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A Funding Brain Drain?

February 27, 2009

In an earlier post, I blogged about the $50 million gift by Ratan Tata to Cornell.  This article in GlobalPost discusses some other major multi-million dollar gifts from Indian entrepreneurs and industrialists to U.S. universities.  It lays out some of the reasons that these philanthropists choose to give in the U.S. rather than to Indian institutions of higher education, including fundraising bureaucracy in India, government obstacles to giving, and a faith in the efficiency and strategy of American institutions in order for their gifts to have greater impact.

I think all of this is very interesting in light of some of the conversations we’ve been having on this blog about South Asian Americans giving back to their home countries versus giving here (or elsewhere around the world).  It is interesting to see Indian millionaires choosing to give here in the U.S. rather than in their home countries where their gift could have a greater impact if given to a different cause (i.e., not a university)…

What do you all think?  Much like a “brain drain,” is this “major gift drain” a detriment to the countries of South Asia?

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