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IIT Madras receives Rs 110 Cr endowment from Sunil Wadhwani

Wadhwani School of Data Science and AI will be set up

Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT Madras) announced an endowment of Rs 110 crore by Sunil Wadhwani towards setting up the Wadhwani School of Data Science and AI.

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The MoU was signed between Sunil Wadhwani and Prof V Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, in the presence of faculty, students, alumni, and researchers. 

With a vision to be among the top AI-focussed schools worldwide, Wadhwani School of Data Science and AI also aims to advise the Government and policymakers on Data Science and AI-related policy areas.

Kamakoti said, “With the advent of Industry 4.0, wherein AI and Data Science are the main movers, the need for a school for Data Science and AI is critical. IIT Madras has started this highly interdisciplinary school involving faculty from many departments joining hands to work on niche areas, including Responsible AI. I also express my deep gratitude to Mr. Sunil Wadhwani and his family for sponsoring this School with a generous donation through their foundation, which is close to Rs. 110 crore.”

Over the years, Wadhwani, through his family foundation, Wadhwani Impact Trust, has been supporting social welfare, affordable healthcare, and scientific research through the Wadhwani Institute of Sustainable Healthcare (WISH Foundation) and Wadhwani Institute of Artificial Intelligence (WIAI), respectively.

Wadhwani said, “AI and social impact are close to my heart, and it’s my honour to be contributing to my alma mater. I see a strong need for a dedicated Data Science and AI school focusing on foundational and applied research in these areas. With the advancements in science and technology, India holds immense potential and can be a world leader in AI and allied sciences. As a proud alumnus, IIT Madras holds a special place in my life, and I am gratified to be associated with them in this manner.”

Wadhwani School of Data Science and AI will offer the following courses:

  • B.Tech. programme in AI and Data Analytics
  • M.Tech. programme in Data Science and AI
  • M.S. & Ph.D. Programmes in Data Science and AI
  • Joint M.Sc. in Data Science and AI with the University of Birmingham, UK
  • International Interdisciplinary Masters Programme in Data Science
  • Interdisciplinary Dual Degree in Data Science
  • Web-enabled M.Tech. in Industrial AI

Admissions will commence in July 2024. The school will also run a Joint M.Sc. in Data Science and AI with the University of Birmingham, UK, admitting 30 students and an International Interdisciplinary Masters Programme.

Prof Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras said, “We are grateful to Wadhwani who has been a long-time supporter of IIT Madras. Responsible AI deployed in India is ready for use in the world at large. As a result, this School will make its mark on the world stage soon.”

Prof B Ravindran, Founding Head, Wadhwani School of Data Science and AI, IIT Madras said, “Data Science and AI are inherently interdisciplinary fields. The Wadhwani School will enable close collaboration between domain experts and AI researchers to develop solutions that integrate AI with existing approaches. Our various degree programs will train students in core AI techniques, data-driven problem solving, and interdisciplinary design adhering to principles of responsible AI. There will be programs that cater to industry professionals and an international student body.”

Kaviraj Nair, CEO, Office of Institutional Advancement, IIT Madras said, “Alumni giving to research endowments is like planting seeds of knowledge that bear fruit for the entire world. Through such support, our alumni not only honour our past but also invest in our future. Their contributions fuel the pursuit of excellence, transforming our IIT Madras into a beacon of innovation and a catalyst for positive change.”

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