The first academic programme at IIT Delhi-Abu Dhabi commenced in January this year
In a reflection of the growing global footprint of the Indian higher education system, Prime Minister Narendra Modi interacted with the first batch of students from the IIT Delhi–Abu Dhabi Campus on Tuesday (February 13, 2024).
The first academic program - a Masters in Energy Transition and Sustainability - commenced in January this year. The Delhi–Abu Dhabi Campus is the second IIT branch to open in another country – the IIT Madras-Zanzibar campus was launched last year.
According to Prime Minister Modi, the new campus not only begins a new chapter in bilateral collaboration between India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), but also brings the youth from the two countries together.
The opening of a campus of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in the UAE was envisioned by the leadership of the countries in February 2022. The project, a joint collaboration between the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D) and Abu Dhabi Department of Education & Knowledge (ADEK), aims to provide quality higher education opportunities to students globally. 
It would also foster partnerships between the two countries in the fields of next generation technology, research and innovation.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for planning to establish IIT Delhi - Abu Dhabi, UAE was signed on July 15, 2023 between the Ministry of Education of India and the Department of Education and Knowledge, Abu Dhabi and IIT Delhi. The MoU was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Modi and UAE President and Abu Dhabi Ruler Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Last year, the IIT Madras-Zanzibar Campus was formally inaugurated by Zanzibar President Hussein Ali Mwinyi on November 6, 2023. Classes had commenced from a temporary campus a month earlier, in October 2023, with the first batch of about 50 students.
Speaking at an event in New Delhi on July 29, 2023, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that many other countries were also urging India to open IIT campuses in their own countries.