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IITian's million dollar gift for India centre in Canada

Thursday June 02, 2011 05:43:43 PM, Gurmukh Singh , IANS

Toronto: Toronto-based IITian Vasudev Chanchlani has given a million dollars to help start an Indian policy centre at a Canadian university.

Canada's University of Waterloo will launch the Chanchlani India Policy Centre June 8.

A multi-millionaire IIT Kanpur graduate, Chanchlani runs the Sigma Group of companies and VC Capital Management here.

The Chanchlani Centre "will undertake applied and topical policy research related to the Canada-India relationship and collaborate with governments, universities, and community organisations across the country in promoting stronger ties between India and Canada".

It will also support "an ongoing program of policy-relevant research designed to provide Canadian authorities and groups with timely research and open discussions on matters relating to the country's many collaborations with India".

The most well-known Indo-Canadian philanthropist, Chanchlani is the founder of the Canada-India Foundation (CIF).

He also contributed one million dollar towards setting up the 'CIF Chanchlani Global Indian Award' of $50,000 each year.

Established in 2008, the award honours a distinguished Indian each year for his or her leadership, professional excellence and exemplary achievements.

Ratan Tata, Tulsi Tanti, and Sam Pitroda are the three past recipients of the award.

Chanchlani has also donated one million dollars towards the Chanchlani Research Centre at McMaster University for research into genetic and environmental causes of heart diseases and diabetes prevalent among South Asians.

He has also set up a $25,000 annual Chanchlani Global Health Award at the same university.

Just last month, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB) announced the CNIB Chanchlani Global Vision Research Award of $25,000 to recognize best research in the field of 'vision care and vision enablement worldwide'.

The 59-year-old Bhopal-born techie, who also holds an MBA degree from Toronto's Rotman School of Management, came to Canada in 1979 to join Nortel.

(Gurmukh Singh can be contacted at




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