Publish Date: August 14, 2021

Vipula and Mahesh Chaturvedi Foundation Signs MoU to Attract Outstanding Talent to IIT Delhi

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Photo: (L-R) Prof M. Jagadesh Kumar, Mr Vivek Pathak, Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Prof S.N. Maheshwari, Prof Naveen Garg

New Delhi: The Vipula and Mahesh Chaturvedi Foundation has made a gift of Rs one crore to IIT Delhi to set up “Vipula and Mahesh Chaturvedi Distinguished Fellowship”.

This Distinguished Fellowship will be used to attract outstanding talent from outside India with cutting-edge expertise in a research area that aligns with the long-term strategic objectives of the Institute and the country. The awardee will receive an annual grant of Rs 12 lakhs to support his/her research and the Fellowship will initially be awarded for five years.

Mr Vivek Pathak Trustee, Vipula and Mahesh Chaturvedi Foundation and Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi recently signed an MoU to set up the fellowship.

The Vipula and Mahesh Chaturvedi Foundation was set up by Prof. Mahesh Chaturvedi to promote and provide avenues for education and research in the field of science, technology, and social sciences to contribute to India’s advancement at the highest levels. Prof. Chaturvedi, who retired from IIT Delhi in 1986, is a globally recognized pioneer of water resources engineering in India. He is a founding member and Fellow of the International Water Resources Association, and a Fellow of the Indian National Academy of Engineering.  

The Foundation had earlier set up the Vipula and Mahesh Chaturvedi Chair in Policy Studies at IIT Delhi as a way of initiating the area of public policy at the Institute. The first appointee to the Chair, Prof. Ambuj Sagar, moved to IIT Delhi from Harvard and piloted the setting up of the School of Public Policy. The school has quickly become a leading hub of intellectual activity in the country on issues at the intersection of S&T and development. 

Prof. Sagar notes that “Prof. Chaturvedi was ahead of his time both in recognizing the value of public policy research and education, especially on issues with an S&T content and in providing resources to seed these activities at IIT Delhi.  With the establishment of the School of Public Policy at IIT Delhi, the first of its kind in the country, we now are reaping the fruits of Prof. Chaturvedi’s farsightedness.”

Speaking of the MoU with IIT Delhi to set up the Fellowship, Mr Vivek Pathak, Trustee, Vipula and Mahesh Chaturvedi Foundation said, “The Chaturvedi Foundation recognises that over the years IIT- Delhi's growth has been synonymous with the growth in both quality and quantity of its faculty. The Chaturvedi Foundation would like to help IIT Delhi in its drive to move to the next level of performance by putting in place a scheme that would facilitate attracting outstanding talent to the Institute”.

While welcoming the MoU, Prof V. Ramgopal Rao, Director, IIT Delhi said, “IIT Delhi continues to focus on research, which benefits the society and the industry. The Institute has in the last few years set up new academic units and programs in Materials, AI, Energy, Transportation, Electric Vehicles, Design etc and we hope this Fellowship will help us attract top researchers from around the world and provide a fillip to these initiatives”.


[Releasing the Book; (L-R) M. Jagadesh Kumar, Vivek Pathak, V. Ramgopal Rao, S.N. Maheshwari, Naveen Garg]

On this occasion, a book titled ‘Development and Sustainability- Third World Challenge’ authored by Prof Mahesh Chaturvedi was also unveiled.

The foreword by Prof. Rao, Director, IIT Delhi reads, “The comprehensive and systematic approach in this book, will be invaluable to help readers holistically grasp the concept of sustainability and understand how it relates to the broader arc of development in the Third World. Those are, in many ways, the two major- and interconnected- challenges of the 21st century, especially for developing countries, and therefore this book is extremely timely and relevant”.

Dr S. N. Maheshwari, Secretary, Vipula and Mahesh Chaturvedi Foundation and Honorary Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Delhi said, “This new book of Prof Chaturvedi distils a lifetime of thought and learning and a deep belief reflecting the optimism of an engineer that sustainable development is possible through a system approach, which factors in cultural challenges through institutional transformation”.

Prof. Mahesh Chaturvedi, who is now 96, has taught and mentored generations of scholars on water resources planning, systems engineering, and economic and environmental policy in developing countries. His other recent books are India’s Waters: Advanced in Development and Management, Ganga – Brahmaputra – Meghna Waters: Advances in Development and Management, and India’s Waters: Environment, Economy, and Development.