Preeti Aghalyam, an IIT Madras alumni, has made history by becoming the first woman to lead an IIT, a remarkable accomplishment. It is a historic time for her and for women in engineering and academia that she has been named the director-in-charge of the new IIT in Zanzibar, Tanzania.
“To me, it’s more significant that it’s the first IIT campus outside of the United States than that I’m the first woman to lead an IIT. For me, it’s not just about shattering the glass ceiling. Preeti Aghalyam stated, “It is more of ‘once an IITian, always an IITian’ for me.
Living The Iit Dream
Aghalayam’s journey is about more than just breaking glass ceilings; it’s also about valuing the IITian spirit. Her new position as the director in Zanzibar is a continuation of her passion for IITs and the principles they inculcate, having studied and worked at IIT Madras. “I went to IIT Madras to study. It is simply an extension of the kind of love and passion I have for how things function at an IIT because I had previously worked at IIT Bombay and have been a teacher at IIT Madras for 14 years,” she said.
The History Of Preeti Aghalayam
Successful scholar Preeti Aghalayam received her BTech in Chemical Engineering from IIT Madras in 1995 before receiving her PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2000. She eventually became a professor in the department of chemical engineering at IIT Madras, where she was named one of the 75 Women in STEM by the office of the Principal Scientific Adviser. She has made a significant contribution to the GATI project at IIT Madras, which works to advance gender equality and provide opportunity for all.
Women Form A Minority In IITs
Aghalayam recently acknowledged that women continue to be underrepresented on IIT campuses in a statement to PTI. Despite efforts to increase gender inclusion, the skewed ratio still exists, creating a problem that must be addressed at the student and faculty levels. “Women have historically been underrepresented in IITs. Although things have slightly improved in recent years, the issue still exists and affects everyone, including staff and students. The incoming director of IIT Zanzibar stated, “Around 12% of the faculty at IIT Madras are women.
India’s engineering schools have made strides towards closing the gender pay gap. The enrollment ratio of men and women has greatly improved from a 10:1 ratio in the 1990s. The selection of Aghalayam sends a clear statement about female equality and gender balance on the new IIT campus. “As members of the IIT Madras delegation, we always observed that the representation of women on their side is rather significant. Therefore, it was crucial that we proceed with caution, and we would make an effort to ensure gender equality on the new campus, according to Aghalyam.
Zanzibar Campus Of IIT
The 1959-founded IIT Madras is making history by opening its first-ever foreign campus in Tanzania’s Zanzibar. Tanzania and India are planning to collaborate on education at the international campus on the island of Zanzibar, which is off the coast of the east African continent. Tanzanian nationals may also apply for scholarships from India to study at IIT Madras in a variety of degree programmes. “I think that this educational connection will guarantee that we remain strong, and it’s a very tactical step… The contributions made by IIT alumni to society and the global economy are immeasurable.
Preeti Aghalyam remarked, “We hope that this will occur here as well. There will be 70 new students enrolled at the IIT Zanzibar campus when classes start in October. To develop future leaders in technology, the new campus will provide full-time studies in data science and artificial intelligence. There will be a screening test and an interview as part of the admissions process. “The government has given us a temporary campus for the time being.
The rooms are all constructed with administrative-side classrooms, student housing, and communal housing in dorms. “We are facilitating a few changes to ensure that it will be completely ready by October, when we intend to begin. But in the upcoming years, we’ll also evolve the academic schedule and introduce a lot more programmes, Preeti Aghalayam said. Preeti Aghalayam’s historic selection as the first female IIT director provides a role model for aspirant female engineers and leaders around the world.