New Delhi: The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has received one of its biggest alumni donations, a sum of US $10 million (approximately Rs 75 crore), from Anant Yardi, president of Yardi Systems based in the United States.
IIT Delhi director Ramagopal Rao told the media Friday that the donation is meant for the School of Artificial Intelligence that IIT Delhi established last year. “Mr Yardi’s gift would enable IIT Delhi to create state-of-the-art laboratories and attract talented students and researchers to its newly established School of Artificial Intelligence,” read a statement from the institute.
Rao called the donation a “generous gift” and said it would help the premier institution in its quest for “building better solutions for the benefit of society, environment and nation”.
Yardi Systems, established in 1982, is a company that provides software solutions for the real estate sector.
IIT Delhi lays great emphasis on the interaction between alumni and the institute, and over the years, former students have contributed generously to it. According to the institute’s official statistics, over Rs 109 crore have been received in the form of alumni donations from 2018-19 to 2020-21. The latest donation by Yardi is in addition to that.
Rao also informed the media that the institution has set up “Endowment Merit Scholarships” to be given to 15 male and 15 female students from the alumni donations that it has received. This is the first-of-its-kind alumni scholarship that the institute initiated last year.
Help for students during pandemic
Rao and other faculty members who were addressing the media on the eve of IIT Delhi’s 52nd convocation also spoke about the various ways the institution helped students during the Covid-19 crisis.
Arvind Kumar Nema, dean of students affairs, said the institute completely waived off fees for 10 students who lost their parents during the pandemic. He also said that 400 students who did not have the required gadgets to attend online classes were given laptops and tablets, and those who had no means to attend classes from home were allowed to stay on campus during the lockdown.
By January 2022, the institute expects to reopen and hold in-person classes, the officials said. “By November, we will have the first year students attending in-person classes, and by January 2022, we are expecting to go back to the normal mode of teaching, of course following all the precautions,” Director Rao said.
He further said students would be allowed on campus after testing negative for Covid-19 — but the report should not more than 48 hours old. The institute is also insisting on double vaccination of all students and faculty members and has arranged vaccination for students on campus.
ThePrint had earlier reported how colleges are pushing their students to get vaccinated before they return for in-person classes. An IIT Delhi official had said at the time that the institute would help students get their first and second doses if they haven’t been able to get them so far.
(Edited by Paramita Ghosh)