The IIT-Bombay Alumni Association has started a new scholarship for students from economically weaker backgrounds who want to study at the elite institute but cannot afford its fees.
The association will run the Erach & Meheroo Mehta Memorial-FFE Scholarship in partnership with Foundation For Excellence (FFE) from a corpus of Rs 1.27 crore provided by an illustrious alumnus, Ruyintan Mehta, who is based in the US. The scheme will be administered through the Financial Aid Program (FAP), which is already run by the Alumni Association. FAP has supported 840 IIT-B students over a period of nine years by raising funds of over Rs 7.36 crore largely from alumni and the corporates.
The sum of Rs 1.27 crore will be spent over the course of four years. The first round of disbursals was undertaken recently with fees for the 2018 spring semester paid for three students.
Speaking about the initiative at a press conference on Friday, Mehta said, “We need more alumni associations and corporates to fund education of those facing financial hardships. It’s a debt we feel towards our alma mater, especially for those of us who live away from India. It’s a kind of guru dakshina.”
Mehta, who graduated from IIT-B in 1970, is also the president of IIT-B’s Heritage Foundation— a body of IIT-B alumni residing in the US. He has donated more than one million dollars to the association over two decades.
Soumyo Mukherji, dean of student affairs, said, “At IIT-B, we follow this policy of never allowing a student to discontinue studies for want of money.”
According to the association’s officials, scholarships are available to all undergraduate and postgraduate students in the institute under FAP, which covers registration, tuition and mess fees. Students are requested to donate back to the programme after they graduate. The sums received are utilised for the benefit of the next generation of students. However, it is not mandatory for students to repay the amount.
Prem Patel, 20, hailing from a village in Rajasthan, is one of the beneficiaries of the new scholarship. “It helped a lot,” said Patel, who is in third year, chemical engineering.