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Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has made an exciting announcement that its first international campus, IIT Madras Zanzibar, will have a female director. Preeti Aghalayam, an alumnus of IIT Madras and the Director-in-Charge of IIT Madras Zanzibar, expressed her honor in leading this initiative. The representation of women at IIT Madras Zanzibar has been significant, and they wanted to ensure mindful progress in this direction.

During a media interaction in Delhi, IIT Madras Director V Kamakoti highlighted the institute’s commitment to sustainable development goals, including the importance of gender balance. Prof Ligy Philip will oversee the infrastructure of the IIT Madras Zanzibar campus, including both temporary and permanent facilities. Experts from IIT Madras are developing the master plan for the 200-acre permanent campus on Zanzibar Island.

The campus will commence operations on October 24, 2023, which coincides with United Nations Day. Following the motto of “IIT Madras open for all,” the admission process for IIT Madras Zanzibar will be the same as that of the main campus, including a screening test and interview. The campus will offer a four-year bachelor’s degree in Data Science and AI (Artificial Intelligence) for $12,000 per year and a two-year master’s degree in the same field for $4,000 per year. Applications will close on August 6, and details about tuition breaks are currently being worked out.

As part of their student exchange program, IIT Madras Zanzibar plans to offer joint-degree programs and has already begun enrolling students from Tanzania for PhD programs at IIT Madras. This initiative aims to ensure a good flow of qualified teachers in Zanzibar. Additionally, the campus intends to introduce non-conventional courses over the next five years, including subjects like Cyber-Physical Systems and courses aligned with the country’s specific needs. V Kamakoti, an organic farming enthusiast, stated that he may offer courses on regenerative agriculture that use AI technologies.

V Kamakoti also shared that other IITs are exploring the establishment of international campuses, with IIT Delhi planning to set up a campus in Abu Dhabi. IIT Madras and the Zanzibar government have collaborated to establish the IIT Madras Zanzibar campus. IIT Madras serves as the knowledge partner while the Zanzibar government provides financial support. This partnership benefits both parties involved.

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