National Institutes of Technology popularly known as NITs are a group of 31 (as on 21st May, 2018) Autonomous public institutions of Engineering and Technology established as Institutes of National Importance in 2002 when the Ministry of Human Resource Development decided to upgrade all the existing Regional Engineering Colleges to "National Institutes of Technology" (NITs) instead of creating new Indian Institute of Technology’s.
Thus after enactment of a parliamentary legislation in the year 2002, these Engineering Colleges were brought under the direct control and purview of India's Central Government. In 2004, MHRD issued NIT status to three more colleges, located at Patna i.e Bihar Engineering College, Raipur’s Government Engineering College, and Agartala’s Tripura Engineering College. Subsequently in the year 2007 keeping in view their importance the Indian government declared these Engineering Colleges as Institutes of National Importance at par with much acclaimed Indian Institutes of Technology IIT’s.
These highly rated institutes are governed by the National Institutes of Technology Act 2007 which has declared them as institutions of national importance and lays down their powers. As far as the organizational structure of the NIT’s is concerned. The Prime Minister of India is the ex officio visitor of all the NITs. The NIT Council works directly under him and it includes the minister-in-charge of technical education in Central Government, the Chairmen and the Directors of all the NITs, the Chairman of University Grants Commission (UGC), the Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the Directors of other selected central institutions of repute, members of Parliament, Joint Council Secretary of Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), nominees of the Central Government, All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), and the Visitor.
Although National Institute of Technology ’s in India was viewed at par with the Indian Institute of Technology -and they are comparing their Study- but National Institute of Technology was founded with the motive of promoting regional diversity and multi-cultural understanding in India.
To achieve this aim near about half of the candidates in each batch of the Institutes are taken up from the parent state of the NIT and the remaining half seats are filled with the open category students from the rest of India.
Providing admission to half the seat of NITs from their native state is the only major difference between the two most sort after Institutes of Engineering i.e NITs and IITs.
However, both the institutes admit candidates on the basis of same exam entrance exam i.e Joint Entrance Exam. The list of NIT’s in chronological order is as follows:
All NITs are autonomous which enables them to set up their own curriculum. The language of instruction is English at all these institutes. NITs offer degree courses at bachelors, masters, and doctorate levels in various branches of engineering, architecture, management and science.
Admission to the undergraduate courses such as Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) and Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch) programs in NITs are through the highly competitive Joint Entrance Examination (Main).
Admission to postgraduate courses is through the Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering for Master of Technology (M.Tech.) and Master of Science (M.Sc.) programs, Common Admission Test for Master of Business Administration (MBA) program and NIMCET for Master of Computer Applications (MCA) program.
Since 2015, the Joint Seat Allocation Authority and Centralized Counselling for M.Tech/M.Arch and M.Plan conduct the admission process for undergraduate and postgraduate programs respectively in all NITs.
As of 2017, the total number of seats for undergraduate programs is approx. 20,000 and for postgraduate programs is 8,000 in all 31 NITs.