NEW DELHI :
President Ram Nath Kovind Thursday unveiled IIT Delhi’s endowment fund with an initial commitment of Rs. 250 crore from nearly 20 corporate leaders and alumni of the institution.
Nearly half of the funds were committed by Flipkart co-founders Binny Bansal and Sachin Bansal. Among others who contributed more than Rs. 10 crore each includes Sandeep Singhal, co-founder of WestBridge Capital; Kavita Iyer, trustee of Singhal Iyer Family Foundation; Arun Duggal, director, ICRA, and Vikram Gupta, Founder and Managing Partner of IvyCap Ventures. Sashi Reddi, founder of SRI Capital, Amar Sawhney, President of I-Therapeutix Inc and Ranu Vohra, co-founder of Avendus Capital were among others who contributed to the endowment corpus, IIT Delhi said.
IIT Delhi said it aims to raise $1 billion over the next six years and the fund will grow gradually with help from industry leaders and alumni who are now in senior management positions at companies in India and abroad.
“Endowments globally have become integral to the financial health of educational institutions... 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. Through endowments, alumni are not just giving to their institution but they are also supporting and nurturing future generations of learners," President Kovind said.
“Such endowments will 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," IIT Delhi director V.Ramgopal Rao said at the event.
Endowment funds are a big source of income for top global universities who use a portion of it for development work and students scholarship. For example, Harvard University has an endowment corpus of over $39 billion and Stanford has an endowment corpus of $27.7 billion.
IIT Delhi said with an alumni base of over 52,000 in India and abroad, it will not be tough for it to raise $1 billion by 2025.To be sure IIT-Delhi has been earning sponsored research and consultancy projects worth over Rs. ₹350 crore annually for last few years. Though this is different from an endowment fund, it indicates the institutions ability to raise funds from external sources.