IIT Kharagpur started its journey in the old Hijli Detention Camp where some of the freedom fighters toiled and sacrificed their lives for the independence of India. The history of IIT Kharagpur is thus intimately linked with the history of the Hijli Detention Camp. This is possibly one of the very few Institutions all over the world which started life in a prison house.
On Sept. 15, 1956, the Parliament of India passed an act known as the Indian Institute of Technology(Kharagpur) Act declaring this Institute as an Institute of national importance. The Institute was also given the status of an autonomous University.
From this modest start in 1950, IIT Kharagpur has been engaged in a steady process of development with about 18 academic departments, five centres of excellence. The vast tree-laden campus, spreading over 2100 acres has a self contained township of over 15,000 inhabitants. Currently we have about 550 faculty, 1700 employees and 9000 students on the campus.
The motto of IIT Kharagpur is "Yoga Karmashu Kaushalam" . The motto literally translates to "Excellence in action is Yoga" essentially implying that doing your work well is (true) yoga. It is sourced to Sri Krishna's discourse to Arjuna in Bhagavad Gita. This quote in its larger context of Gita urges man to acquire equanimity because such a soul endowed with the mind of equanimity allows him to shed the effects of his good and evil deeds in this world itself. Equanimity is the source of perfection in Karmic endeavors while leading to Salvation.
The Institute thrives to impprove life of every citizen of the country and to be acknowkledged as the best in the world. The institute makes every effort to focus towards national interest.