The city was established in the 17th century by the British, who developed it into a major urban centre and naval base. By the 20th century, it had become an important administrative centre, as the capital of the Madras Presidency.
The Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) is an elite engineering and technology school located in Chennai (formerly Madras) in southern India. It is officially recognized as an Institute of National Importance by the Government of India and is regarded as one of the finest engineering institutions in India. Founded in 1959 with technical and financial assistance from the Government of the erstwhile West Germany, IIT Madras was third among currently thirteen Indian Institutes of Technology (including 6 new IITs started in 2008) established by the Government of India through an Act of Parliament, to provide world-class education and research facilities in engineering and technology.