Nandan and Rohini Nilekani have announced Rs. 50 crore ($ 11 million) to the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) to fund the establishment of its School of Environment and Sustainability. They issued a joint statement, saying that “IIHS is at the convergence of both our interests in education, urbanisation and sustainability. We are excited about contributing to an institution which will help people engage with new challenges in an innovative and interdisciplinary manner.”
The IIHS Board and its Director, Aromar Revi, expressed their deep appreciation of this gift, given in the spirit of creating an independent globally connected knowledge institution, supported by a range of stakeholders that reflect the richness and diversity of India and the contemporary world. Aromar said, “India is returning to a tradition of philanthropy to build independent national institutions for the common good. Rohini and Nandan Nilekani's support to IIHS's School of Environment and Sustainability is in the spirit that created some of India's greatest Universities almost a century ago. We hope we can match up to this aspiration.”
This is a major step in a Rs. 300 crore ($ 67 million) IIHS resource mobilisation campaign to fund five interdisciplinary Schools, one of South Asia's largest reference and digital libraries and other facilities for its Bangalore campus. An additional Rs. 100 crore ($ 22 million) will be raised for chair professorships.
The IIHS is nurtured and led by a group of eminent Indians who include: Xerxes Desai, Jamshyd Godrej, Cyrus Guzder, Renana Jhabvala, Vijay Kelkar, Keshub Mahindra, Kishore Mariwala, Rahul Mehrotra, Bansi Mehta, Rakesh Mohan, Nandan Nilekani, Nasser Munjee, Deepak Parekh, Shirish Patel and Deepak Satwalekar.
Aromar Revi, an international development consultant, researcher and academic is the first Director of IIHS.