IITs.
Securing a seat at the IITs is done through a rigorous selection process involving the JEE (Joint Entrance Examination). This is the largest entrance exam in the country in terms of numbers and possibly amongst the largest in the world. This paper is given by more than 12 lakh people annually. It is a 3- hour exam worth 90 marks constituting 3 segments with equal weightage. Those segments are- Physics, Chemistry & Mathematics. The best of the performers, totaling roughly 2 lakhs of them are further shortlisted for the JEE Advanced which is for selection to the IITs. The JEE Advanced is conducted over 2 rounds on the same day. The morning paper which runs from 9 am till noon is followed by a break and then another 3 hour one. The pattern, however, is not so well understood as the marks pattern is not clearly defined. It keeps changing annually.
The IIT- Madras is to act as a mentor to the IITT in the initial few years. The classes for the IITT are being held at a temporary location at present, but will soon move to its designated permanent campus just outside the city of Tirupati. Among the ‘Baby IITs’, the IIT- Tirupati is already equipped with a greater choice of courses. 4- year B. Tech, MTech, MS and doctorate programmes are all on offer. The BTech can be pursued in five different areas of engineering which are – Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, and Computer Science & Engineering. The MS can also be pursued in these areas as research rather than the pure sciences, as is the norm elsewhere. The MTech can be pursued in the areas of- Design & Manufacturing, Computer Science & Engineering, and Signal Processing & Communications. Realizing its importance over the coming years, the IIT- Palakkad even has a specialized Humanities and Social Sciences wing. Research facilities exist for all these different academic areas.
Major thrust areas have been outlined for research purposes. These are in- Design, Energy, Education Technology, Food Science & Engineering, Material Science & Engineering, and Smart Infrastructure. Right from inception, the IIT- Tirupati has been trying to align education with technology. Several sessions are available on the local Moodle network. In this way, students are also able to take up certain lectures on online mode.
The student community at the IITT has been a quite proactive right from day one. Several clubs and committees are in place at the institute working towards different areas. The clubs here are Automania, Artista, Aranya, Chaturanga, PFC, Sahayog and Sargam for the purposes of dramatics, art, wildlife & adventure, chess, photography, social initiatives, and dance respectively. Major festivals are celebrated on campus with much fanfare. There is also a Literary Club. Sports also forms an integral part of campus life here.
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