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Tata's gift Rs. 220 crore to Harvard

By - Yogesh Godhwani

In one of the biggest corporate contributions by an Indian business house to education, Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata group has donated $50 million (Rs.220 crore) to the Harvard Business School to fund a new building that would support a wide range of executive education programs.

The school acknowledged that the funds, which would come from a clutch of Tata - controlled charitable trusts & firms, are the "largest international donation in its 102-year history".

Tata had attended the HBS Advanced Management program in 1975. "It is a privilege & pleasure to give back to Harvard a little bit of what it gave to me," he said.

His contributions comes in the year in which India born Nitin Nohira took charge as the HBS dean and lead a donation seeking trip to India. With the latest act of charity, Tata will get his surname embossed on the academic and residential building-Tata Hall - scheduled to be completed in 2013.

The contribution surpasses $10millin donated recently by Mahindra group vice chairman Anand Mahindra to Harvard for its Humanities center.

In 2008, Tata gave a $50 million endowment to Cornell University for agriculture and nutrition programs and for the education of Indian students at the university from where he earned a degree in architecture in 1962.

The group has also funded the projects and facilities in domestic Institutions, including Indian Institute of Management, Ahmadabad and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.