The first IIT campus outside India will come up in Tanzania's Zanzibar and it is expected to launch academic programmes in October, the ministry of external affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, currently visiting Tanzania, described the move as a "historic step" that reflected India's commitment to the Global South.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed for setting up of the campus of IIT-Madras in Zanzibar, which is a Tanzanian archipelago off the coast of East Africa.
The MEA said the IIT (Indian Institute of Technology) campus in Zanzibar-Tanzania is envisioned as a world class higher education and research institution with a broader mission to develop competencies in response to emerging global requirements.
"It will serve as an example to the world of the aspirational qualities of Indian higher education and innovation," it said in a statement.
The MoU was inked on Wednesday in presence of Jaishankar and Zanzibar's President Hussein Ali Mwinyi.
"The first IIT campus to be set up outside India will be in Zanzibar," the MEA said, adding it will enhance India's reputation globally.
It said an MoU was signed between India's education ministry, IIT Madras and Zanzibar's ministry of education and vocational training.
"This campus is reflective of the longstanding friendship between India and Tanzania and a reminder of the focus India places on building people to people ties across Africa and the Global South," the MEA said.
It said the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 recommends that "high performing Indian universities will be encouraged to set up campuses in other countries”.
"Recognising the strategic partnership between Tanzania and India, the relationship of educational partnership has been formalised by signing the document which provides the framework for the parties to detail out the setting up of the proposed campus of IIT Madras in Zanzibar-Tanzania, with plans to launch programmes in Oct 2023," the MEA said.
It said the "unique partnership" will bring the top-ranked educational expertise of IIT Madras to a prime destination in Africa and serve the needs of the region.
"The academic programmes, curricula, student selection aspects and pedagogical details will be by IIT Madras, whereas the capital and operating expenditure will be met by the government of Zanzibar-Tanzania," it said.
IIT Madras degrees will be awarded to the students enrolled in this campus.
"The state-of-the-art interdisciplinary degrees are expected to attract a diverse cohort and will include students from Africa and other countries as well. Indian students are also eligible to apply to these programmes," the MEA said.
"The setting up of the IIT campus shall also enhance India's reputation globally and its diplomatic relationships and expand the international footprint of IIT Madras," it said.