New York:Ratan Tata has gifted $50 million to his alma mater, Cornell University in New York, to help recruit top Indian students to support joint research projects with Indian universities in the areas of agriculture and nutrition.
The gift from the Tata Trusts, a group of philanthropic organizations run by Tata -- chairman of Tata Sons Ltd, will allow Cornell to establish and expand partnerships with Indian scientists that build on its strength in applied agriculture research.
The endowment will be used to set up a scholarship fund to bring more Indian students, who may be discouraged by Cornell’s price tag, to the university. The gift could eventually help support as many as 25 Indian undergraduate and graduate students at a time.
The endowment consists of $25 million to establish the Tata-Cornell Initiative in Agriculture and Nutrition, which will contribute to advances in nutrition and agriculture for India and $25 million for the Tata Scholarship Fund for students from India, to help attract more of the best and brightest talents to Cornell.
Cornell President David Skorton announced the gift during his State of the University address Friday last, calling it “one of the most generous endowments ever received from an international benefactor by an American university.”
The Tata Group is one of India’s oldest and largest conglomerates, operating in seven business sectors and employing around 320,000 people. Tata graduated from Cornell in 1959.