President Kovind launches IIT-Delhi’s ₹250 crore endowment fund

President Kovind launches IIT-Delhi’s ₹250 crore endowment fund
President of India Ram Nath Kovind launched IIT-Delhi endowment fund (credit: IIT Delhi) Abhay Anand | Oct 31, 2019 - 8:18 p.m. IST
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President of India Ram Nath Kovind today launched the global endowment fund of the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-Delhi). The endowment fund has an initial commitment of over ₹250 crore, half of which will come from Flipkart co-founders.

Delhi IIT has set a target of garnering endowment fund of around $1 billion dollars (Rs 7000 Crore) over the next six years from industry and alumni. The initial ₹125 crore has been committed by Binny Bansal (₹ 100 crore) and Sachin Bansal (₹ 25 crore), Sachin Bansal is likely to give more in future.

Around two dozen IIT Delhi alumni have committed between ₹5 crore and ₹25 crore for the endowment fund.

Speaking on the occasion, the President said that endowments globally have become integral to the financial health of educational institutions over time. While we are still far from the size and importance of endowment funds of Institutions such as Harvard, Yale or Columbia, it is the right first step in this direction. By giving through endowments, alumni are not just giving to their institution but they are also supporting and nurturing future generations of learners.

Following the launch, President tweeted: "Delighted to launch the endowment fund of IIT Delhi. Confident that this will act as a catalyst for other institutions across the country to launch similar initiatives. My best wishes to @IITDelhi and its alumni for taking this pioneering initiative in the country."

Successful startups

Over the past fifteen years, IIT Delhi alumni have founded the highest number of successful startup ventures in India and have cumulatively raised a capital of USD 14 billion, almost double the amount of capital raised by the next best. Today, all IIT-ians put together are the fourth-largest producers of unicorn start-ups in the world, after Stanford, Harvard and University of California, with IIT Delhi alumni leading the pack creating 14 out of 24 Indian unicorns.

Some of the contributors who are also the part of this endowment fund have created multi-billion enterprises with great success and have now come together to support their alma mater to strengthen its legacy.

Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi said, “We are immensely proud of the success our alumni have achieved over the years across sectors and applaud their contribution to the economy. At IIT Delhi, we strive to offer the best of facilities to its students and we are constantly working towards achieving this. This endowment fund is a testimony of our efforts to ensure the right support is provided both in terms of academic guidance and infrastructure to make ready for the future workforce. Such endowments also allow institutions like ours to confidently engage in long-term planning without sustainability risk to critical projects. This will also put IIT Delhi on the global map for education along with the prominent foreign universities.”

One of the professors of IIT Delhi said that globally, the endowment funds are a big source of income for top universities. Interest earned from this fund is used for development work, scholarship and innovations. Harvard University has an endowment corpus of over $39, similarly, Stanford has an endowment corpus of $27.7 billion. He said,” It would be great if big industry groups come forward and give funds to Indian institutes for research and support to budding start-ups so they stop going for foreign findings.”

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