Rajen Kilachand firmly believes that education is the cornerstone of progress for individuals, nations and economies alike. Having pursued academic and intellectual excellence all his life, Mr Kilachand is a vocal supporter of equal opportunities for everyone who desires a world-class education.
In September 2011, Mr Kilachand made an endowment of US$25 million to the Arvind and Chandan Nandlal Kilachand Honors College at Boston University in the USA. Unlike most institutions, Kilachand College's liberal education will acquaint students with the subject matter, approaches, and teaching methods of both the arts and sciences, and the professions. Kilachand College aims to be an engine of innovation that redefines liberal arts education across the country. It is driven by a common purpose to foster enterprise, research, discovery and creative activity across disciplines and schools, and in doing so, arm students with the ability to go out into a complicated modern world with a well-rounded background. From the 19,500 applications for Kilachand College in the past year, only 84 students were admitted to the programme.
Then, in 2012, the biggest gift ever to the Boston University just got bigger. At a black-tie dinner the night before the Celebration of Boston University, campaign chair and trustee Kenneth Feld announced that Mr Kilachand had pledged an additional US$ 10 million to the cause, bringing his total gift up to US$ 35 million. In recognition of Mr Kilachand’s extraordinary generosity, Boston University has renamed Shelton Hall, Kilachand Hall, and has dedicated that building to the use of the Honors College endowed by Mr Kilachand in honour of his parents.
In May 2010, Mr Kilachand presented the India-UAE Knowledge Forum in Abu Dhabi, with a mandate to explore a common understanding of how knowledge resources drive a globalised economy and assess prospects for advancing knowledge-centred infrastructure, institutions and policies, while encouraging networking among the various stakeholders of a knowledge economy. At the Forum, a key point that Rajen Kilachand managed to drive home was that while exploring opportunities to develop strengths and overcome challenges in the global quest for a knowledge economy, the current leaders of the world need to ensure that future generations are inheritors, and not just survivors of legacies.
A passionate history enthusiast, Mr Kilachand has announced the launch of The Rajen Kilachand Knowledge Foundation, which will bring together scholars from across the world to research and collate the pre-15th century cultural, geo-political and sociological history of the great lands that span North Africa, East Africa, the Levant and the Middle East across to India and Pakistan and down to Sri Lanka. World class historians, scholars, academicians and researchers will participate in programs with generous grants that will prepare material dating backward from the lesser known history of the pre-Moghul invasion period of the land mass that is present day India and Pakistan.
The research and documentation is to be the first phase of the Foundation's activities; and the content and material presentation will be designed to make this information available and interesting to the youth of the world. The Knowledge Foundation will be housed in its own campus in Maharashtra and will also feature a complete online portal – a one-stop resource centre for youth studies that will be a treasure trove of little known historical facts, economic and political information and recordings of the bilateral policies of the regions. The Foundation will also disseminate the study material through lectures, books, programs and recordings.
In 2007, Rajen Kilachand donated generously to Dubai Cares, an initiative of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the visionary Ruler of Dubai and Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE. Dubai Cares is a trust set up for the education of a million children. At the time that he bequeathed the amount to Dubai Cares, Mr Kilachand was the first Indian in the UAE to offer a contribution, because the initiative was directly in line with his own beliefs that education is the most powerful weapon to break the cycle of poverty and unemployment in the world.
Having lost both his parents very early in his life to illnesses, Rajen Kilachand has always had a special interest in supporting the medical profession and regularly funds research programs, nurses training programs and provides medical scholarships to deserving students. Grant Medical College, one of India's leading medical colleges and part of the Sir J.J. Group of Hospitals, in Mumbai, India, received a sports complex from him in 1980. The complex houses a recreation building, a badminton court, an exhibition hall for students, and a grandstand that overlooks the sports grounds and is popular in Mumbai today, used mainly for cricket events and training.
In the 1980s, Mr Kilachand made a generous donation towards the Kilachand Library at the Doon School, one of India's premier institutions. The donation allowed the school's authorities to repair the building's structure, update resources, install new computer systems and buy new books to add to the library's collection. A believer that culture and art need to be inculcated, taught and learnt professionally in order to carry traditions forward, Rajen Kilachand, in the early 1990s, donated the Chandan Music School in memory of his beloved late mother, Chandan Kilachand. The foundation for this prestigious music wing at the Doon School was laid by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
Education is a cause that is dear to Mr Kilachand's heart, and he maintains that good, dedicated teachers are the foundation of a successful education system. The Kilachand family has set up facilities and programs to train teachers in order to encourage more men and women to embrace this noble profession. Notable among these is the Teachers Training College in the Hemchandracharya North Gujarat University in Patan, Gujarat.
“Poverty and illiteracy are ugly blots on any nation's economy. The only way the global economy can engage and participate in human development is by embracing the cause of poverty reduction and education to fuel employment.”
Rajen A. KilachandPhoto Gallery