Ex-students chip in to attract best faculty for IIT Bombay

In the last few years, close to Rs 4 crore has been disbursed to 187 faculty members who have joined IIT Bombay as part of an initiative to attract the best talent. To help the institute sustain this scheme, the 1988 batch has decided to fund the initiative as part of its legacy project. The class of 1988, which is getting together on December 27 for its silver jubilee reunion, has pledged Rs 2.5 crore towards the legacy project.

Under the "new faculty sign-on bonuses", started few years ago, a joining bonus of Rs 4 lakh is given to every new member hired at IIT Bombay over four years. According to figures by the IIT Bombay Alumni Association (IITBAA), Rs 3.95 crore has been disbursed so far to 187 newly joined faculty members.

"Taking into account the competition from other IITs and the eroding value of money due to inflation, this project has given a distinctive edge to IIT Bombay in its recruitment process and has helped hire top-notch young faculty. Former students have helped the institute tremendously by supporting this project," said Bakul Desai, chairman of the board of directors, IITBAA.

Another initiative that they will support is the retired faculty wellness fund. While the coverage currently is Rs 1.5 lakh per year for faculty and spouse, the former students are looking at increasing it to Rs 2.5 lakh with their contribution. The policy covers a "closed group" of over 200 faculty, their spouses and spouses of deceased faculty as well as those who retired before 2004, when no medical coverage was offered to faculty post-retirement.

"There are some good initiatives being run by the institute and hence, we felt that there was no need to come up with a new project. We decided to fund the ongoing projects," said Kiran Shesh, alumnus from the 1988 batch and member of IITBAA's executive board.

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