WRITTEN BY: PARINITA GUPTA
(July 08, 2023) Starting his educational journey in 1973, Nandan Nilekani decided to study electrical engineering at IIT Bombay. For the last 50 years, Nilekani has maintained a strong association with the institute, taking on diverse responsibilities. Much recently, the co-founder and chairman of Infosys, has donated $38.5m to his alma mater to support infrastructure improvements, research, and a deep tech start-up ecosystem.
Nandan’s contribution focuses on elevating the infrastructure to an extraordinary level, fostering research in emerging domains of engineering and technology, and nurturing a vibrant ecosystem for deep tech start-ups at IIT Bombay. Nilekani and Professor Subhasis Chaudhuri, the director of the institute signed a memorandum of understanding, to solidify this commitment.
“IIT Bombay has been instrumental in shaping my formative years and laying the foundation of my journey. As I celebrate 50 years of my association with this esteemed institution, I am grateful to contribute to its future. This is a tribute to the place that has given me so much and a commitment to the students who will shape our world tomorrow,” said Nilekani.
Nandan’s early contributions, which were up to ₹85 crores over time, have played a very important role in the construction of new hostels, providing co-financing for the school of information technology, and establishing India’s pioneering university incubator.
In the coming decade, IIT Bombay has planned to establish centers of excellence in artificial intelligence, green energy, and quantum computing and Nilekani’s contribution has played a significant role, in backing the institution’s goal. Nandan also served on the institution’s board of governors.
“First-gen IITs must look at their alumni and their firms, going forward. They have thousands of graduates, and many have been successful. They must start giving back. As IITs become more scalable in their intake they will have more bright people come out and more things will happen,” said the Global Indian.
At the 57th convocation in 2019, Nilekani was honoured with the distinguished alumnus award in 1999 and later received an honorary doctorate, in recognition of his achievements.