Personal Message from Shailendra "Shail" Kumar, Founder & President, Nalanda 2.0
Growing up in a middle-class family in India it was evident to me that education was the only way to secure a better future. So, I studied really hard and did well in school and then joined IIT Kharagpur for my undergraduate studies. Looking back, I can say with certainty that I am who I am because of my education, especially higher education.
With the experience of founding two start-ups and working in several Fortune 500 companies and two world-class multi-disciplinary research universities, I have developed a deeper appreciation of the value of higher education system—its critical role in preparing youth for their lives and careers, solving problems that matter to the society, and spurring the research, innovation, and start-up ecosystem.
Unfortunately, India's higher education system is in crisis. Thus, I am deeply concerned about the hundreds of millions of young men and women in India who will need access to excellent higher education. It is time to do everything we can to transform this ailing system.
For my part, to make a difference, starting 1992 I volunteered for over 15 years for IIT Kharagpur and IIT alumni network. In 2006, I decided to commit full-time to higher education and joined UC Berkeley. After a brief stint at UC San Diego, in 2014, I decided to commit full-time to this mission.
In the past five years, I wrote a book on this subject titled: Building Golden India: How to unleash India's vast potential and transform its higher education system. Now. This book is the foundation for Nalanda 2.0. I have also been writing blogs and articles, giving talks at universities such as IIT Gandhinagar, IIM Calcutta, Princeton, Stanford, and UC Berkeley, and forums such as Berkeley India conference and IIT Bay Area Leadership conference. I have also met officials in the Prime Minister’s Office, MHRD, NITI Aayog, New Education Policy Committee, and several state government leaders.
Now, I am asking you to make a financial contribution that would help Nalanda 2.0 advance its mission and accelerate and amplify its impact.
(Note: Nalanda 2.0 is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section (IRC) 501 (c) (3). Donors can deduct their contributions that they make to Nalanda 2.0 under IRC Section 170.)