IIT Delhi to get central research facility, funding pledged by alumnus Patanjali G. Keswani
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NEW DELHI, APRIL 25: Lemon Tree Hotels’ CMD and Distinguished IIT Delhi Alumnus Mr Patanjali G. Keswani to bear up to Rs 20 Cr of the total construction cost of Central Research Facilities Building in IIT Delhi campus.
Mr Patanjali G. Keswani, a 1981-Batch alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi, and Chairman & Managing Director of Lemon Tree Hotels, has pledged to bear the construction cost (now up to Rs 20 Cr of the total) of the proposed central research facilities building in IIT Delhi campus.
The building to be known as the ‘Golden Jubilee Gope & Lila Keswani Research Centre’ will be exclusively for research and education and will house sophisticated analytical and other instruments in one building.
An MoU regarding setting up the Research Centre was first signed between IIT Delhi and its distinguished alumnus Mr Keswani in 2010. Under the said MoU, the IITD alumnus had donated Rs 25 Lakhs to his alma mater for the said purpose.
After having due deliberations on the subject matter, a fresh MoU was signed between both in Feb 2012 to accomplish the objective. Subsequently, in March 2012 the foundation stone of the Centre was laid down.
The Lemon Tree Hotels’ CMD has now expressed his willingness to bear Rs 20 Cr of the total construction cost.
The RCC frame structure of the Research Centre, admeasuring 1,30,000 sq ft (approx) with ground to 6th floor, will be constructed by Mr Keswani and the same will be donated to IIT Delhi for the noble cause.
Speaking about his initiative to help in setting up the Research Centre, Mr Patanjali G. Keswani said, "At some stage I am sure all alumni of IIT Delhi realise how important their years at the Institute were for their development both personally and professionally as well as how much they owe to the faculty there. In that context, giving back to our Alma Mater is just a belated thank you and something every one of us should consider doing”.
He added, “The Gope & Lila Keswani Golden Jubilee Research Center is my tribute both to IIT Delhi and to my parents and an acknowledgement of their joint contribution to my life."
The ‘Golden Jubilee Gope and Lila Keswani Research Centre’ will come up behind the academic block in IIT Delhi campus. The 6-storey Centre will be built with an aim to provide all the research related required facilities to the students and faculty. The building will be completed within 18 months from the date of start of construction.
Speaking about the contribution made by Mr. Patanjali Keswani, Prof. V Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi, said: "Institute is very pleased with the generous contribution made by Mr. Patanjali Keswani in establishing this research facility. This will greatly help our faculty and students in accessing state of art research facilities on the campus. We greatly value Mr. Keswani's contribution and welcome alumni involvement in our pursuit of excellence."
Mr Patanjali G. Keswani received his B. Tech degree in Electrical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi in 1981 and subsequently his Post Graduate Diploma in Business Management from Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta in 1983.
He was presented the Distinguished Alumni Award by IIT Delhi in 2011 and by IIM Kolkata in 2012. He was also a Member of the Board of Governors of IIT Delhi during 2011-12.
National Stock Exchange listed Lemon Tree Hotels, which is promoted by Mr Keswani, owns and operates 54 hotels in 32 cities with over 5400 rooms and over 5000 employees.
At present, Mr Keswani is also the Chairman of the Skill Council for Persons with Disability and a founding member of the Sector Skill Council for the Hospitality, Travel and Tourism industry.
Mr Keswani worked for 17 years in the Tata Administrative Services, including as the Senior Vice President - Special Projects.
Subsequently, he has also worked with A.T. Kearney Limited, as its Associated Consultant and Director in their India Office.