Class of 1981's gift to IIT Madras: Largest ever Electric Bus fleet

This is the largest-ever legacy gift given to IIT Madras by any graduating class.

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IIT Madras

IIT Madras class of 1981.

Indian Institute of Technology Madras’ (IIT Madras) Class of 1981 is donating a fleet of electric buses to their alma mater. The class is having their 40th reunion in campus today (21st December 2022).


The Class of 1981 consists of about 600 students who graduated in 1981, including B.Tech, M.Tech and PhD students. The class is now widely dispersed over the globe, from Australia to the U.S.

Addressing the reunion celebrations, Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, said, “I am very pleased and thankful that the Class has decided to donate a fleet of Electric Buses and Golf Carts to replace the existing diesel fleet. This will be a very good start towards our goal of a zero carbon campus by 2050 and will serve as a living reminder of our commitment to residents and visitors alike. I wish the batch a great reunion!”

The IIT Madras B. Tech Class of ’81 joined the IIT in July 1976 for what was then a 5-year B.Tech course, graduating in 1981 at a convocation where Shri. R. Venkatraman presided over and Director Prof. P.V. Indiresan handed over certificates. Many from the graduating batch went abroad to pursue higher education. Some settled there but a fair number returned to India.


Thanking the alumni for the pioneering donation to their alma mater, Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras, The Class of ’81 has set a record by exceeding the quantum of funds contributed by any single class. Their commitment to making IITM a special place for our students has resulted in creating several institutional mechanisms for students to excel in their chosen pursuit. This gift to kick start our transition to a greener, more sustainable and carbon-neutral campus is both timely and crucial.

During the three-day reunion, the batch will explore the campus to learn about the vast changes over almost half a century since they graduated. They would also be discussing with Prof. V. Kamakoti, Director, IIT Madras, and Prof. Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras, the projects that the batch had initiated during their 25th reunion in 2006.

The alumnus who championed Electric Mobility as a Legacy Gift, Mr. Krish Bhargavan, Class of 1981, IIT Madras, said, “IIT Madras has set itself on the road to carbon neutrality, to be fully achieved by 2050. This electrification of the IIT Madras campus’ public transport fleet will complement the institute’s two existing centers of excellence: CoE for Electric Mobility and CoE for Zero Emission Trucking. Several components of electric vehicles are imported and expensive. Any home-grown technology that reduces external dependence, will further India’s energy independence.



 Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IITM) was established in 1959 by the Government of India as an ‘Institute of National Importance.’ The activities of the Institute in various fields of Science and Technology are carried out in 16 academic departments and several advanced interdisciplinary research academic centres. The Institute offers undergraduate and postgraduate programmes leading to B.Tech., M.Sc., M.B.A., M.Tech., M.S., and Ph.D., degrees in a variety of specialisations. IITM is a residential institute with more than 600 faculty and 9,500 students. Students from 18 countries are enrolled here. IITM fosters an active entrepreneurial culture with strong curricular support and through the IITM Incubation Cell.

Recognized as an Institution of Eminence (IoE) in 2019, IITM has been ranked No.1 in the ‘Overall’ Category for the fourth consecutive year in India Ranking 2022 released by National Institutional Ranking Framework, Ministry of Education, Govt. of India. The Institute has also been ranked No.1 in the ‘Engineering Institutions’ category in the same Rankings for seven consecutive years – from 2016 to 2022. It was also adjudged ‘Top innovative Institution’ in the country in Atal Ranking of Institutions on Innovation Achievements (ARIIA) in 2019, 2020 and 2021. ARIIA Ranking was launched by the Innovation Cell of Ministry of Education.