The National Institutes of Technology (NITs), are esteemed colleges of engineering and technology education in India. They were originally called Regional Engineering Colleges (RECs). In 2002, the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, decided to upgrade, in phases, all the original 17 Regional Engineering Colleges (RECs) as National Institutes of Technology (NITs). There are currently 20 NITs, the latest being NIT, Agartala and Karaikal (Union territory of Pondicherry).
The Government of India has introduced the National Institutes of Technology (NIT) Act 2007 to bring 20 such institutions within the ambit of the act and to provide them with complete autonomy in their functioning. The NITs are deliberately scattered throughout the country in line with the government norm of an NIT in every major state of India to promote regional development.
The individual NITs, after the introduction of the NIT Act, have been functioning as autonomous technical universities and hence can draft their own curriculum and functioning policies.