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Nandan Nilekani donates Rs 315 cr to IIT Bombay, total support at Rs 400 cr

Nilekani joined IIT Bombay in 1973 to pursue a degree in electrical engineering; latest donation marks golden jubilee of his association with the institute

Infy co-founder Nandan Nilekani donates $38.5 mn to IIT Bombay

Infy co-founder Nandan Nilekani donates $38.5 mn to IIT Bombay

Ayushman Baruah Bengaluru

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Infosys Co-founder and Chairman Nandan Nilekani has donated Rs. 315 crore ($38.5 million) to his alma mater, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.

This builds upon his previous grants of Rs. 85 crore to the institute, bringing the total value of his contributions to Rs. 400 crore. The donation will be used to foster world-class infrastructure, stimulate research in emerging areas of engineering and technology, and nurture a deep tech start-up ecosystem at IIT Bombay.

Nilekani and IIT Bombay Director Subhasis Chaudhuri formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Tuesday in Bengaluru.

Nilekani joined IIT Bombay in 1973 to pursue a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. The latest donation marks the golden jubilee of his association with the institute. “IIT-Bombay has been a cornerstone in my life, shaping my formative years and laying the foundation for my journey. As I celebrate 50 years of my association with this esteemed Institution, I am grateful to give forward and contribute to its future. This donation is more than just a financial contribution; it is a tribute to the place that has given me so much and a commitment to the students who will shape our world tomorrow,” Nilekani said in a statement.

Over the last 50 years, Nilekani has stayed connected with the institute in multiple roles. He served on the board of the IIT Bombay Heritage Foundation from 1999 to 2009 and was on the Board of Governors from 2005 to 2011. According to the institute, his initial contribution of Rs. 85 crore over the years was instrumental in constructing new hostels, co-financing the School of Information Technology, and establishing India’s first university incubator, thereby boosting the Indian start-up ecosystem.

Donations by alumni to their alma maters are not a new phenomenon. Alumni donations to the top five IITs are estimated to have crossed thousands of crores of rupees. In 2021, a US-based alumni group of IIT-Bombay donated $50 million to the institute. Last year, IIT Kanpur alumnus Rakesh Gangwal, co-founder of IndiGo Airlines, made one of the largest personal donations of Rs. 100 crore that was focussed on supporting the School of Medical Sciences and Technology at the institute. In the same year, the IIT Madras class of 1978 donated Rs. 3 crore to the institute to improve research capacities. Around 55 per cent of the alumni of IIT Gandhinagar made financial contributions of nearly Rs. 70 lakh to the institute in FY23.

IIT Bombay’s strategic plan for the coming decade includes setting up world-class centres of excellence in strategic areas such as artificial intelligence, green energy and quantum computing, nurturing a deep tech start-up ecosystem, and providing best-in-class research, living and academic facilities to students and faculty. The plan envisages raising funds worth about $500 million over the next five years. Nilekani’s anchor contribution of $38.5 million is expected to help initiate the programme.

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First Published: Jun 20 2023 | 5:06 PM IST

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