A batch of alumni of the Indian Institute of Technology Madras has donated a fleet of electric buses, including one exclusively for research, to the institute. Four buses and eight golf carts that are part of the donation would be used for transportation on campus.
The Class of 1981 has made the ‘largest-ever legacy gift given by a graduating class’ to the Institute.
On its 40th reunion that was celebrated on Wednesday, the alumni said a bus exclusively for research and development would be donated to the Department of Engineering Design that offers an interdisciplinary dual degree programme on electric vehicles.
The class of 1981 comprises 600 students including those from B Tech, M Tech and Ph D.
The B Tech batch had joined the institute in July 1976 for the five-year course and graduated in 1981.
Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations) Mahesh Panchagnula said the Class of ’81 had set a record by exceeding the quantum of funds contributed by any single class.
During the 25th reunion in 2006 the batch had donated ₹2 lakh which went into setting up the Centre for Innovation.
Alumnus Krish Bhargavan, who had suggested electric mobility as a legacy gift, said with the institute setting itself a goal to fully achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 the electrification of the campus’s public transport fleet would complement the Institute’s centres of excellence for electric mobility and zero emission trucking. “Several components of electric vehicles are imported and expensive. Any home-grown technology that reduces external dependence will further India’s energy independence,” he said.
Institute Director V. Kamakoti said the gift would be “a good start towards the IIT Madras’ goal of zero carbon campus by 2050 and will serve as a living reminder of our commitment to residents and visitors alike.”
Yogesh Gupta, Chief Executive Officer of Progress Software, U.S., was presented with the Distinguished Alumnus award on the occasion.