For the first time, eight NRIs have applied for the post of IIT directors.
According to official sources, of the total 71 applicants for the post of IIT Kanpur and IIT Kharagpur directors, eight are from outside India.
Countries outside India from which applications have been received are US, New Zealand, Malaysia and Thailand.
Of the eight foreign applicants, five are from US including one from Tuft University.
A selection committee had met last week to shortlist the candidates.
The tenure of the two directors gets over this June.
The IIT council, the top decision-making body of the premier tech schools, had last year agreed on a proposal to advertise "globally" to get the best persons for the post of director.
The HRD ministry had put out the first international advertisement to fill the posts.
The recruitment will to be done on a contractual period of 5 years or till the date of superannuation, whichever is earlier.
Till now, the selection for IIT director was done from the applicants residing in the country only.
Earlier, nominations used to be invited from eminent institutions and personalities, but the IITs decided to issue ads after the system was challenged in the Madras HC. That is how the posts of the IIT directors in Delhi and Roorkee were filled.