Twice on either side of 1900, Jamsetji Tata traveled to the United States, looking for technologies that would put steel in India's industrial frame.
In America, Andrew Carnegie had "been there, done that" with regards to steel and was divesting some of his fortune into philanthropy, endowing $1 million for a technology school that would eventually become Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). But Tata had already beaten Carnegie on that front, pledging half his wealth (200,000 pounds) in 1893 for an educational endowment that would lead to the setting up of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc).
According to Times of India, this week, the two hoary industrial-philanthropic contemporaries are again on the same page with the contribution from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) of a $35 million gift to Carnegie Mellon University, described as the largest corporate gift to CMU, and the biggest from outside the United States.
The donation will fund a new facility, the Tata Consultancy Services Building, which will support education and cutting-edge research by CMU faculty and students, and will also endow Presidential Fellowships and Scholarships, increasing the availability of a CMU education to outstanding students, the two entities announced on Tuesday.
CMU's ties with India and Tata entities have spanned through the century from the time the two titans engaged on steel, leading to the setting up of Tata Steel and Jamshedpur. The University, which already has a billion dollar endowment, is currently headed by Subra Suresh, a former dean of Engineering at MIT, who then was appointed to lead the National Science Foundation, before he moved to Pittsburgh to take charge of CMU.
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