IN the March issue of Pravasi Bharatiya, the magazine brought out by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs, there is an article about donations to American Universities by Indians, and very sizeable amounts they are too.
Topping the list is Ratan Tata with $50 million for the Harvard Business School’s Tata Hall. Then there is Anand Mahindra who forked out $10 million to Harvard’s Humanities Centre in memory of his mother Indira Mahindra. Siddhartha Yog, the founder and managing partner of The Xander Group Inc, also made Harvard University an endowment of $11,000,001 to establish two new professorships and an intellectual entrepreneurship fund. Last year in September, Dubai-based Rajen Kilachand gave Boston University $25 million and in return, the institution has renamed its Honors College after his parents.
There are other donations – Narayana Murthy with $5.2 million to Harvard to institute The Murthy Classical Library of India, a similar amount from Nandan Nilekani to Yale, and from John N. Kapoor, born in Amrtisar, more than $10 million for the pharmacy school at the State University of New York in Buffalo.
Meanwhile, it is so heartening to note that none of our really private colleges, especially the ones run by politicians, seem to get no donations or bequests or endowments. Possibly because they do not require them, seeing how people hand over ‘donations’ in return for seats at these venerable institutions.