IIT Zanzibar Campus

The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) is all set to establish its first offshore campus in Zanzibar, Tanzania. This landmark initiative not only marks the expansion of the prestigious institution but also signifies a significant step forward in promoting gender diversity and leadership. Preeti Aghalayam, an esteemed alumna of IIT Madras, has been appointed as the director-in-charge of the IIT Zanzibar campus.

Aghalayam, who holds a BTech in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras, expressed her immense pride in being entrusted with this responsibility. She acknowledged the substantial representation of women in Zanzibar and emphasized the importance of this undertaking for both the institute and the nation.

The establishment of the IIT Zanzibar campus was made possible through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between India and Tanzania. This MoU facilitated the launch of two full-time academic programs, and applications for admission are now being accepted.

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Director V Kamakoti of IIT Madras praised Aghalayam’s appointment as the first woman to lead an IIT campus. He emphasized the institution’s commitment to achieving gender balance and highlighted the alignment with sustainable development goals.

Aghalayam’s journey began with her BTech degree in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1995. She further pursued her Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, followed by postdoctoral research at MIT, Cambridge. Her expertise and contributions led her to become a faculty member at IIT Bombay before joining IIT Madras in 2010. Presently, she holds the position of Professor in the Chemical Engineering department and has recently been recognized as one of the 75 Women in STEM by the Principal Scientific Advisor’s office.

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The IIT Zanzibar campus represents a significant milestone in the expansion of IIT’s global presence. With its focus on promoting gender diversity and empowering women leaders, it sets a positive example for future endeavors. The commencement of the first academic session in October will mark a new chapter in international education collaboration, providing students in Zanzibar with access to world-class technical education and research opportunities.

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