According to Arvind Sahay, dean (alumni and external relations) of IIM-A, of the Rs 16 crore, Rs 14 crore is coming directly from alumni while the rest Rs 2 crore is from non-alumni contributors.
Among the research to be undertaken through the fund contribution, several research chairs will be set up such as Professional Chair in Strategic Management (sponsored by ICICI Bank), Chair in Finance & Economics (RBI), Innovation and Public Policy Chair (JSW), and Chair in Agribusiness (NABARD).
“We have some of the brightest alumni in this country and abroad, who feel strongly a desire to contribute to their alma mater. For example, Raghuram Rajan, governor of RBI; KV Kamath, chairman, ICICI Bank; Dr. Harsh Kumar Bhanwala, Chairman, NABARD; and KV Srinivasan, CEO, Reliance Capital are all a part of the distinguished IIM-A alumni group who came forward to contribute and maintain IIM-A as a premier institution for management education and research,” said Ashish Nanda, director, IIM Ahmedabad.
The financial support is being provided at three levels, namely, endowed research chair that will be spread over a longer period of time; term research chair which is for a period of five years; and student scholarships which will be again for a duration of five years, Nanda added.
Approximately 75 per cent of financial contributions under the research chairs will be used as research support for collecting and collating data while the rest 25 per cent will be given out to faculty members as salary supplement, Sahay added.
“Our faculty are not the best paid by international standards. Hence, part of the financial support is intended to supplement income levels for the faculty and encourage them in high quality research,” said Sahay. Offering a comparison of salary structures of faculty members both in India and top institutes in the western markets, Sahay said that an assistant professor typically earns a consolidated starting salary of $15,000 (Rs 9 lakh roughly) as per the government scale which even under the purchasing power parity (PPP) comes to about $45,000 (Rs 27 lakh roughly).
“Whereas an assistant professor at B-schools in western markets such as Harvard earns around $150,000 (Rs 90 lakh roughly). For a full professor in India the starting salary is $30,000 (Rs 18 lakh approx.) or $90,000 (Rs 54 lakh approx.) under PPP whereas that of the western market is $300,000 (Rs 1.8 crore approx.),” Sahay stated.
The institute is of the view that the culture of giving back to one’s alma mater which has not been so prevalent in India is picking up lately. “There has been a culture of giving back to one’s alma mater since 150 years in some of the western market B-schools such as Harvard and Yale which have endowments worth roughly $ 30 billion and $ 17 billion, respectively. This culture of giving back to alma mater was not existing in India but now things are changing,” said Sahay.
With the Ministry of Corporate Affairs recently amending the Schedule VII of Companies Act, 2013 to include donations to building restoration work at IIM-A as eligible Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), the institute said it will now begin efforts towards raising funds for the same.
Meanwhile, Sahay stated that talks have also begun for establishing research centres by IIM-A with concerned stakeholders.