The Soumitra Dutta Chair in Artificial Intelligence

An MoU was recently signed between IIT Delhi and Prof Soumitra Dutta & Dr Lourdes Casanova for the constitution of “The Soumitra Dutta Chair in Artificial Intelligence” at IIT Delhi. The two academicians have pledged a support of Rs 1 crore for the purpose.

Purpose of the Chair:
The Chair has been named after Prof Soumitra Dutta who is a Distinguished Alumnus of IIT Delhi, and it is envisaged to promote excellence and leadership in teaching, research and development in the field of Artificial Intelligence, and to facilitate wider and deeper interaction between the industry in general (and the Donor, in particular) and IITD faculty and students in general (and the incumbent appointed against the Chair, in particular).

Speaking about the MoU, Prof Dutta said, “I am very grateful to the faculty of IIT Delhi for the valuable education they provided to me and I am glad to contribute to the future academic excellence of IIT Delhi.”

Dr Lourdes Casanova added, “The Chair recognizes the important role of Artificial Intelligence in shaping the future of India and supports the aspirations of IIT Delhi for leadership in this important domain.”

Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi said, “IIT Delhi has an excellent relationship with its alumni and values this relationship. Institute is thankful to our distinguished alumnus Prof Soumitra Dutta & Dr Lourdes Casanova for instituting this chair position at IIT Delhi”.

Prof Soumitra Dutta is the Founding Dean of Cornell SC Johnson College of Business at Cornell University, New York and Dr Lourdes Casanova is the Director of Emerging Markets Institute at Cornell University.

Prof Dutta received the Bachelor of Technology degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1985 from IIT Delhi and earned a PhD in Computer Science from the University of California at Berkeley.

He is an authority on the impact of new technology on the business world with a special focus on strategies for driving growth and innovation in the digital economy.

Prof Dutta is best known for being the architect (and main editor) of the Global Innovation Index, which now has become the global standard among innovation indices (co-published with Intellectual Property Organization-WIPO) and is referenced by many global leaders including Hon Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Strategic Relevance of the Contribution:

The generous contribution is an important advance in the efforts of IIT Delhi to strive for financial self-sustainability of its vision for excellence in Academics and Research.

“In the form of such contributions, the Institute aims to obtain support for Scholarships, Student/Faculty Fellowships/Awards, Chair Professorships, Infrastructural development, Endowment funds and for any other cause that might further its pursuit of excellence. These contributions give an opportunity to the alumni to re-engage with their alma mater. They had been a part of the Institute many years ago as students and now they are contributing to the growth of the Institute,” Prof Sanjeev Sanghi, Dean, Alumni Affairs & International Programmes, said.

IIT Delhi is an Institute of “National Importance” and it was also declared an Institute of Eminence by the Government recently. It has consistently been in the top 200 in the QS World University Rankings -a feat rather rare for Indian Institutions.

It now aspires to enter the top 100 and has been making conscious and deliberate efforts to ease its dependence upon the Government for financial support.

Call for Future: Generous contributions like this are expected go a long way in helping the Institute in achieving the lofty goals set by it for itself. Institute calls out to its alumni and well-wishers to contribute, in whichever way and whatever extent they would like to, for the purpose.

One can contact Prof Sanjeev Sanghi, Dean (Alumni Affairs and International Prgrammes) in this regard
(Tel: 011-26591713, Email: deanaaip@iitd.ac.in).