Ashoka University receives single largest donation ever of INR 250 Crores from the Harish and Bina Shah Foundation
The unrestricted grant from the Harish & Bina Shah Foundation will be deployed to fund the university’s growth plans. It will be directed to raise the bar on excellence for education and research in the humanities disciplines, while fostering global collaborations and supporting interdisciplinary research initiatives in the social and natural sciences at Ashoka
Office of PR & Communications19 December, 2023 | 4m read
In a significant boost to Ashoka University’s plans to build India’s foremost institution of higher learning, the Harish & Bina Shah Foundation (HBSF) has made a donation of INR 250 crores, the single largest such contribution received by the university in its 10-year history. The unrestricted grant is especially focused on driving teaching and research excellence in the humanities disciplines (typically including languages, literature, history and philosophy) and supporting interdisciplinary research initiatives in the social and natural sciences at Ashoka. The grant will be deployed in tranches over a period of 5 years to accelerate the university’s growth.
HBSF is a private charitable foundation based in Mumbai. It was founded in 2002 by industry veterans Harish and Bina Shah, of Signet Excipients Pvt. Ltd., a pharmaceutical raw materials business. With this contribution, HBSF looks to invest in India’s future both at a student and institutional level.
‘As Ashoka University embarks upon its next phase of growth towards being a global research-focused university, we at the Harish & Bina Shah Foundation are honoured to support one of the most important institutions shaping Indian higher education. As a foundation, one of our goals is to promote world-class education and research through Indian-origin institutions, and in Ashoka University we find an ideal partner. Investing in home-grown institutions is fundamental to our nation’s growth and social development as it provides great opportunities for quality higher education, retention of top talent locally, and bringing international academic expertise to India – among many other benefits. We look forward to building a meaningful and long-lasting association with the University and its partners.”, said Harish Shah, Director, Harish & Bina Shah Foundation.
The Delhi NCR-based teaching and research university which has rapidly grown into one of the most sought-after institutions in India is currently in its ‘build-up’ phase, in which it is on-track to grow its student body to 5000 students by 2027. It also started further extension of its campus in September 2021. The donation by HBSF, the single largest in the university’s history, will contribute significantly towards Ashoka’s mission of excellence across humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, with a focus on interdisciplinary learning and research.
The HBSF grant will be especially directed to strengthen the undergraduate and graduate programmes across humanities, while promoting global collaborations and supporting interdisciplinary research initiatives in areas that intersect with the social and natural sciences at Ashoka, such as development economics, artificial intelligence, technology for society and healthcare among others.
“This generous contribution by HBSF will help Ashoka to enhance its capabilities to nurture the immense talent of India’s students by providing quality higher education especially in the humanities disciplines. Moreover, the fact that the grant is unrestricted represents a benchmark and a coming of age in Indian philanthropy. It underlines the major nation-building role that sustained philanthropic support must play if we wish to build Indian institutions of excellence that are at par with their leading global peers.”, said Pramath Raj Sinha, Co-founder and Chairperson, Board of Trustees, Ashoka University.
“Today, we are at a very exciting phase at Ashoka, where we are venturing into some unique areas of interdisciplinary research where humanities play a major role. We are also entering into collaborations for education and research with noted global institutions, and simultaneously scaling our capacity to serve more students. Given our world-class infrastructure and high quality of faculty and students, Ashoka is uniquely positioned to produce outstanding scholarship in India. The grant by HBSF will contribute towards building a global institution of excellence in and for India and we are very excited about the possibilities it creates for Ashoka”, said Professor Somak Raychaudhury, Vice Chancellor, Ashoka University.