has announced a $50 million endowment gift from the Tata Education and Development Trust, a philanthropic arm of India's .
Half the gift will be used to establish the Tata-Cornell Initiative in Agriculture and Nutrition, which will work to improve the productivity, sustainability, and profitability of India's food system in order to help reduce poverty and malnutrition in that country. Although Cornell already has established several successful public-private partnerships in both agriculture and nutrition in India, the gift will be used to bolster existing relationships and foster the development of new initiatives.
The rest of the gift will support a scholarship fund for students from India to help meet the Tata Group's pledge to attract Indian students to Cornell. Initially, the scholarships will be offered to between six and ten students annually, depending on level of need. Eventually the program will support up to twenty-five scholars at a time.
"Cornell is a better place thanks to its long-standing academic and research connections to India, through our faculty and researchers and, most especially, our students," said Cornell president David Skorton. "This visionary gift sets a new course that befits the history of our partnership with India and the needs of the new century."