UIDAI chairman and Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani,along with his wife Rohini,have gifted Rs 50 crore ($8.1 million) to the National Council of Applied Economic Research. Nilekani is the president of NCAERs governing body and the proposed donation,one of the biggest to an Indian think tank,would be utilised to fund new research and knowledge capabilities at the institute.
Rohini and I are excited about contributing to a national institution of NCAERs stature,helping it build further on its durable legacy of almost six decades of service to the nation,and supporting its rejuvenation in ways that will make it even more vibrant, said Nilekani in a statement issued by NCAER. In recent past,Ratan Tata donated $50 million (Rs 220 crore) to Harvard Business School in October 2010 and Anand Mahindra donated $10 million (around Rs 44 crore) to Harvard University. In 2008,Cornell University too received an endowment of $50 million from Tata Education and Development Trust.
The IITs have in the past received handsome donations from NR Narayana Murthy (chairman Infosys),Vinod Khosla (co-founder Sun Microsystems) and others in early 2000.
Shekhar Shah,director general of NCAER said the funding as a turning point in India. Indias growing tradition of global philanthropy has recently funded places like Harvard,Columbia,Cornell,Oxford,and Brookings,which is wonderful. It is now heartening to see this tradition come home; supporting the renewal of independent, said Shah.