IIT vs NIT: Which One Should I Choose?

When it comes to technical universities in India, there’s a battle between the two that always takes the stage. On one end, we have got the Indian Institute Of Technology (IIT), and at the other end, we’ve got the National Institute Of Technology (NIT). Famous for their premium standard of studies, these two institutions have quite the reputation which is why every engineering aspirant wants to take admission to these universities. However, which one to go for? What’s the exact scenario in these two universities? Get all the answers you require and make the decision for your life with this blog.

Some Basic Facts and History of NITs And IITs:

As of now, there are 31 NITs in India, and they are governed by the National Institute Of Technology Act 2007 which is why they are regarded as Institute Of National Importance. Keep in mind, though, NITs have some of the lowest acceptance rates in India. Most grants are received by NIT after IIT in India.

The history of NIT goes as follows: During the second five-year plan, the Indian government required trained workers for the newly set up industries. RECs or Regional Engineering Colleges were set up in states which later became NIT.

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On the other hand, IITs are controlled by the Institute Of Technology since 1961 and are also considered Institute Of National Importance.

Once India got its independence, Sir Ardeshir Dalal from Viceroy Executive Council wanted to establish a council of scientific and industrial research. This was mainly done to develop the technical skills of the labor.

Soon after, Dr. Humayun Kabir insisted Dr. BC Roy consider the project. Under a committee formed under Sir Nalini Ranjan Sarkar, the first IIT was established in Kharagpur. IIT was subsequently expanded to three major cities Bombay, Delhi, and Mumbai.

Comparing the Admission Process Of IIT And NIT:

Admission to both these colleges depends on the JEE score. However, here are the differences:

The Road to NITs:

  1. NITs consider the marks of IIT JEE Mains for admission.
  2. However, the candidate must also satisfy the cut-off for NIT.
  3. NIT possesses 20,000 seats for B.Tech courses.
  4. The average placement package for a graduate candidate tends to be around 6-7 Lakh.

Read Also – How to Get Admission in IIIT Hyderabad?

The Road to IITs:

  1. A candidate must first succeed in JEE Main and then they must qualify for JEE advanced. Only the top 2.5 lakh students qualify for JEE advanced.
  2. The candidate must also secure 75% in the board exams or be in the top 20% of their respective board. However, this rule was scrapped for 2021 admissions.
  3. IITs have around 11,000 seats for B.Tech courses.
  4. The average placement package for a graduate candidate tends to be around 10-15 Lakhs.

The Major Differences Between IIT and NIT and Who’s Better?

To set the record straight, IIT has a much larger impact than NIT. NITs are always a second choice for students after IIT. In terms of quality of education, faculty, and courses IIT has always done it better than NIT. However, let’s dive deep into the specific factors to prove this:

Quality Of Education:

It’s safe to say that IIT takes the lead on this one as the focus is more on the core subject. For engineering and IT-related courses, IITs are the preferred destinations just like IIMs are for business and management. With research standards or experienced faculty, IIT is the winner.

Courses Offered:

Both these major institutions go toe to toe in this criteria. The range of courses offered at both these institutions is wide. From graduate to post-grad levels, there are multiple courses available and you can visit their official websites to check out the courses. However, NIT in comparison offers fewer postgraduate courses but NIT is the only institute of the two that provides MCA courses.

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Interesting Fact: After the completion of the first year, students in both these institutions mandatorily will have to opt for a non-technical course like Humanities, Social Arts, or Management.


IIT is one institute from India that has consistently made its impact globally. Even on the national list, IIT appears at the top, meanwhile, NIT retains its place in the top 10 on the national lists.

Infrastructure and Facilities:

Area-wise, IITs have larger campuses as compared to NITs. The largest IIT campus(IIT Kharagpur) is 2100 acres, meanwhile, NIT Trichy, the largest of its clan is 800 acres.

In terms of facilities, IIT is yet again the winner with CAD data, prototype labs, and a well-designed student web portal system. Although NIT consists of all the advanced technology as IIT, it’s still a little less in comparison to IIT.

Outside Class Activities:

Both NIT and IIT host several fun events throughout the year. Under sports and extra-curricular activities, multiple hostel events are also conducted. They also have various student cultural groups who take part and organize various happenings throughout the year. Both NIT and IIT regularly conduct these outside class activities:

  • Singing
  • Dancing
  • Art
  • Quizzes
  • Debates and more

Moreover, fests are also common at these two institutions. Annual fests and event-specific fests are a common part of these reputed colleges.


Certainly, being such big names, these institutes do attract valuable placement offers for their students. The starting package for an IIT student on average could be 10-15 lakhs. More importantly, IIT students often get chances to move abroad. The high CTC could even scale to 1 crore and above.

However, NIT isn’t far behind and offers more domestic opportunities with an average of 6-7 lakhs.

Both these institutes invite big industrial giants such as SAP, Oracle, Facebook, Microsoft, and more. Finally, be it IIT or NIT, it’s up to the student’s ability to bag a placement. And the package depends entirely on the skill of the student.

Famous Alumni:

Some of the brightest minds have come from these big institutes. Check out the table below to know the famous names who have graduated from these institutes:

Alumni Of IIT Alumni Of NIT
Parag Aggarwal, CEO Of Twitter Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister Of Bihar
Sachin Bansal, Co-Founder Of Flipkart Natarajan Chandrasekaran, Chairman Of Tata Sons
Raghuram Rajan, Former RBI Governor Shyam Srinivasan, CEO Of Federal Bank
Sundar Pichai, CEO Of Alphabet And Google C.P. Gurnani, CEO of Tech Mahindra
Chetan Bhagat, Author Hemesh Singh, CO-Founder Of Unacademy


Thus, based on all the factors compared IIT is the clear winner out of the two. However, NIT isn’t far behind and is catching up pretty quickly in all aspects. NIT is a reputed institute that offers quality education and opens various doors for a candidate. So, NIT or IIT, it’s finally up to the student to make their future bright.


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