IIT Delhi launches Global Alumni Endowment Fund

Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has formally launched its Global Alumni Endowment Fund with an initial commitment of Rs 250.crore from nearly 20 corporate leaders and alumni of institution. The Endowment Fund was launched by President Ram Nath Kovind at Rashtrapati Bhavan on 31 October 2019.

Key Highlights

Along with this, the IIT Delhi, which is known for highest number of startups launched by its alumni among all IITs in country, also launched of ‘Each One Teach One’ initiative wherein IIT Delhi invites alumni, wealthy individuals and corporates to support education of one student per year costing up to $10,000, which will get added to IIT Delhi Endowment Fund.

IIT-D aims to achieve a target corpus of $1 billion by 2025 for newly launched fund that will work towards the development of institute, encourage innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. Currently, all IIT-ians put together are 4th-largest producers of unicorn start-ups in the world (after Stanford, Harvard and University of California), with IIT Delhi alumni leading the pack b creating 14 out of 24 Indian unicorns

What is an Endowment Fund?

It is an investment fund established by a foundation (universities, nonprofit organizations, churches and hospitals etc.) that makes consistent withdrawals from invested capital. It means that endowment funds are basically investment portfolios where initial money is provided by donations to a foundation. The running of an endowment fund is governed by investment, withdrawal and usage policy.

The capitals in endowment funds are generally utilized by a foundation for specific needs or to further a company’s operating process. These are typically funded entirely by donations that are deductible for donors.

Need: In latest QS World University ranking 2020, IIT Delhi was ranked at 182, thus if it aims to be one of the top institutes in world, there is still a lot of scope for improvement. IIT Delhi needs to increase number of faculty in institution particularly those having international experience. IIT-D also needs to upgrade its infrastructure to ensure its campus, course content and research facilities are completely world class.

Endowments will put IIT Delhi on the global map for education along with prominent foreign universities and would also allow Indian institutions to confidently engage in long-term planning without sustainability risk to critical projects.

Significance: The endowments have become integral part of financial health of educational institutions and through this alumni are playing critical role in supporting and nurturing future generations of learners. While India is still far from the size and importance of endowment funds of Institutions such as Harvard, Yale or Columbia, the launching of fund is the first right step in this direction.