The Indian Institute of Technology Madras, based in Chennai, Tamil Nadu and, was established in 1959 and was the third Indian Institute of Technology to founded, after Kharagpur and Bombay (now Mumbai).
The IITs were funded in part by the government of West Germany as part of an Indo-German agreement that saw higher education institutes established in a number of Indian cities.
Its 2.5 km² campus used to be part of the Guindy National Park and parts of the campus boundaries extend into protected forests, home to deer, monkeys, black buck and other rare creatures.
IIT Madras has some 16 departments and several advanced research centres covering a range of engineering and scientific disciplines.
The university boasts the IIT Madras Research Park, which works both to encourage exciting new technological companies to develop and foster innovation and idea development within existing, established companies. The park is one of the main reasons that IIT Madras has a strong record for spinning out start-up companies.
As a result of its successes, about 50 such research parks were proposed in the Indian government’s Stand Up India initiative.
Every year in January, IIT Madras hosts Saarang, a five-day cultural and social festival that features dancing, theatre, fashion and art shows. Some 50,000 students from across India attend.
Shaastra, an annual technical festival, takes place each January too. It attracts lectures from prestigious speakers from the technology world.
Notable former students include Anant Agarwal, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT and former Google senior vice-president, Vic Gundotra.