In one of the largest gifts in India for a new school at a prospective national university, one of Infosys’s co-founder NandanNilekani along with his wife Rohini Nilekani have announced a gift of Rs 50 crore ($11 million) to the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) to fund its School of Environment and Sustainability.
They issued a joint statement to this effect, saying “IIHS is at the convergence of both our interests in education, urbanisation and sustainability. We are excited about contributing to an institution which will help people engage with new challenges in an innovative and interdisciplinary manner.”
This is a major step in a Rs 300 crore ($67 million) IIHS resource mobilisation campaign to fund five interdisciplinary schools, one of South Asia’s largest reference and digital libraries and other facilities for its Bangalore campus. An additional Rs 100 crore ($22 million) will be raised for chair professorships.
Speaking of the contribution, IIHS director Aromar Revi said, “India is returning to a tradition of philanthropy to build independent national institutions for the common good. Rohini and Nandan Nilekani’s support to IIHS’s School of Environment and Sustainability is in the spirit that created some of India’s greatest universities. We hope we can match up to this aspiration.”
The IIHS is nurtured and led by a group of eminent Indians who include: Xerxes Desai, Jamshyd Godrej, Cyrus Guzder, Renana Jhabvala, Vijay Kelkar, Keshub Mahindra, Kishore Mariwala, Rahul Mehrotra, Bansi Mehta, Rakesh Mohan, Nandan Nilekani, Nasser Munjee, Deepak Parekh, Shirish Patel and Deepak Satwalekar.