Thursday, June 26, 2008


Syria has requested India to set up an Indian Institute of Technology in its capital Damascus to help upgrade its technical manpower, becoming the second country after Singapore to seek an IIT on its soil.Singapore had requested an IIT in 2006, and repeated its plea the following year. Earlier this year, the Joint Entrance Examination for admissions to the IITs was held at a Dubai centre, in addition to venues in India, for the first time. Dubai is the only foreign JEE centre, and was set up to meet an increasing demand from West Asian students.Under the proposal, Syria will provide land and will subsidise the institute, sources said. The remaining funding and teachers and their requirements are to be provided by India, under the proposal. The UPA government has announced eight new IITs to be set up during the Eleventh Five Year Plan (2007-12). At least six of these — in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Orissa and Gujarat — are set to start offering courses from this year, while the Centre is trying to launch a seventh, IIT Himachal Pradesh, before the academic session starts.Locations for most of the new IITs are yet to be finalised, and the existing institutes face a severe faculty crunch. To compound their worries, the existing IITs have been given the responsibility of the new institutes.

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