The National Institutes of Technology (NITs) are public technical schools owned by the Indian government. The Ministry of Education runs them. The National Institutes of Technology, Science Education and Research Act of 2007 tell them what they can do, their responsibilities, and how they are run. It also says that they are institutions of national significance. In the law, there are thirty-one NITs. Each NIT is independent, but they all work together through a group called the Council of NITSER, which is in charge of their management. The Government of India supports all NITs.
One of the lowest admission rates for engineering schools, between 1% and 2%, these institutes are considered some of the best engineering colleges in India. In 2020, the National Institutional Ranking Framework put 24 NITs in the top 200 in engineering. In all of these places, English is the language used to teach. In 2021, there will be 23,997 undergraduate seats at all 31 NITs and 13,664 graduate seats.
During India's second five-year plan (1956–1960), there were plans for several industrial projects. The Regional Engineering Colleges (RECs) was started by the federal government to be like the IITs on a smaller scale and to set standards for the other colleges in that state. In the past, it was very hard to get in. Students could get into their state's REC if they got the highest score on the 12th-grade test in their state. So, each of the main states started 17 RECs in 1959. The federal and state governments worked together to make each college a reality. In 1960, the government set up nine RECs, about two per region on average.
By 1967, six more had been added. The first 15 institutes were in Srinagar, Warangal, Calicut, Durgapur, Kurukshetra, Jamshedpur, Jaipur, Nagpur, Rourkela, Surathkal, Surat, Tiruchirappalli, Bhopal, Allahabad, and Silchar. In 1986, a branch opened in Hamirpur, and in 1987, a branch opened in Jalandhar.
The NITs, like the IITs, get a lot more money from the government than other engineering schools in India. In 2011, the average amount of money given to NITs went up to 100 crores ($15.4 million). Under the Technical Education Quality Improvement Program, funded by the World Bank, each NIT gets an average of 20 to 25 crores, or $3 to $3.8 million (TEQIP I and TEQIP II). There are also fees from students, grants from the private sector for research, and donations from alumni. In the NITs, there is one teacher for every seven or nine students. Undergraduate students pay about $250,000 ($3600) a year for their education. The NITs in India will now give fee waivers to physically challenged students, just like they do for students from the SC and ST groups.
The Senate sets every NIT's academic rules. There are professors from NIT and student representatives in this group. The NITs have an academic senate, while many western institutions have senates chosen by the people. It controls and approves the school's curriculum, courses, tests, and results. It also makes committees look into specific academic issues. The Senate reviews how the institute teaches, trains, and researches to keep education standards high. As a matter of course, the Director of NIT is the Chairman of the Senate.