About us

Dakshana is a Sanskrit word meaning to give or receive a gift. The Dakshana Foundation is a young philanthropic foundation focused on alleviating poverty. Education is the most powerful and enduring weapon to win the battle against poverty. Thus, Dakshana is focused on providing world-class educational opportunities to economically and socially disadvantaged gifted children worldwide.

Since 2007, the Dakshana two-year scholarship program has been providing world-class IIT-JEE coaching, for two years, starting in 11th grade to gifted, but impoverished students in rural India. This is being done in partnership with the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) school system set up by the Government of India for rural India.

Since 2014, Dakshana has instituted the one-year scholarship program, to help deserving students from state government schools across India, to prepare for the IIT JEE & medical entrance exams.

Dakshana was founded by Mohnish Pabrai and his spouse, Harina Kapoor. Effective giveback is very hard to do. One is forced to confront problems that have defied solutions for decades on end - after tremendous resources and brain power have been directed by them. Billions of humans still do not have the fundamentals of adequate food, shelter, education, healthcare, and a sustainable livelihood. To this end, Dakshana's management is pragmatic. We do not believe we can solve the problems of the world. We do, however, believe that we can make a small dent if we approach charitable giveback with a laser-focus and a business mindset. In business, return on invested capital (ROI) is of fundamental importance. And we think it ought to be equally important when one embarks on giveback. Resources are always limited and one needs to maximize the returns one generates from them. To this end, in general, education of India’s rural impoverished but gifted children has an ROI that is off the charts.

The Dakshana Foundation is a tax-exempt private charitable foundation approved by the IRS in the United States under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. The Dakshana India Educational Trust is an approved charity by various government entities in India. Harina & Mohnish setup the Dakshana Foundation (in the US) and the Dakshana India Educational Trust (in India) in 2006. They would like to eventually recycle virtually their entire estate back to society, and help thousands of gifted kids from impoverished rural backgrounds get into IIT and other exceptional universities around the globe every year.


For more information on the The Dakshana Foundation and its work, please visit www.dakshana.org


Read Dakshana’s annual reports here: http://dakshana.org/reports/