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Indian Institute of Technology, Madras Develops Website to Support Applicants

The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) alumni have launched a website, AskIITM, that allows IIT aspirants to directly reach out to IIT-Madras alumni and ask questions ranging from placements, faculty, and academics to campus culture at the Institute. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, all educational activities were shifted online. In the new normal, the Indian government continues to take advantage of websites and portals to provide free and easy access to information to anyone, anytime.

On AskIITM, answers to commonly received questions, including queries about the research done at the Institute, the facilities, and hostel amenities have already been posted.  The website allows anyone to ask a question related to the institute, which will be answered within 48 hours by a team of alumni and student volunteers. Those asking questions will be given a response via email and/or a message on their smartphone, and the new question will be visible on the site as well.

A press release by IIT-Madras quoted the Institute’s Director, V. Kamakoti, as saying that aspirants often go to social media to find information but there is so much information that it is confusing. The need for a credible source of information is imperative. “I am thrilled that the passionate alumni of this great institute are providing this via AskIITM. I am confident this is the start of a journey not just for IIT-M, but for Indian education overall,” he said. Alumni are best placed to answer questions about IIT-Madras since they have first-hand experience of both the Institution as well as placements after graduation.

As part of the AskIITM effort, the IIT-Madras Alumni Association is hosting interaction events in Chennai, Hyderabad, and Vijayawada between 2-4 September. There are also virtual tours of the campus and departments on 10-11 September.

The website is one of several initiatives developed by IIT-Madras focusing on offering guidance and tools for students online. Last month, the Institute’s National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning (NPTEL) introduced an online portal to help students prepare for the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE).

The GATE is a national-level entrance exam that enables aspirants to seek admission for a master’s or PhD in IITs, IISc, or other premier institutions. Multiple PSUs recruit applicants based on the GATE score. Through the new portal, NPTEL aims to leverage its existing course contents on engineering and science domains from over 2,400-course portfolios, to provide video solutions, practice tests, and online assistance based on the GATE syllabus.

As OpenGov Asia reported, the NPTEL GATE portal is freely accessible to all students, with CSR support from one of the country’s leading travel technology organisations. NPTEL is a joint initiative of the IITs and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), a provider of free online certification courses. It has the world’s largest online repository of courses in basic sciences, engineering, and selected humanities and social sciences subjects. Nearly one million students will take the GATE exams next year and the portal strives to make the preparation journey easier for the aspirants.

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