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The 23 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have collectively dissociated themselves from IIT Alumni Council—an organization that made news recently by announcing plans such as setting up a mega covid-19 testing lab and raising Rs21,000 crore for a private social initiative for India to create.

The premier institutions on Monday also debarred the council from using the logo of IITs without written concurrence of the IITs system or individual IITs.

“The recently formed IIT Alumni Council (http://iitalumnicouncil.org) is one example of an independent group of alumni which is engaged in various activities of their interest. Unless expressly indicated for specific projects, IITs have no role to play in their efforts or in their organization," the IITs said in a joint statement.

“IIT Alumni Council is also not at liberty to associate any IIT or its logo with any of the activities undertaken by it, unless they have the express written concurrence of the concerned IIT," the statement reads.

The council, a newly formed body, displays the logos of all IITs on its website, and claims itself to be the “nodal alumni body for alumni of all the Indian Institutes of Technology".

The website of the council, though, claims that it “facilitates inter linkages between IIT Alumni and decision makers in India, specifically with the objective of encouraging their participation in nation building". "It maintains the global database of alumni, facilitates alumni participation in professional events and promotes Brand IIT and IIT Alumni globally," the statement on the website reads.

In May, IIT Alumni Council had said it was setting up a mega lab that would have the capacity to handle10 million covid tests per month. On 26 June, the same organization announced a “mega fund initiative of 21,000 crore", which it termed as the “largest ever private social initiative for India to create".

But IITs, while acknowledging that their alumni "have done very well in their professions and made the institutes and the country proud" have underscored that their alumni have taken efforts in their individual capacity. "In recent years, there have been various groups of alumni who have found a common cause and have worked together towards achieving their objectives or making a lasting contribution. The IITs, however, wish to emphasize that these are efforts of alumni in their private and individual capacity, except in cases where one or more IITs have expressly partnered with alumni in a specific endeavour or project," the statement issued by the IITs reads.

To clarify that the newly sprung council was not authorized by IITs, the statement further explains: "These alumni groups are distinct from the authorized alumni associations that some IITs have, that work in close association with the respective alma mater to further the cause of the Institute and its alumni."

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