You are here : Home National Briefs Kushagra Bajaj gifts $2.5 million to Carnegie Mellon for endowment chair

Kushagra Bajaj gifts $2.5 million to Carnegie Mellon for endowment chair

K N Bajaj is vice chairman of Mumbai-based Bajaj Group

Kushagra Nayan Bajaj, vice chairman of Mumbaibased Bajaj Group, has made a $2.5 million gift to endow a professorship at Carnegie Mellon University's Tepper School of Business.

The gift will be used to establish the Bajaj Family Chair, which will be held by a Tepper School professor to be named by the university's president and provost. The chair recipient will select the field of teaching and research.

Bajaj graduated from the Tepper School in 1997 with a degree in economics, political philosophy and finance. He is providing the gift through his family foundation, the Kamalnayan Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation.

"I am proud to strengthen my association with Carnegie Mellon University and this endowment is a gesture of appreciation for my alma mater," he said in a statement. "I wish the university the very best with its Inspire Innovation campaign.

More than 30 percent of Carnegie Mellon students are from outside the U.S., and most of them are from India, the university said, adding that the largest concentration of CMU alumni outside of the U.S. live in India. "On behalf of Carnegie Mellon, I thank Kushagra Bajaj and his family for this wonderful gift," said Carnegie Mellon president Jared L. Cohon. "Through his generosity, (Bajaj) is further strengthening the connection between Carnegie Mellon and India…We are pleased to partner with him through this professorship."

The Bajaj Group is one of India's top 10 business conglomerates. It has interests in power generation, consumer goods, coal mining, sugar manufacturing, ethanol production and real estate. The group's revenues are more than $1 billion with a gross market cap of over $1.5 billion.

Prestigious Royal Statistical Award for C R Rao

CR Rao, Emeritus Holder of the Eberly Family Chair in Statistics at Penn State and one of the world's top statisticians has been honored with the Royal Statistical Society's Guy Medal Award in Gold for his fundamental and innovative contributions to statistical theory and methodology.

The medal was awarded to Rao at a ceremony June 29, the highest award given to a statistician by the United Kingdom.

Rao is recognized internationally as a pioneer who laid the foundation of modern statistics, with multifaceted distinctions as a mathematician, researcher, scientist, and teacher.

The Indian American's contributions to mathematics and to the theory and application of statistics during the last six decades have become part of graduate and postgraduate courses in statistics, econometrics, electrical engineering, and many other disciplines at most universities throughout the world.

A book Rao wrote in 1965, Linear Statistical Inference and Its Applications, is one of the most-often-cited books in science.

Rao's other awards include 32 honorary doctoral degrees from universities in 18 countries on six continents. In addition, Rao was honored in 2010 with the India Science Award. In 2003, he received the first Mahalanobis International Award in Statistics from the International Statistical Institute and the Srinivasa Ramanujan Medal from the Indian National Science Academy.

In 2002, he was honored by President George W. Bush with the National Medal of Science, the highest award given to an American scientist for lifetime achievement in fields of scientific research.

In 1989, the American Statistical Association awarded him the Wilks Medal, and in 2001, he was honored by the Government of India with the Padma Vibhushan Award.

Nikki Haley's memoir to hit stands in 2012

South Carolina's Indian American Governor Nikki Haley

South Carolina's Indian-American Governor Nikki Haley is all set to publish her memoir just shy of her 40th birthday. Her book, "Can't is Not an Option", is expected to hit shelves in January 2012 and will be published by Sentinel, a conservative imprint within Penguin Group.

Haley's fight to prove that women can rock, provided inspiration when it seemed impossible that a relatively inexperienced, deeply conservative woman could win a bid to govern the state where the Civil War began. She has built a governorship on aggressive budget cutting, a relentless pursuit of job growth and a cheerleader's enthusiasm for a state that often finishes toward the back of the pack in education, economics and health.

In March, Haley said in a published interview that in her memoir "she would cover everything from growing up in rural South Carolina to her contentious 2010 campaign, when she faced - and denied - allegations of infidelity."

Though the Republican governor says she's not seeking higher office, her literary agent Robert Barnett's past clients include Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

Haley's new book will give the firstterm Republican a chance to reveal behind- the-scenes details of her once unlikely election as South Carolina's chief executive, how she handled the state's rough-and-tumble politics and her life as a first-generation American, postandcourier. com said.

"A lot of people wanted to know what happened in the campaign," she was quoted as telling The Post and Courier in April.