The National Institutes of Technology (NITs) or NIT Colleges are autonomous public technical and research universities located in India and are among most reputable institutes of technology in the world.
They are governed by the National Institutes of Technology Act, 2007, which declared them as institutions of national importance and lays down their powers, duties, and framework for governance.
The National Institutes of Technology Act, 2007 lists thirty-one institutes. Each NIT is autonomous, linked to the others through a common council (NIT Council), which oversees their administration and all NITs are funded by the Government of India.
The Minister of Human Resource Development is the ex officio Chairperson of the NIT Council. These institutes are among the top-ranked engineering colleges in India and have one of the lowest acceptance rates for engineering institutes, of around 1 to 2 percent.
The language of instruction is English at all these institutes. As of 2019, the total number of seats for undergraduate programs was 21,133 and for postgraduate programs 10,550 in all the 31 NITs put together.
Key Description of Total NIT's Colleges in India:
Other Name: NIT or NITs (plural)
Type: Public Technical university
Established 15 August 2007, via National Institutes of Technology Act, 2007
Location: 31 places in India
History of NIT Colleges
During the second five-year plan (1956–60) in India, a number of industrial projects were contemplated. To ensure enough supply of trained personnel to meet the demand for these projects, a decision was taken to start the Regional Engineering Colleges (RECs), at the rate of one per each major state, which can churn out graduates with good engineering merit. Thus, seventeen RECs were established from 1959 onwards in each of the major states. Each college was a joint and cooperative enterprise of the central government and the concerned state government. The Government opened 8 RECs in 1960 two in each region, as follows:
|Region||Regional Engineering Colleges (REC)|
|Eastern Region||Durgapur and Jamshedpur|
|Western Region||Nagpur, Surat and Bhopal|
|Southern Region||Warangal and Surathkal|
|Northern Region||Srinagar and Allahabad|
Later on, 5 more were added by 1965. The early 14 Institutes were Srinagar, Warangal, Calicut, Durgapur, Kurukshetra, Jamshedpur, Jaipur, Nagpur, Rourkela, Surathkal, Surat, Tiruchirappalli, Bhopal, and Allahabad. It established one in Silchar in 1967 and added two others located at Hamirpur in 1986, and Jalandhar in 1987.
These were large-sized institutions judged by the standards then prevailing in the country. The considerations that weighed in this decision were :
A large-sized college would be more efficient than the equivalent small colleges, the proposed colleges have to meet the additional requirements of the country as a whole and for that purpose should have to function on an all-India basis. Therefore, the smaller they are in number and the larger in size, the better, and for the same reason their location is important from an all-India point of view.
The RECs were jointly operated by the central government and the concerned state government. Non-recurring expenditures and expenditures for post-graduate courses during the REC period were borne by the central government while recurring expenditure on undergraduate courses was shared equally by central and state governments.
The success of the technology-based industry led to high demand for technical and scientific education. Due to the enormous costs and infrastructure involved in creating globally respected Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), in 2002 Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) Minister Murli Manohar Joshi decided to upgrade RECs to "National Institutes of Technology" (NITs) instead of creating IITs. The central government controls NITs and provides all funding. In 2002, all RECs became NITs.
List of Total Number of NIT Colleges in India
|Serial No||Name||Short Name||Founded||Established||City/Town||State/UT|
|1||NIT Allahabad||MNNIT||1961||2001||Allahabad||Uttar Pradesh|
|2||NIT Bhopal||MANIT||1960||2002||Bhopal||Madhya Pradesh|
|3||NIT Durgapur||NITD||1960||2002||Durgapur||West Bengal|
|5||NIT Hamirpur||NITH||1986||2002||Hamirpur||Himachal Pradesh|
|15||NIT Srinagar||NITSRI||1960||2003||Srinagar||Jammu and Kashmir|
|17||NIT Tiruchirappalli||NITT||1964||2003||Trichy||Tamil Nadu|
|21||NIT Arunachal Pradesh||NITAP||2010||2010||Yupia||Arunachal Pradesh|
|22||NIT Delhi||NITD||2010||2010||New Delhi||Delhi|
|30||NIT Uttarakhand||NITUK||2010||2010||Srinagar, Uttarakhand||Uttarakhand|
|31||NIT Andhra Pradesh||NITANP||2015||2015||Tadepalligudem||Andhra Pradesh|
Organisational Structure of NIT Colleges
The President of India is the ex officio visitor of all the NITs. The NIT Council works directly under him and it includes the minister-in-charge of technical education in Central Government, the Chairmen and the Directors of all the NITs, the Chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC), the Director-General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Directors of other selected central institutions of repute, members of Parliament, Joint Council Secretary of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), nominees of the Central Government, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), and the Visitor.
Below the NIT Council is each NIT's Board of Governors. The Board of Governors of each NIT consists of the following members:
- Chairman - an eminent technologist / engineer / educationist to be nominated by the Government of India.
- Member Secretary - Director of the NIT.
- Nominee of the MHRD, Government of India.
- Nominee of the Department of the Higher / Technical Education of the respective state government.
- Head of another technical institution in the region or an eminent technologist to be nominated by Central Govt.
- Director, IIT (in the region) or his nominee.
- Nominee of the UGC not below the rank of a Deputy Secretary.
- Nominee of the AICTE not below the rank of an Advisor.
- An alumnus of the institute from amongst alumni in education/industry to be nominated by Board of Governors.
- Two representatives representing large, medium and small scale industries to be nominated by Central Government.
- One Professor and one Assistant Professor of the institute by rotation.
The Director serves under the Board of Governors and is the school's chief academic and executive officer. Academic policies are decided by its Senate, which is composed of some professors and other representatives.
The Senate controls and approves the curriculum, courses, examinations, and results. Senate committees examine specific academic matters.
The teaching, training, and research activities of various departments of the institute are periodically reviewed to maintain educational standards.
The Director is the ex officio Chairman of the Senate. The Deputy Director is subordinate to the Director. Together they manage the Deans, Heads of Departments, Registrar, President of the Students' Council, and Chairman of the Hall Management Committee. Deans and Heads of Departments in NITs are administrative postings rather than career paths. Faculty members serve as Deans and Heads of Departments for limited periods, typically 2 to 3 years, then returning to regular faculty duties.
The Registrar is the chief administrative officer and overviews day-to-day operations. Below the Head of Department (HOD), are the various faculty members (professors, assistant professors, and lecturers). The Warden serves under the Chairman of the Hall Management Committee.
National Institutes of Technology Act
The National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research Act, 2007 was enacted by the Parliament of India to declare India's National Institutes of Technology as Institutes of National Importance.
The Act received the assent of the President of India on 5 June 2007 and became effective on Independence Day, 2007. The National Institutes of Technology Act is the second law for technical education institutions after the Indian Institutes of Technology Act of 1961.
The NIT Council is the supreme governing body of India's National Institutes of Technology (NIT) system. The NIT Council consists of chairmen, directors of all NITs along with the government nominees from various sectors with the Minister of Human Resource Development as the Chairman of the Council.
The NIT Council is the highest decision-making body in the NIT fraternity and is answerable only to the Government of India. The NIT Council is expected to meet regularly and take steps conducive for maximum growth of the NITs as whole in the near future.
Educational Rankings of NIT Colleges
In 2020, National Institutional Ranking Framework ranked twenty two NITs in the top 20 in engineering category and they are the following:
|Serial No||NIT||NIRF Ranking|
Alumni of NIT Colleges
Many NIT alumni have achieved leading positions in corporations, such as:
- Natarajan Chandrasekaran (Chairman, Tata Sons)
- Rajesh Gopinathan (CEO, Tata Consultancy Services)
- T.V. Narendran (CEO, Tata Steel (Global))
- C.P. Gurnani (CEO, Mahindra Satyam)
- K. V. Kamath (Chief, BRICS New Development Bank, Shanghai; Former CEO of ICICI Bank; Padma Bhushan Awardee)
- Srini Raju (Chairman, Peepul Capital, iLabs VCF, Former CEO of Cognizant Technology Solutions & Satyam)
- K. R. Sridhar (founder and CEO, Bloom Energy)
- Shyam Srinivasan (CEO and MD, Federal Bank)
- Nelabhotla Venkateswarlu (CEO, Emami)
- Dinesh Keskar (Senior VP, Boeing Aircraft Trading and Head Boeing India)
- Rao Remala (First Indian employee of Microsoft)
- Rajeev Madhavan (Founder, Magma Design Automation, venture capitalist in USA. on the Dean's Advisory Board at UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering)
- Pawan Munjal (Chairman, MD & CEO, Hero Motocorp)
- Shailesh Rao (Director, New Products & Solutions, Google Enterprise, Google)
NIT alumni have also pursued careers in public service; for example:
- Thomas Abraham (Chairman of the Global Organization of People of Indian Origin, coined the term PIO)
- Dawood Danesh Jafari (Minister of Finance & Economic Affairs, Iran)
Ajit Jogi (First chief minister of Chhattisgarh also a former lecturer at NIT Raipur)
- Deep Joshi (Recipient of Magsaysay award & Padma Shri, Social activist, founder of PRADAN (NGO))
- Hemant Karkare (Chief, Mumbai Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), killed during the November 2008 Mumbai Terrorist Attacks)
- Nitish Kumar (Chief minister of Bihar)
- Lakshmi Narayana (Former Joint Director for India's Central Bureau of Investigation)
- Suresh Pachouri (Member of Parliament)
- Ram Vinay Shahi (Longest-serving power secretary of India)
- Abhishek Singh (Member of Parliament from Rajnandgaon Region)
- Prafulla Kumar Das (Engineer-in-chief, Odisha (Retd.))
- Balram Singh Yadav (Superintending Engineer, Irrigation Department, Uttar Pradesh)
- Malli Mastan Babu (Mountaineer and Motivational speaker, Andhra Pradesh)
- Sonam Wangchuk, an engineer, innovator and education reformist
Mansoor Ali Khan, member of the 13th Lok Sabha
Notable alumni in academics and research include:
- Madhavan Swaminathan (Professor, Georgia Institute of Technology)
- Guruswami Ravichandran (Recipient of 2013 Eringen Medal and Chair of Engineering Division, California Institute of Technology)
- Nambirajan Seshadri (Recipient of 2018 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal and Professor of Practice, University of California, San Diego)
- Anindya Ghose (Professor, New York University Stern School of Business)
- Rajkumar Chellaraj (CFO and Associate Dean, Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford University)
- Avinash Kumar Agarwal (mechanical engineer, Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar laureate)
- Akhilesh K. Gaharwar (Professor, Texas A&M University)
- Siva S. Banda (Director of the Control Science Center of Excellence and Chief Scientist for the Aerospace Systems Directorate at the United States Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base)
- Samir Barua (Director, Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad)
- Lalit Goel (Professor and Head of Electrical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University)
- Baldev Raj (Padma Shri awardee, former director of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, currently the Chairman of Board of Governors at NIT Puducherry)
- Vallabh Sambamurthy ( Dean of the Wisconsin School of Business, University of Wisconsin, Madison)