IIT Madras alumnus Sunil Wadhwani gifts $13.2 million for data science & AI school


Entrepreneur and philanthropist Sunil Wadhwani, an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, on Tuesday made an endowment of ₹110 crore or $13.2 million towards setting up the Wadhwani School of Data Science and Artificial Intelligence at the institution. With a vision to be among the top AI-focused schools worldwide, the Wadhwani School of Data Science and AI also aims to advise the government and policymakers on data science and AI-related policy areas.

“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 said in a statement.

The Wadhwani School of Data Science and AI will offer the courses including BTech programme in AI and Data Analytics; MTech programme in Data Science and AI; MS & PhD Programmes in Data Science and AI; Joint MSc in Data Science and AI with the University of Birmingham, UK; International Interdisciplinary Masters Programme in Data Science; Interdisciplinary Dual Degree in Data Science; and Web-enabled MTech in Industrial AI.

“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 Sunil Wadhwani and his family for sponsoring this School with a generous donation through their foundation, which is close to Rs 110 crore,” IIT Madras Director, Prof. V. Kamakoti, said, in the statement.

Admissions will commence in July 2024.

The school will also run a Joint MSc in Data Science and AI with the University of Birmingham, U.K., admitting 30 students and an International Interdisciplinary Masters Programme.

Wadhwani is presently the Managing Partner at SWAT Capital. Through his family foundation, Wadhwani Impact Trust, he is focused on several philanthropic initiatives, two of which are the Wadhwani Initiative for Sustainable Healthcare (WISH) and the Wadhwani Institute for Artificial Intelligence (WIAI).

Related posts