It’s raining money on Indian Institute of Science (IISc). With a view to encourage research in basic sciences, the Infosys Foundation has presented a grant of Rs 20 crore to IISc for research in mathematics and physics and for setting up a Mathematics and Physics Infosys Chair Professorship.
Social activist Sudha Murthy personally handed over the grant statement to the respective departments in the presence of previous IISc Director P Balaram.
The Rs 20 crore fund comes after the Rs 140 crore funding from Robert Bosch Foundation, Rs 225 crore grant by Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan for setting up a Brain Research Centre inside IISc and the very recent Rs 75 crore grant by the Tatas to the Centre for Neuroscience, for research on Alzheimer’s disease.
IISc has been sitting on a corpus of Rs 460 crore from spate of donations from private agencies and individuals in the recent past.
The Chairman of Mathematics Prof Gadadhar Misra told Deccan Herald that Infosys Foundation had already released Rs 1.2 crore over and above the Rs 20-crore fund.
“The additional grant will be utilised to set up professorships in mathematics and physics. We have begun the search for a top-notch world class mathematician, who can work as scholar-in-residence for a year at IISc. We will pay the Chair between $ 200,000 to 300,000 per year. The overall Rs 20-crore grant will be set up as a corpus fund, and the interest it earns, around Rs 1.5 crore annually will be plugged back into research. And when the principal amount goes up due to interest, the same will be ploughed back into the corpus fund. In all, we will have Rs 1.5 crore every year for research work, which is substantial.”
He said that the search for the chairs in mathematics and physics will cover the globe. Universities in USA are strong, particularly Stanford University which has very good mathematics researchers, California Institute of Technology (Caltech) for Physics, Columbia university for both, MIT for both disciplines and Princeton which is very strong in Physics, he said.
The Rs 225-crore donation by Infosys co-founder Kris Gopalakrishnan is perhaps the single-largest donation to IISc from an individual. The Pratiksha Trust that Kris has set up will give the money over 10 years.