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Philanthropy is appreciated at Nalanda

Etymologically, the word Nalanda means ‘no end to giving’. The Nalanda University of yore, established itself as a world famous center of learning in the 5th century, receiving seekers of knowledge from within India and as far as Turkey, China, and Sumatra. Royal patronage provided integral material support to the University – the revenues and produce of surrounding villages were endowed to the University – thus freeing Nalanda scholars from any concerns barring the pursuit of knowledge.

The twenty-first century revival of Nalanda University, in Rajgir, can be seen as the perfect opportunity to recreate the hallowed universalism of Nalanda as a center of knowledge creation and giving. Nalanda University is a non-profit, secular, self-governing international institution bringing together students, researchers and faculty from across the world.

Creating a community of philanthropy at Nalanda is a priority for the University, with the eventual goal of funding full scholarship assistance for students, supporting faculty, freeing resources to advance work of distinction and promise, encouraging research, serving communities around Nalanda, and sustaining the University as it grows.

Nalanda University, has in a short span of time, been fortunate to have already received generous gifts and donations from partner countries, independent donors and individual scholars. These gifts have been in the form of book collections, funds for the library, scholarships, etc. Our donors, coming from across the world, are essential partners in the Nalanda mission of commitment to excellence in teaching, research, service and sustainability. Each one of these gifts, irrespective of its size, represents an act of support that is deeply appreciated.

Endowments are critical in our ability to achieve our desired goals in an unimpeded manner. We look upon endowments to be the permanent legacy of the institution. Interest from endowments is a key source of funds for the university and its activities.

Managing the Endowment

All endowment funds are deployed strictly in accordance with the donor’s wishes as set out at the time of making the gift. Each gift is handled individually and managed as an individual entity. Donors receive accurate reports, duly signed by the Finance officer of the University, on the status of their funds and expenses from the account. This ensures that our donors continue to be involved in the university and its growth. All excess funds are reinvested in the corpus of the endowment.

General policy

  • All gifts will be used only for the benefit of Nalanda University, its programmes, its faculty, staff and students
  • All funds will be used as intended by the donors
  • All tax and other requirements under Indian law will be followed
  • All gifts will be governed by applicable university policies

Tax exemption for all gifts under Indian law

Donations by endowments given to NU are exempted under Section 80G of the income tax act of 1961. Donations made by NRIs are also eligible for tax benefits against donations. There is no upper limit to the amount of donation. In the case of donations to “Institutions of National Importance” donations are eligible for deduction at the rate of 100% without any qualifying limit.


  1. The Vice-Chancellor shall set priorities for fund raising, and to review and set administrative policies and procedures concerning Gifts to the University.
  2. The University shall promote the solicitation, acceptance and stewardship of Gifts to secure resources that shall enable the University to further advance its priorities and commitment to excellence in teaching, learning and research.
  3. The University shall not accept any Gift that precludes the University from accepting Gifts from other Donors and the University shall not accept Gifts that violate any applicable law or regulation and reserves the right to reject any Gift.
  4. The act of giving a Gift to the University shall be irrevocable whilst the Gift and the Gift Purpose shall be subject to the University’s prevailing policies and procedures.
  5. In recognition of a Gift made by a Donor, the University may offer the Donor a naming opportunity within the University and the Vice-Chancellor may from time to time set the minimum Gift level for naming opportunities which may be offered.
  6. If a Donor who has been offered a naming opportunity by the University falls into disrepute, the University reserves the right to discontinue the use of the relevant name.
  7. All Gift-related naming opportunities shall be approved by the Vice-Chancellor and in the case of a Gift-related naming of a School, Department, Faculty, Chair or any infrastructure, such naming shall be approved by the Governing Board upon the recommendation of the Vice-Chancellor.
  8. All Gifts shall be used in accordance with the Gift Purpose and all information pertaining to a Donor and his Gift shall be handled with respect and given confidential treatment to the fullest extent available in law.
  9. The University shall appropriately acknowledge and recognize Donors and their Gifts according to such criteria as may be stipulated in the Statutes.
  10. The Vice-Chancellor shall have the sole right to invest the Gifts in accordance with guidelines approved by the Governing Board.
  11. The University may charge all reasonable costs and expenses incurred in administering a Gift or a Gift Purpose to the relevant underlying fund.
  12. The Vice-Chancellor shall, in consultation with the Donor, have the power to make changes to a Gift Purpose, which has in whole or in part ceased to provide a suitable or effective way of using the relevant Gift and the University shall endeavour to use the Gift for such purposes as nearly as possible akin to the original Gift Purpose(9) The University shall appropriately acknowledge and recognize Donors and their Gifts according to such criteria as may be stipulated in the Statutes.

An endowment is a permanent fund that is maintained in perpetuity. The income from the investment of the endowment is utilized by the University to provide a permanent and stable source of funds that allow the University to support a range of activities to achieve its teaching, research goals and other activities.

Any left over income is put back into the endowment fund to help it grow. Endowments provide a stable income for the university and thus aid the pursuit of academic excellence. By making an endowment gift to the university, each donor is making an investment that will last forever.

These are endowment gifts which support the general activities of the University and give the University the discretion to spend the funds addressing the priorities of the University in any area of their choice. Unrestricted funds give the University the flexibility to invest all the funds as a single unit as one aggregated pool of funds. Pooling of the funds enables the university to get better returns for their investment and also to spend the income on areas that may be of immediate concern to the university.

Restricted use

Restricted gifts are those where the purpose of the gift is specified and the donation is required as per the donor‘s wishes to be maintained separately. These funds could cover any of the following areas broadly divided into the following heads (indicative list):

1. Faculty Support

These funds can enable the university to attract and engage faculty of their choice who are crucial to the growth and development of the University and its programmes. These funds can also allow the university to invite leading scholars and public figures to campus to enrich the intellectual life on campus and to foster linkages for the future:

  • Endowed Professorships/ Chairs/ Fellowships
  • Funding for other academic positions: Research Fellows, Interns etc
  • Distinguished Scholar in Residence Programmes
  • Visiting Scholars
  • Conference and travel support

2. Student Support

Gifts that fund full or partial costs for students specially at the Master’s level thus allowing Nalanda University to attract the best students irrespective of their financial status. NU seeks to create a diverse and talented student body so as to provide an enriching campus experience for all students. Gifts could cover:

  • Sponsorships for a student: one year, two year, tuition only; full costs etc
  • Nalanda Fund for Students for general use of student activities
  • Student Fellowships: including for students from particular regions or countries
  • Scholarship for PhD students
  • Travel grants
  • Work study programmes
  • Internships

3. Programme and related activities support

  • Support for Institutes, Centres and Programmes
  • Support for specific Schools and their programmes
  • Travel grants
  • Digital Programs
  • Laboratory equipment
  • Support for specific Research Centres
  • Support for University Research Projects
  • Funding for University Impact Projects and out-reach activities

4. Library Support

Endowments in support of university library benefit the entire university community in an important way. Endowments can be used to:

  • Recruit and retain librarians and staff
  • Support the curricula of the Schools
  • Support research projects
  • Provide innovative spaces in which to learn
  • Enhance collections
  • Preserve outstanding collections including manuscripts, books, digital data
  • Support existing endowments

5. Infrastructure Support

As a university that is about to embark on its building programme, NU is seeking endowments to help with:


Donors are encouraged to contact the Vice Chancellor’s office directly to discuss donation options. The University will help to customize options to suit Donor needs.

Naming opportunities:

The University also has options for naming opportunities for gifts and the thresholds for these can be discussed.

  • Donors could name a classroom, a laboratory, a wing of an existing building
  • Endow and name a School or an academic division or programme

Gifts may take any of the following forms

1. Gifts of Cash received via

  • Cheque
  • Drafts
  • Credit cards
  • Through a will

2. Gifts of other Assets

  • Shares and Securities
  • Real Estate or Personal Property
  • Planned gifts: charitable bequests, NU as beneficiary of insurance policies, legacies
  • Corporate and Foundation Giving

3. In Kind

  • Art: Sculpture, Visual, Plastic and Installation
  • Rare books/ manuscripts
  • Donations of Private Collections of Tangible Cultural Heritage
  • Any other tangible collections such as coin collections etc

For information on Giving to Nalanda please write in at [email protected] or contact Ambika Pani at +91-7033691544


The University has received endowments from countries like Australia, China, Singapore and Thailand. It has also received endowments in the form of books from individual donors.

Professor Wang Gung Wu

Nalanda University is proud to have received a donations of books from Professor Gung Wu’s personal library collection. No constructed library collection can compare with the private collection of a scholar built over his entire career.

Prof Wang is a Commander of the British Empire (CBE); Fellow, and former President, of the Australian Academy of the Humanities; Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Science; Member of Academia Sinica; Honorary Member of the Chinese Academy of Social Science. He was conferred the International Academic Prize, Fukuoka Asian Cultural Prizes. In Singapore, he is Chairman of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies; Chairman of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at NUS; Vice-Chairman of the Chinese Heritage Centre; Board Member of the Institute of Strategic and Defence Studies at NTU.

Prof Wang received his B.A. (Hons) and M.A. degrees from the University of Malaya in Singapore, and his Ph.D. at the University of London (1957). His teaching career took him from the University of Malaya (Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, 1957-1968, Professor of History 1963-68) to The Australian National University (1968-1986), where he was Professor and Head of the Department of Far Eastern History and Director of the Research of Pacific Studies. From 1986 to 1995, he was Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong. He was Director of East Asian Institute of NUS from 1997 to 2007.


Donors are encouraged to contact the Vice Chancellor’s office directly to discuss donation options. The University will help to customize options to suit Donor needs. 


The University also has options for naming opportunities for gifts and the thresholds for these can be discussed.
Donors could name a classroom, a laboratory or a wing of an existing building.
Donors could also endow and name a School or an academic division or programme.


Gifts may be given via cheque, draft, credit card, through a will or even real estate and shares and securities.

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