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Legacy Project Details

The IIT-B batch of 1987 is celebrating its Silver Jubilee year in 2012 with a reunion scheduled Dec 28th-30th at IIT-B campus. The Silver Jubilee tradition has included contributing back to IITB through a Legacy Project. This contribution is meant as a:

  • token of appreciation for the role that our years at IIT played in our professional and personal development
  • way of helping the Institute to advance its goals by supporting the Institute in critical areas which are underserved by Institute funding.

Contribution Goal:
Typically past three class batches have trended positively, whereby on an average Rs.2.5 crore ($500K) have been contributed per batch to support each year’s Legacy Project. The contribution ratio has been balanced at 50:50, with equivalent contributions made by alums from India and abroad.

We believe that our contribution goal should be driven by the needs of the projects that our group considers worthwhile. We have been through an extensive process to shortlist projects of interest and selected three based on a vote by the batch. These three have a composite funding requirement of 2.3 crores.

In order to achieve this goal, we suggest and encourage everyone at an individual level to contribute at least equivalent to their current 1 month’s salary. Of course,  no amount is considered too small or too large.

Legacy Project - Background:

The Legacy Project Team considered a long list of projects and initiatives for our Legacy Project. Projects were considered in categories including Student related projects, Faculty projects, Infrastructure projects, Green initiatives and staff related projects. Input was taken from IIT Administration, IIT student leaders, students who led legacy projects from past batches, and IITians who championed projects under consideration. We followed a democratic and participative process to identify

  1. the criteria to select projects.
  2. the projects that we wanted to finally consider.

The criteria chosen for shortlisting projects was:

  1. There is some evidence of impact and progress in the past.
  2. There is an identified and credible champion within the institute who is known to us.
  3. The batch identifies with the cause.
  4. It is possible to set metrics and governance for the project.
  5. There is a champion from within our batch who is willing to handle governance and follow through.

The shortlisted options were detailed through brief write ups which included the inputs of people who were actually working with the concerned project on the ground. These were posted on our email group, invited (and received) lively discussion from across the batch on both process and topic.
After viewpoints were tabled, we then put the options to a vote. Provided below are  details of the three projects that came out on top in the voting. As of now, it is proposed that the corpus created be shared between these 3 projects with some base amount being provided for each project, and priority being given proportional to votes garnered by them.  


1. The Technology and Development Consultancy Cell

Development Challenges:

  • The maturing of the Indian democracy in the new millenium now faces two important development challenges, viz., increasing aspirations of its people and at the same time, severe resource and capacity constraints.
  • As development progresses, the design, analysis, monitoring and evaluation needs of society at large needs the services of professionals who are trained in both engineering and governance, policy and other inter-disciplinary skills.
  • Large cities collect enough taxes which gives them ability to employ big consultancy firms to create their development plans and achieve
  • The 74th amendment relegates much power and money to the panchayat raj institutes and also to regional entitities. They depend on provision of such services from state agencies. But, many of the state agencies are in a downward spiral in terms of technical capacity to serve their regions.
  • This is resulting in a poor monitoring and evaluation framework, and a poor analysis of failures, on the one hand, and a poor exploration and understanding of the solution space, i.e., poor quality of designs.
  • The government has been aware of this situation and certain key spaces for professionals to work with the government have been created. The first is the constitutional formation of the District Planning Committee (see document ), which has room for professionals and institutions to gainfully participate. The second is the District Innovation Fund (see document ), which seeks innovations for district level technical activities.

Solution Approach:
As a national institute of excellence, IIT Bombay must put its collective mind to this severe problem of governance and outcomes and propose innovative solutions.  One such solution is for IIT Bombay to formulate and implement the Development Professional program. This program seeks to (i) train engineers in the interdisciplinary design needed to take on developmental problems in the core areas, (ii) to establish opportunities within statal and para-statal agencies for these engineers to work profitably, and (iii) to intellectualize the development debate within Indian engineering and professional academia and to establish development as a primary agenda for research.

Success to date: Development Professional Prgram Established
CTARA now has an M. Tech. Program in Technology and Development (started from July 2007) and an Ph.D Program. Apart from these programs, CTARA also offers Technology and Development Supervised Learning courses to the B.Tech students across the Institute. CTARA’s work, through its students and faculty members, spans most sectors of development, such as Water, Energy, and Agriculture, and ranges from technology and policy interventions, products and processes, to key studies and analyses. CTARA has also introduced Technology and Development- Supervised Learning, a method by which UGs can undertake live development projects (see ).

Sample projects and their outputs

Feasibility study for North Karjat rural drinking water pipeline.

  • Analysis of the Anjap-Sugave scheme failure and plan for revamp .
  • Analysis of Community and Household Bio-gas options.
  • Analysis of National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme for Thane district.
  • Overview of water research and proposal for Sangli district.
  • Overview of Tebhare Gram Panchayat drinking water situation (ongoing).

Next Phase: Paid-Consultancy model for engineers to work profitably

  • Train students to go out into the field and observe problems, work with society, understand government programs, and policies with special focus on energy, water and planning.
  • There is a substantial market at the taluka and district level, a market which is largely unexplored.
  • Many student projects, both UG and PG, actually work with district collectors, NGOs, state agencies and deliver critical knowledge inputs.
  • Start a pilot paid-consultancy model to meet this demand and to hire our fresh engineers/development professionals as consultants to service these requirements.

The expected outcome is twofold, (i) develop experience within IIT and CTARA to engage in development consultancy and to explore the business models which will work, and (ii) to train the future consultants and designers for the development sectors.

Create Technology and Development Consultancy Cell headed by a CEO who will report to Head, CTARA. Its core objectives will be to execute development protocols in the water, energy and environment sectors. He/She will be aided by field and design engineers. The cell will interact with students within IIT and nurture them towards a consultancy role in the development sector

Funding Need
The expected financial support needed is roughly Rs. 2.25 lakhs per month for six person team, mainly on salaries to incubate and accelerate the program.


Salary p.m.


Project Manager

Rs. 60,000 p.m.

Overall Delivery of Project.

Development Professional (W)

Rs. 40,000 p.m.

Problems in Water Sector.

Development Professional (EP)

Rs. 40,000 p.m.

Problems in Energy and Planning Sector.

Field Engineer (W)

Rs. 20,000 p.m.

Liaison with field agencies.

Field Engineer (EP)

Rs. 20,000 p.m.

Liaison with field agencies.

Extension and Documentation Officer

Rs. 45,000 p.m.

Course material preparation

Office space, equipment, computers etc. Will be provided by CTARA or IIT Bombay.
After two-three years the program is expected to be self sufficient and the salaries at that point will be provided by the institute.

If we assume a salary requirement of 27 lakhs per year, and assume that this program needs 3 years of support, we are looking at an approximate quantum of 80 lakhs to support this project.

Potential Demonstrable Achievement in two years:

  • 20-25 consultants trained to work on development projects
  • Completion of 3-4 big projects
  • Demonstration of several business model by which consultants can engage with development agencies
  • Course material development for 2 to 3 classes in development agenda
  • It is hoped that the TDCC, in a span of 3 years, demonstrates to state and central governments, the viability of R&D and problem solving at the district level and in the development agenda

Governance and Champions

Milind Sohoni (C86) is the internal (within IIT) champion. We have had intensive interactions with him. From our batch, Ambarish Malpani will champion the project, coordinate with Milind, and communicate back to the batch on progress.

2. Retired Faculty Wellness Fund

  • No coverage of medical for faculty and staff who retired before 2003 (Faculty and staff who retire post 2003 can pay one time lump sum payment to get medical benefits in their retirement age
  • Approx 200 faculty and staff are eligible
  • Hard (virtually impossible) to get insurance cover for folks over 60 - the average age here is ~70
  • Typical insurance products do not cover pre-existing ailments


  • Class of 84 started this as the legacy initiative in 2009 (Gurudakshina). Negotiated with ICICI Lombard to provide policy, Policy covers a ‘closed group’ of over 200 (faculty+spouses), no new faculty members will be admitted to this group
  • Features of the policy:
    • Cover of modest Rs 1.5 lacs (~USD3000) per year for prof+spouse (If possible would like to increase coverage to Rs. 2.5 Lacs)
    • Covers all pre-existing ailments, Free annual check up
    • Co-pay of 25% keeps claims managable
    • Supplementary or top-up policy (over and above any other medical policy)

Impact to date:

  • Started program in Nov 2011 - successful adoption in the first year
  • Very strong adoption by faculty based on available data, claim ratio has been manageable and ICICI has renewed the policy
  • Batch-of-85 has committed approx Rs 20 lacs to this initiative

Funding need:

  • The funding mechanism is drawing down from the corpus on an annual basis as an operational expense without creating endowment and pay from interest
  • Current policy premium: ~Rs 26 lacs annually (approx USD 50k)
  • Current endowment and pledges: Rs 1.3 Cr, approx 275k USD


  • Funding gap: If we are able to get each batch to contribute ~Rs 20 lacs towards this initiative (in addition to the batch-of-84 corpus), we should be able run this programme for around 10 years with enhanced cover and allowing for some inflation.
  • If we assume support requirement for 2 years from our batch, this leads to a requirement of 40 lacs.

Governance Model and Champions:

  • IITBAA, IITB office of the Dean of Alumni and Corporate Affairs,  Prof. Dipan Ghosh, KK Iyer, Sharat, and Mahesh Patil.
  • KK Iyer:     Partner and Managing Director - India Equity Partners

Former Partner, Accenture,

Class of 84, Chem Engg, H7

The project machinery seems well oiled, and we can request KK Iyer to provide whatever reporting support we require. Any of the core team based in India would be able to coordinate through KK.

3. Student Scholarships

  • Population of incoming UG students now is 900. Annual tuition is 50K per year most likely will go upto 90K per year next year (No longer 100+40+20 Rs)
  • Government mandates some merit cum means scholarship to qualified students.
  • Students with annual family income of less than 4.5 Lac qualify for the scholarship.
  • Approx 27% of the qualified admitted students are OBC disadvantaged and qualify for the scholarship
  • Additional 15% of the students qualify for the scholarship.
  • Government caps annual funding to maximum of 25 % of student population


  • Either fund one time operational expense through legacy fund or create endowment of approx 6 lac per scholarship and pay students annual amount through interest
  • Other option is to provide bridge funding to student to pay for tuition, etc. while student loan gets approved (interest rate approx 2% less than market rate, but takes approx 2 semester to get loan approved)

Funding need:

  • Annual need of 1.08 cr (20% of 900 students at 60K per year (50K tuition + 10K mess fee)


  • As JEE is being administered in other languages, it has become accessible to more students
  • Most of eligible students and family see IIT education as their path towards next economic strata

Governance Model and Champions:

  • Administered by IITB
  • Raminder Bajwa has agreed to champion this project and manage governance.

Overall governance
The disbursement of funds will be overseen by a governing body consisting of representatives from the Institute and IITB’87 alumni . The initial plan is to allocate the funds appropriately to the 3 projects.

Since each of the projects being funded will have its own administration in place, very little additional administration will be required on part of the '87 batch. 

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