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Indian Institute of Technology - Roorkee is among the foremost of institutes of national importance in higher technological education and in engineering, basic and applied research. Since its establishment, the Institute has played a vital role in providing the technical manpower and know-how to the country and in pursuit of research. The Institute ranks amongst the best technological institutions in the world and has contributed to all sectors of technological development. It has also been considered a trend-setter in the area of education and research in the field of science, technology, and engineering.
The Institute has completed 150th year of its existence in October 1996. On September 21, 2001, an Ordinance issued by the Government of India declared it as the nation's seventh Indian Institute of Technology. The Ordinance is now converted into an Act by the Parliament to make IIT, Roorkee as an "Institution of National Importance".
The Institute offers Bachelor's Degree courses in 10 disciplines of Engineering and Architecture and Postgraduate's Degree in 55 disciplines of Engineering, Applied Science, Architecture and planning. The Institute has facility for doctoral work in all Departments and Research Centres.
The Institute admits students to B.Tech. and B.Arch. courses through the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) conducted at various centres all over India.
The institution has its origins in a class started in 1845 to train local youth in engineering to assist in public works then beginning. In 1847 it was officially established. It was renamed as the Thomason College of Civil Engineering in 1854 in honour of its founder, Sir James Thomason, lieutenant governor 1843–53. The first Indian to graduate from the Roorkee college was Rai Bahadur Kanhaiya Lal in 1852.
On 21 September 2001, an ordinance issued by the Government of India declared it as the nation's seventh Indian Institute of Technology, renaming it to the current name, Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee. The ordinance was converted into an act by the Parliament to make IIT Roorkee an "Institution of National Importance".
The Department of Civil Engineering was established in 1847 and is the oldest engineering department in India. The Electrical Engineering department of the Thomson College was established in the year 1897, and was one of the earliest such specializations in the world. The Architecture department is first in India in instituting a master's degree course in Architecture (M. Arch.) in the year 1969–70.
In 1978 Institute of Paper Technology, Saharanpur was merged with the then University of Roorkee. The Institute of Paper Technology was established as School of Paper Technology by the Government of India in 1964, with an aid from the Royal Swedish Government. The school was renamed as the Institute of Paper Technology in July 1968 and subsequently Department of Paper Technology in July 1992.
Students are admitted to undergraduate courses through an All-India competition known as Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) conducted by all the seven IIT's along with IT-BHU and ISM-Dhanbad, at various centres across the country in which more than 1,50,000 candidates compete for around 4,500 seats.
The admissions to Institute of Technology–Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, and Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad are also done through JEE for about 850 seats. From the year 2006, JEE pattern has undergone a change,instead of two level selection procedure there will be only one level of selection wherein just three separate papers of Chemistry,Physics,Mathematics of 2 hour duration each take place. The paper would be objective type in nature designed to test the comprehension and analytical ability of the candidates.
Internationally, IIT Roorkee was ranked 401–410 in general category and 194 in Engineering and Technology in the QS World University Rankings of 2011 and 65 in the QS Asian University Rankings of 2012. In India, among engineering colleges, it ranked 4 by India Today in 2014 and 6 by Outlook India in 2011. In the Mint government colleges survey of 2009 it ranked 5.Recently in the top universities list produced by Times Higher Education, IIT Roorkee has fallen in the category of top 351-400. It was rated AAAA+ by Careers360. IIT Roorkee was ranked 50 in the world and 3 in India by QS World University Rankings 2015/16 when considering "Citations per Faculty".
Most students live in the hostels, where extracurricular activities complement the academic routine. The campus has 16 hostels, of which two (Sarojini, Kasturba ) are occupied by girls. Hostels may accommodate undergraduate and graduate students along with doctoral students. Students are assigned to hostels by the school administration after their freshmen year. There are nine hostels for married students, doctoral students and foreign students. Each bhawan has a mess. Mess administration consists of a staff advisor, a chief advisor, and a student mess secretary.
Physical recreation through games and sports has been an important part of the Institute since its inception. Games like football, cricket and hockey were introduced around 1870 followed closely by squash and boating. The practice of holding an Annual Athletic Meet was started in 1873. Rowing in the Ganga Canal has remained one of the most popular sports since 1901, and the Annual Boat Regatta is a popular and keenly awaited event every year. The Lion Trophy, the most prestigious and coveted prize in sports was instituted in 1912. Today, the Institute has some of the best facilities in a number of games and sports and awards proficiencies in 14 games. The tradition continues, as students of the institute keep making use of the marvellous sports facilities to excel in sports and games. In order to motivate the students and to get them interested in sports, a special scheme of NSO (National Sports Organisation) has been started from the session 2007-08.
- Yogic Exercise
- Kho Kho
- Table Tennis
- Weight Lifting
The competitive academic environment and co-curricular activities on campus keep the students on their toes. But everyone needs some time off, to relax and recharge . Clubs at IIT-R are the best place for this. The students' clubs: the Hobbies club, the U.G. club, the P.G. club, the Alaknanda club and the Jawahar club house the indoor sports facilities including seven Billiards & Snooker Tables, Carrom boards, Chess boards, Table Tennis facilities and a Foosball table. The hobbies club also has sections devoted to pursuits like star-gazing, philately and numismatics, and robotics. The clubs also have reading rooms with a plethora of newspapers and light magazines. Each of the clubs have a TV room with a seating capacity of a hundred-odd people providing a great atmosphere for watching the winning sixer or the not-so-interesting soap operas.
- Fine Arts
- Model Section
- Star Gazing
- Software Development Section
- U.G. Club
- PG Club
- Alaknanda Club