On 12th December, 2012, at 12.12 pm, Delhi based entrepreneur and promoter of Element Capital, an investment company with focus on private equity and real estate, Sharik Currimbhoy has pledged a gift of $12.12 million to Columbia University. The donation aimed at multiple schools at the university, will support research and fellowships with a focus on India and emerging markets.

According to the university, this is the largest gift from an alumnus in India to Columbia. Currimbhoy will work with President Bollinger and other senior academic leaders to develop the details of the programmes to be supported. Founded in 1754 as King’s College, Columbia is the fifth oldest institution of higher learning in the US.

Columbia University President Lee C. Bollinger said, “Sharik Currimbhoy, who came from India to study at the College. We are grateful for his support of university-wide programmes advancing this mission and our engagement with his home country.”

In 2011, Sidharth Yog, the founder of Xander Group Inc, a global investment firm, gifted his alma mater, Harvard University, $11 million on November 11, 2011 at 11.11am. Xander focuses on emerging markets and invests primarily in companies which operate in the infrastructure, hospitality, entertainment, retail and real estate sectors, and currently manages equity capital in excess of $ 2 billion.

Currimbhoy says, “Sidharth has been an inspiration for me and Harvard and India are lucky to have a mind like him working towards creating significant impact in the world.”

In 2010, Anand Mahindra had donated $10 million to Harvard University to support the Humanities Center in honour of his mother, Indira Mahindra, the largest gift for the study of humanities in Harvard.

In April 2010, N R NarayaMurthy, chief mentor of Infosys Technologies, and his family had donated $5.2 million to Harvard University to establish a new publication series called The Murthy Classical Library of India.

Another big ticket donation to Harvard University that year was from the Tata Group, which gifted $50 million to the university, the largest donation from any international donor to the university.

(Edited by Prem Udayabhanu)

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