Sunday, September 23, 2012

Alumni open purse to help IIT-Delhi build research schools

The highly successful alumni of Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi (IIT-D) have pumped in millions of dollars to the alma mater since it was established in 1961, helping the institute look beyond government funding for several ambitious research projects.

Currently, two complexes are being built in IIT-Delhi with 100 per cent alumni funding and the foundation for another one was laid recently to boost the institute’s research prospects. The first is Amarnath and Shashi Khosla School of Information Technology, named after parents of IIT-Delhi alumnus and US-based venture capitalist Vinod Khosla.

Khosla, a BTech in Electrical Engineering from IIT-Delhi, co-founded Sun Microsystems along with his Stanford classmates in 1982. Dean of Alumni Affairs Ambuj Sagar said Khosla has provided $5 million for construction of the building and for research work to be taken up there. “The complex will be ready in the next six months,” Dean of Infrastructure Ashok Gupta said. It will be for inter-disciplinary, goal-oriented research, and also serve as an innovation centre for post-graduate education in information technology.

Kusuma School of Biological Sciences, funded by alumnus Anurag Dikshit through the UK-based Kusuma Trust, named after his mother, is another project coming up on the campus. The trust has said to have contributed more than £5 million to build the school. Dean of Infrastructure Gupta said Rs. 100 million has already been released for the building, while the rest would be utilised for setting up research laboratories within the facility. The project mission is to promote research by “interfacing modern biology with applied engineering sciences to address problems affecting human health and welfare, and training scholars to be the next generation scientists”.

Patanjali Keswani, Managing Director of Lemon Tree Hotels and an IIT-Delhi alumnus, recently announced Rs. 200 million for GH Keswani Research Centre at the institute. Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal laid the foundation of the project, which will be built in an area of approximately 130,000 square feet. It will reserved for research facilities for students.

IIT-Delhi has so far produced over 30,000 engineers, technologists, scientists, managers and entrepreneurs. Over the years, this rich roll-call has helped the institute financially and logistically take up several alumni-funded projects.

Source: The Indian Express, September 23, 2012

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