CHAIR is the term given to endowed professorships. It has a rich history and prestige that has remained unchanged over the years. The first endowed professorships in basic science and medicine were established in 1546 by Henry VIII. Later private individuals began donating the funds for chairs, with one of the firsts being the Lucasian Chair in Mathematics, given to Sir Isaac Newton in 1669. The honor of being appointed to an endowed chair has not changed through the years. It is one of the highest honors awarded in the academic arena and is reserved for the top faculty members at IIT Bombay as an acknowledgement of their contributions to research and teaching. The prestige of an endowed chair also lends an additional cachet to the departments. It helps to attract the best and brightest young students and investigators thus securing the future of the institution. It is clear why endowed Chairs are an essential constituent of IIT Bombay. This is what would be seen in many other outstanding educational institutions worldwide.
Appointments to the Chairs are made by various committees headed by the Director of IIT Bombay, with field experts and institute functionaries as members and a nominee of the donor as an observer. Selection is based on peer reviews of the overall research achievements and other achievements in the recent past. Contributions made to the growth of the institute are given due weightage.
The list of awards and the awardees is elaborated in the booklet link below.