IIT Bombay is recognized as one of the centers of academic excellence. The students graduating from the institute are of the highest caliber, who have reached positions of eminence in industry, business, public sector, academic and research institutions or as entrepreneurs. The institute had long felt the need to recognize the Alumni of IIT Bombay who have distinguished themselves in their field of work and done the institute proud. With this intention the distinguished Alumnus awards have been instituted.
The first DAA awards were presented on the occasion of Silver Jubilee Celebrations of the Institute in 1983. In 1996 the awards were made an annual feature and have been bestowed on a few distinguished Alumni every year since then. The award is given on 10th March, the Foundation Day of IIT Bombay. The award includes a certificate containing a citation, a trophy and an Uttaria.