Three alumni contribute $ 1 Million each to the BITS Pilani Endowment Fund towards developmental initiatives

Three alumni contribute $ 1 Million each to the BITS Pilani Endowment Fund towards developmental initiatives7th May, 2024: BITS Pilani Alumni Anuradha and Prashanth Palakurthi (1978 batch), Sid Mookerji (Batch 1989) and Chaitanya Kalipatnapu (Batch 1998) have each made a generous pledge of one million dollars to the BITS Endowment Fund. Palakurthi’s  current commitment follows their earlier mega donation of one million dollars to establish the Anuradha and Prashanth Palakurthi Centre for Artificial Intelligence Research (APPCAIR) in 2018. Notably, Sid Mookerji has pledged 1 million dollars and shares a passionate commitment to supporting entrepreneurship.

The continued support from our esteemed BITS Pilani alumni, both past and present, continues to be instrumental in taking the institution towards greater heights of excellence. Among the prevalent previous instances Chaitanya Kalipatnapu also made an unprecedented contribution of 1 million dollars to set up the BITS Endowment Fund, which signifies his palpable determination to improve his alma mater.

Prashanth Palakurthi is a US-based technology entrepreneur, philanthropist and serves as the Chairperson of the Giving back Fund. In 2020 he was awarded the first-ever BITS Ratna award for his exemplary contribution to society, the Institute and its stakeholders. Anuradha, his wife, is the founder of Juju Productions and also serves as the Chairperson of MIT’s Heritage Arts of South Asia. Known for her soul-stirring vocals Anuradha organized the Vax India Now event in 2021 – the world’s first Bollywood-Hollywood Virtual concert. Through their extensive charity work the couple touch countless lives.

The Mookerji Foundation, founded by BITS alumnus Sid Mookerji and his wife, Sophie Mookerji, has pledged one million dollars to support entrepreneurship development initiatives, including growing the PhD DRIVE (Deep-tech Research Innovation and Value Generation Entrepreneurship) program. Mr Sid Mookerji is recognized as a leader in Retail Innovation, and is the Founder and Managing Partner of Silicon Road Ventures, a pioneer in shaping the future of global commerce.

Mr Mookerji said “BITS Pilani, along with being my alma mater, is a world leader in technology education with real-world impact. Sophie and I chose BITS for our gift because of its commitment to fostering entrepreneurship, a key goal of our Foundation. BITS alumni have launched over 6400 successful companies many of which have gained unicorn and decacorn status. BITS Pilani is at the forefront of helping entrepreneurs not only build companies, but also giving them the tools for long-term success. We are excited to be part of this story in the years ahead.”.

The continued support from the esteemed BITS Pilani alumni continues to be instrumental in taking the institution towards greater heights of excellence. Among the prevalent instances, Chaitanya Kalipatnapu recently made a contribution of 1 million dollars to set up the BITS Endowment Fund.

Commenting on the development, Prof Ramgopal Rao, Vice-Chancellor of BITS Pilani said, “The generous contributions of Prashanth, Anuradha, Sid Mookerji and Chaitanya epitomize the unwavering support of our esteemed alumni and for this we express our heartfelt gratitude. Their support not only strengthens our competitive advantage, but also propels us to higher levels of excellence in education and research. We are deeply grateful for their continued commitment to the development of our institution.”

Speaking about the initiative, Prof. Arya Kumar, Dean, Alumni Relations, said, “These generous contributions will not only strengthened the capabilities of BITS Pilani, but also foster a culture of alumni giving. By supporting priority initiativesalumni are setting a remarkable example of forward-giving philanthropy that strengthens our alma mater’s position as a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship.”

BITS Pilani aims to through the soon to be launched BITS Endowment Fund engage its esteemed alumni to actively contribute to the development of their alma mater and create lasting legacies similar to those seen in renowned institutions around the world. With 60 glorious years, BITS Pilani continues to maintain its status as one of India’s premier institutions, boasting a rich legacy of academic brilliance and innovation brought about by leaders in various fields.

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