The Indian Institute of Technology, Hyderabad (IIT-H), had no faculty of its own when it started in August 2008. It was dependent on IIT, Madras, for its premises and the teaching of its first batch of 167 students. The first faculty member, U B Desai, now director of IIT-H, joined the institute a year later.
IIT-H still works from a temporary campus but now has 94 faculty members and 1,068 students, nearly half of whom are pursuing post-graduate courses.
"We are ahead of others (new IITs) in terms of academics,” Desai said. He said IIT-H had courses not offered by any other IIT, such as engineering science, wireless sensor networks and cognitive radio. It also offers a B.Tech Minor in entrepreneurship. "We want our students to think like entrepreneurs. We want them to become employment generators not employment seekers," says K V L Subramaniam, professor and head of the department of civil engineering.
This intention, though, is not being fulfilled just yet. About 90 per cent of students of the first batch, who graduated this year, took up jobs through campus placement, joining a growing mass of young job seekers in India — but distinguished by their IIT edge.
Placement officials said 50 companies, including Microsoft, Amazon, TCS, HP, ONGC and Mahindra & Mahindra, visited the campus. While Works Applications of Japan offered the highest annual pay packet of Rs 35 lakh, the highest salary offered by a domestic company was Rs 20 lakh. A student who applied on his own to Google for a job in California was recruited at a salary of Rs 50 lakh (all salaries are cost to company and include allowances). The campus placement for the class of 2013, with 168 students, has started and 50 of them received offers to join from companies like Morgan Stanley, PayPal, Dell, Mercedes Benz, Google and Flipkart. So far, the highest salary offered is Rs 35 lakh a year.
IIT-Hyderabad functions from the refurbished premises of an ordinance factory under the ministry of defence.
The state government allotted 570 acres of land to IIT-H to build a campus. The first phase of construction is expected to be complete by 2014.
Prince Gupta, a student from Lucknow, secured a rank of 2,800 in the 2009 IIT JEE . "Among the new IITs at that time, the one at Gandhinagar and Hyderabad had a better reputation. These two IITs are preferred," he said. He is set to join Flipkart in June.
Academics Dean, Faiz Ahmed Khan, said IIT-H was a favoured destination even for faculty. "One of the reasons could be the chance of getting employment for their spouses', he said.
Six of eight new IITs churned out their first batch this year from makeshift campuses.