The week of Nov 3, 2014 was a momentous one for IIT Madras. In early 2014, Kris Gopalakrishnan (co-Founder, Infosys; our alum & huge benefactor) had announced funding of 3 Chairs at IIT Madras in the area of computational brain research. See: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/infosys-vice-chairman-kris-gopalakrishnan-s-trust-donates-225-crores-for-brain-research-478158. The first Chair, in the name of Prof. Mahabala (retired faculty, CSE), has been endowed in the past week with a contribution of Rs. 10 crores from Kris. The first occupant for the Chair, a renowned researcher in this subject, has been tentatively identified. The Chair is scheduled to be officially launched on Nov 28, with Prof. Mahabala in attendance. This will position IIT Madras as one of the leading institutions in India in this emerging discipline, and help us recruit good, young faculty in this area as well. As always, we are indebted to Kris for his generosity and foresight. With this, our annual fund-raising has, for the first time ever, exceeded Rs. 20 crores. Having set ourselves a target of raising a Rs. 500 cr corpus for IITM by 2020, this is exactly the sort of impetus our campaign needed….
On the international-relations front, President of Purdue University (and ex-Governor of Indiana), Mitch Daniels, visited the campus on Nov 7, along with our Distinguished Alum & Executive VP for Research & Partnerships, Prof. Suresh Garimella. On the occasion, Purdue and IITM signed a joint-supervision agreement for Ph.D. and M.S. scholars, which will enable co-guiding of students at both institutions. More than 15 of our IITM alumni are faculty at Purdue, and about 8 IITM faculty are Purdue alumni. This makes for a natural nexus.Over the past two years, relations have been developing rapidly, with many faculty delegation visits and joint workshops. This signing was merely a formalization of a thriving & robust partnership between two outstanding academic powerhouses. Here are some media reports on the signing:
In this context, IITM is going the way of many Universities abroad in offeringa wider range of electives to UG students:
The Deakin University award to IIT Madras as “best strategic partner” in India continues to make news as well:
We get to play Big Brother again: IITM will be mentoring 2 news IITs to come up in Tirupati and Palghat: