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The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are a group of autonomous public engineering institutes of higher education. The IITs are governed by the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 which has declared them as “institutions of national importance”, and lays down their powers, duties, framework for governance etc. The Institutes of Technology Act, 1961 as amended by the The Institutes of Technology (Amendment) Act, 2012 lists sixteen institutes. Each IIT is an autonomous institution, linked to the others through a common IIT Council, which oversees their administration. They have a common admission process for undergraduate admissions, using the very selective Indian Institute of Technology Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE), which in 2011 had an acceptance rate of less than 1 in 50 (485,000 candidates and only 9,618 seats). Undergraduate students will eventually receive a B. Tech. degree in Engineering. The graduate level program that awards M. Tech. degree in engineering is administered by the older IITs (Kharagpur, Bombay, Madras, Kanpur, Delhi, Guwahati, Roorkee) and the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. M. Tech. admission decisions are made on the basis of Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE). In addition to B. Tech and M. Tech programs IITs also award other graduate degrees such as M.S. in engineering, M.Sc. in Maths, Physics and Chemistry, MBA, PhD and more. Admission to these programs is through Common Admission Test (CAT), Joint Admission Test to M.Sc. (JAM) and Common Entrance Examination for Design (CEED). IIT alumni have achieved success in a variety of professions. IITs are Institutes of National Importance established through special acts of Indian Parliament. The success of the IITs led to the creation of the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) in the late 1990s and in the 2000s. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Institutes_of_Technology
With the help of Bidhan Chandra Roy (chief minister of West Bengal), Indian educationalists Humayun Kabir and Jogendra Singh formed a committee in 1946 to consider the creation of higher technical institutions "for post-war industrial development of India." This was followed by the creation of a 22-member committee headed by Nalini Ranjan Sarkar. In its interim report, the Sarkar Committee recommended the establishment of higher technical institutions in India, along the lines of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, with affiliated secondary institutions. The report urged that work should start with the speedy establishment of major institutions in the four quarters of the country with the ones in the east and the west to be set up immediately. The main building of the institute during construction (1955) On the grounds that West Bengal had the highest concentration of industries at the time, Roy persuaded Jawaharlal Nehru (India's first prime minister) to establish the first institute in West Bengal. The first Indian Institute of Technology was thus established in May 1950 as the Eastern Higher Technical Institute. It was located in Esplanade East, Calcutta, and in September 1950 shifted to its permanent campus at Hijli, Kharagpur 120 kilometres southwest of Kolkata. When the first session started in August 1951, there were 224 students and 42 teachers in the ten departments of the institute. The classrooms, laboratories and the administrative office were housed in the historic building of the Hijli Detention Camp (now known as Shaheed Bhawan), where political revolutionaries were imprisoned and executed during the British rule. The office building had served as the headquarters of the Bomber Command of the U.S. 20th Air Force during World War II. To honour Bidhan Chandra Roy, the area in front of the main building is named Bidhan Chowk. The name "Indian Institute of Technology" was adopted before the formal inauguration of the institute on 18 August 1951 by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. On 15 September 1956, the Parliament of India passed the Indian Institute of Technology (Kharagpur) Act declaring it an Institute of National Importance. Prime Minister Nehru, in the first convocation address of IIT Kharagpur in 1956, said: “ Here in the place of that Hijli Detention Camp stands the fine monument of India, representing India's urges, India's future in the making. This picture seems to me symbolical of the changes that are coming to India. ” The Shaheed Bhawan was converted to a museum in 1990. The Srinivasa Ramanujan Complex was incorporated as another academic complex of the institute with Takshashila starting operation in 2002, Vikramshila in 2003 and Nalanda in 2012. wikipedia^