After getting independence from the British, a great need was felt to take the country forward On The Path Of Self-Reliance. For this, quality skills needed to also be developed for industrial development. Patriotic scientists and institutions established by their efforts have played an important role in taking the country forward on the path of self-reliance. For this, a committee was constituted. A 12 member committee was formed under the chairmanship of the government to build the first IIT in India. The committee, in its report, recommended the establishment of four higher technical institutions in the eastern, western, northern, and southern regions of the country. Apart from this, it was also urged in that report that establishing these institutions should be started immediately.
The name of the Indian Institute of Technology is leading in this sequence. The scientists and engineers emanating from this have made the country proud with their contribution. You may be surprised to know that after independence, the building in which the country’s first IIT was started was the historical Hijli prison camp. During British rule, the fighters who fought for independence were kept captive in that prison. The country’s first IIT in India was started from Hijli Bhawan, located in the Medinipur district of Bengal. That building was earlier used to keep freedom fighters captive. It was known as Hijli Detention Camp. It was here on 16 September 1931 that two unarmed brothers were shot by the British.
History Of First IIT In India
At that time, Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose himself went there to collect the dead bodies of the martyrs. Prominent national leaders, including Gurudev Rabindra Nath Tagore, had expressed strong protest against the British Raj regarding this incident. This building was also known as Shaheed Bhawan. The first IIT in India was started at Hijli Bhawan in 1950. It was formally inaugurated on 18 August 1951. It was inaugurated by the country’s first education minister Maulana Abdul Kalam Azad. However, the name of this institute was not IIT till the time of its inauguration. When it was inaugurated, it was being called as Technical Institute. Under a law made in 1956, this institute got the name of IIT Kharagpur.
The first session of the Technical Institute was started here in August 1951. It started with 224 students and 42 teachers. In March 1952, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru laid the foundation stone of the new building of IIT. That new building of IIT is near Hijli Bhawan. Hijli Bhawan was converted into a museum in 1990. The museum was named Nehru Science and Technology Museum. IIT Kharagpur (the first IIT institute in India) works in the field of higher education research and technology development. Also, IIT Kharagpur is making continuous efforts to improve the standard of living of the citizens of the country.
Scholars who started the first IIT institute in India
The first director of the institute was the eminent scientist, Sir JC Ghosh. Many eminent scientists, engineers, etc., of the country, have emerged from this institute. For example, Dr. Manilal Bhowmik (Padma Shri, Physicist), K Radhakrishnan (Former Chief of ISRO), Harish Hande (Ramon Magsaysay Award Winner), Sundar Pichai (CEO of Alphabet), and so on. Following the path of self-reliance, today we are celebrating the nectar festival of freedom. Today every Indian can be proud that we have not only 23 IITs but also innumerable research and educational institutions working towards taking the country forward.