$50 million to Harvard, what about India?
Ratan Tata gives $50 million to Harvard Business School, just days after Anand Mahindra announces a donation of $10 million, and a few months after Narayana Murthy's $5 million, to the same institution. The three stories generated a fair amount of debate over why an American institution was favoured over more 'needy' Indian counterparts, a debate made more vociferous by the sheer scale of the donations involved.
Yes, the Tatas, the Murthys and the Mahindras are known for their philanthropy — in fact, they have made 'giving' an institution by itself — but their focus has always been on the fruitful utilisation of the funds. Narayana Murthy's donation went towards the creation of the Murthy Classical Library of India, which will house, among other things, 100 books from Indian languages translated into English. Mahindra's donation went towards the upgrade of the Harvard Humanities Centre. And Ratan Tata's $50 million will fund a new academic and residential building on the Harvard campus in Boston for students of the school's Executive Education programs.