Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has donated $25 mi?l?lion to the prestigious Harvard University with an aim to increase engagement with India and other South Asian countries.
The donation will establish an endowed fund for the South Asia Institute at the university.
The institute spearheads Harvard’s engagement with South Asian countries, including India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well as diaspora populations from these countries, the university said in a statement.
As a result of the endowment from the Mittal Foundation, Harvard’s South Asia Institute would be called as Lakshmi Mittal South Asia Institute at Harvard University, it said.
Founded in 2003, the So?uth Asia Initiative became a university-wide interdisciplinary institute in 2010 under the leadership of its current faculty director, Indian-Am?e?rican Tarun Khanna, the Jorge Paulo Lemann professor at Harvard Business School. “We are so grateful for the Mittal family’s support and what it will enable us to learn and share — acr?oss the sciences, social sciences, and the humanities — and the many people and institutions it will allow us to engage,” said Khanna.
“International centers li?ke the South Asia Institute at Harvard University serve as a vital conduit between the University and the world we study,” said Harvard President Drew Faust. “The generous support from the Mittal family is a testament to both important work bei?ng done by this community of scholars and students and continuing impact it will ha?ve in the region,” he added.
South Asia has played a dynamic and influential role in the development of our world since the very first civilisations, said 67-year-old Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel company. “Ensuring that we fully understand its history and unique dynamics is a critical enabler in helping to shape a su?ccessful future,” he said.
As someone who was bo?rn in India, the long-term prosperity of India and its neighbouring nations “ma?tters a great deal to me and my family,” Mittal told Harvard Gazette in an interview.
“Harvard is one of the world’s greatest learning ins?titutions, with a unique ability to facilitate dialogue and drive thinking and progress,” he said. The Mittal family has long supported educational endeavours and public policy development in India as a means of positioning the country — and the region — for future success, the university said.