Monday, June 26, 2006

Good deeds by IIT alumni associations

This ET report recounts some of them (it covers IIM alumni associations, too):

IIT and IIM alumni associations are increasingly becoming more than just a convenient way of keeping in touch with batchmates. These associations are now serving as platforms, that enable ex-students to contribute to their alma mater and the society as well.

The class of ’06 at IIM-Ahmedabad has decided to raise Rs 1 crore by ’10-11, while the IIT Bombay Heritage Fund, a non-profit organisation set up by the US-based alumni of IIT-B, has helped raise over $20m over the past 10 years.

The funds have been used to finance infrastructure, scholarships, awards, funding for research, funding for inviting distinguished academics from foreign universities.

Amidst a sea of good deeds by the alumni associations, you also find a reference to their intervention into "policy issues that have a direct bearing on their institutes"; their anti-quota stand is mentioned as an example. This is a neat exercise in framing their political agenda within a larger set of things that are nice and warm. All I can say is, "Nice try; but, you will have to try harder."

For a different, more critical take on the IIT alumni associations' quota position, read my earlier post. While we are on this topic, I should pass along a link to this article by Ashish Chadha, a graduate student at Stanford, about an anti-quota protest held recently in the Silicon Valley.


  1. Anonymous said...

    I doubt if the alumni have any negotiating powers since they do not formally belong to the administrative structure of the IITs and the amounts generated are realtively trivial although useful in absolute terms. For example 20 million generated by IITB in 10 years is 10 crores a year while each IIT receives 100 crores every year from MHRD. If the alumni want negotiating power they are going to have to provide lots, lots more to their alma mater.

  2. Abi said...

    I agree with you, Abhinav, about the alumni's "negotiating powers". However, they do have quite a bit of soft power through (a) lobbying, and (b) their high positions, contacts, netwroks, and of course, (c) their money.

    The fact that their contributions appear small is not because they are not willing to give, but because our government imposes a cap on how much an IIT's corpus fund can hold.

    The ET article is more about what the IIT alumni associations have been doing other than helping their alma mater. So, this discussion is sort of off-topic.

  3. Anonymous said...

    Saw this site just now:
    I do not know any thing more about this. I hope that I am not posting too much (I have retired a bit early since I did not like the rubbish we were teaching). Sometimes, this kind of exchange seems a quick way of finding some information.