Courtesy of Bhaskar Mittra

Dr. Prabhu Pingali, the founder of the Tata-Cornell Institute, met with a women’s self-help group in India. TCI is having a five-year celebration on Friday.

December 4, 2018

Tata-Cornell Institute Celebrates 5 Years of Field Work to Combat Food Insecurity and Poverty in India

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Since starting in 2013 with three staff members and a $25 million endowment, the Tata-Cornell institute has expanded its on-the-ground research and will celebrate its five-year anniversary on Friday, Dec. 7.

The celebration will showcase research, program accomplishments and scholar highlights, according to the event page.

The institute’s endowment comes from the Tata Education and Development Trust, created by entrepreneur Ratan Tata ’62. Since then, the Tata-Cornell Institute for Agriculture and Nutrition has conducted long-term research initiatives focusing on the design and evaluation of innovative interventions linking agriculture, food systems, human nutrition and poverty in India, according to its website.

The institute is a part of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and is hosted by the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, according to their website. The organization’s main office is located at Cornell’s Ithaca campus, but there are multiple active field research locations in rural India, in addition to satellite offices in Mumbai and New Delhi.

Scholars from the institute include dozens of Ph.D. and masters students who “conduct intensive field work as an integral part their thesis research.” Additionally, TCI received a grant for $13.4 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to “establish our flagship project Technical Assistance and Research for India Nutrition and Agriculture,” according to the institute’s website.

Dr. Prabhu Pingali is the founding director of the Tata-Cornell Institute and has been at its helm since 2013. Under his leadership, TCI has established seven projects and three TARINA projects over the last five years. Some of the projects include community-led total sanitation and the institution of AguaClara drinking water systems.