IIT Roorkee: Oldest College of the Brand IIT chain!

The Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee or IIT Roorkee was established as early as 1847 – 166 years ago – as College of Engineering. It was not only the first Engineering College in the British Empire but also the first Engineering University of Independent India as well as the oldest technical institute in Asia.

Seven years later, it was renamed after its founder Lieutenant Colonel of British India – Sir James Thomason – as Thomason College of Engineering, a name that stuck to it for the next nine and a half decades. After independence, in 1948, IITR was renamed as University of Roorkee. The university was declared the seventh IIT only 12 years ago – in 2001, 50 years after IIT Kharagpur was established as the foremost of the famous IITs.

Since then, IIT Roorkee has been declared as ‘Institution of National Importance’.

In the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-13, for the first time, IIT Roorkee made it to the global rankings along with IIT Kharagpur and IIT Bombay.

IIT Kharagpur spans across 8.5 sq km, three times larger than Vatican City and Monaco put together. IITR has a campus area of 1.47 sq km too – more than three times the area of Vatican City, where it offers Bachelors’ degree courses in 11 Engineering and Architecture disciplines and Postgraduate degree courses in 55 disciplines of Engineering, Applied Sciences, Architecture and Planning.

Both IIT Kharagpur and IIT Roorkee have produced luminaries that have made a mark worldwide.

IIT Kharagpur alumni includes the likes of Lord Kumar Bhattacharya, advisor to the Britain’s Prime Minister and Padma Bhushan awardee; Srikumar Banerjee, Director of Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) at Trombay; Duvvuri Subbarao, Governor of Reserve Bank of India; and Arjun Malhotra, Co-founder of HCL Technologies.

IIT Roorkee alumni too include the likes of Ashok Soota, CEO and Founder of MindTree; Narendra Patni, founder of Patni Computer Systems; R K Tyagi, Chairman of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL); Dr. Rakesh Agrawal, who is known as the ‘Father of Data Mining’; Amit Agarwal, India’s first professional blogger who is the highest paid Indian blogger at present; and Jaiprakash Gaur, founder of Jaypee Group of companies Forbes magazine.

IIT Roorkee has been successful in being a bright star of the Brand IIT and is seen as a redeeming hope for the new IITs.

This post was written by Aditya Singhal, managing director of askIITians.

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