When Shivam Garg and his 20 friends participate in Europe’s biggest educational motorsport event, Formula Student, on July 14 in London, UK, it will be another feather in the cap of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. Theirs is the only Indian team which has designed an electric car for,When Shivam Garg and his 20 friends participate in Europe’s biggest educational motorsport event, Formula Student, on July 14 in London, UK, it will be another feather in the cap of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. Theirs is the only Indian team which has designed an electric car for this competition. They will try to win their fourth straight award as the best non-European team in this competition.The racing team’s success story is in sync with the rising graph of IIT Bombay in the academic as well as the non-academic sphere. Its healthy educational climate and research-oriented outlook has made it one of the best technical institutes that also encourages students to excel in extracurricular activities.With an impressive 1:14 faculty-student ratio, IIT Bombay is the most sought-after institute for engineering aspirants. It has witnessed three big trends in the past few years. The number of students has grown from 5,300 in 2009 to 10,000 now. Computer science and engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering are the most sought- after courses.There is almost five-fold growth in its research and development activities. Simultaneously, there is huge student interest in entrepreneurship, with a vibrant startup ecosystem developing around the campus. No wonder, the institute spent Rs 243 crore on R&D in 2015, published 1,500 research papers, produced 266 PhD scholars and filed 130 patents.High-tech infrastructure facilities such as the Laser Doppler Vibrometer, High Resolution Mass Spectrometer, Orientation Imaging Microscope and Image-Based Diagnostic Systems give researchers here a head start. They have obtained licences for innovations like the electric three-wheeler, an Ethernet switch router, modular toilet unit for Indian Railways and a modular hybrid air conditioner.advertisementSecond-year student Anuraj Gupta says the alumni association, good placement offers and good on-field experience at IIT Bombay serve as a magnet for students. “Students get good placement offers as the alumni working with different companies are sentimentally attached to the institute. They then come looking for the best brains.”Figures vindicate Gupta’s assertion. Till June 2015, 310 organisations had taken part in the campus placements and offered 1,118 jobs. The year 2014-15 saw the largest registration for placement at 1,675; of them 1,118 got jobs. The institute has not only produced well-qualified engineers but also equally qualified consultants. Last year, 155 jobs were offered in field of data analytics making it the biggest recruiter after engineering and information technology companies. It was followed by job offers in corporate consulting (107), financial services (100), R&D (48) and educational institutes (45), public sector (10) and FMCG (6). Obviously, jobs in engineering and technology were the highest at 381 followed by IT (199).In 2015, around 365 job offers were of a salary more than Rs 11 lakh per annum. Only 83 were offered a salary less than Rs 5 lakh a year. The highest domestic salary offer was Rs 34 lakh a year, and the highest international salary offer was Rs 65 lakh per annum. The average domestic salary offer was Rs 9.5 lakh per annum.Located close to two lakes, Vihar and Powai, the IIT Bombay campus is a natural delight for its students. The greenery and the pleasant atmosphere keep him energetic, says student Archit Sanadhya. Of course, the Gulmohar Cafeteria, or Gullu as students call it and the Students’ Activity Centre remain favourite haunts.Director Devang Khakhar says the highly flexible curriculum which offer plentiful choice of subjects and hands-on learning make the IIT Bombay education very effective. “The campus experience transforms our students,” he says. “We provide them rigorous academic work and excellent extra-curricular facilities. Our modern laboratories allow students to participate in research. Our core strength is our outstanding faculty.”The institute introduced two new courses last year, a Bachelor in Design (BDes) and Executive MBA ,jointly with Washington University, St Louis. Around 800 students had applied for the 35 seat BDes course.Separate gyms, playing areas, sports library, mess and shops at each of the 16 hostels keep students occupied. They also look forward to two big annual events, Mood Indigo, Asia’s largest cultural festival at the college level, and Techfest, a science & technology festival to promote technology, scientific thinking and innovation.Stories of the simplicity of two of its alumni-defence minister Manohar Parrikar and entrepreneur-turned-politician Nandan Nilekani-are legion. But there’s equal interest in the likes of Bharat Desai, chairman of IT firm Syntel. “After all, he is the richest IITian,” says a student. And his role model too.