Mumbai: Personalities such as Anand Mahindra, R. Seshasayee, Sajjan Jindal, and former Reserver Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan came together on Friday to announce the launch of Krea University, which will focus on liberal arts and science courses.
These leaders will be associated with the university either as members of the governing or academic councils.
Around Rs750 crore will be spent in the first phase of setting up Krea University. Corporate houses and other donors have pledged their support and 70-80% of the amount is already in sight, said Seshasayee, former chairman of Infosys Ltd. He will be chairman of Krea University’s supervisory board.
Set up as a private university, it will offer four-year residential honours degrees in arts and science. The first batch will commence in July 2019.
Defending corporates who are accused of not speaking freely on issues, the Mahindra and Mahindra chairman said, “I am paid by my shareholders. They do not pay me to court controversy. They certainly want me to make money. If I give up my business and retire, I’m going to say what the hell I like."
“That’s why universities are important...because they are safe houses, because nobody can attack them, because by the act of helping them or sponsoring them, you do create conversations in society. No one can attack a university for doing that," he added.
Rajan stressed on the need to nurture the idea of debate and discussion. “We need to learn to respect universities as places where ideas are debated," he said.