‘Kya aap mere saath hai?’ Vedanta Chairman seeks support for billion-dollar university project in Odisha | Mint
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Business News/ Companies / News/  ‘Kya aap mere saath hai?’ Vedanta Chairman seeks support for billion-dollar university project in Odisha
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‘Kya aap mere saath hai?’ Vedanta Chairman seeks support for billion-dollar university project in Odisha

Vedanta Group Chairman Anil Agarwal seeks support to build a 'world-class' university in Odisha, a billion-dollar project stuck in court.

Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta Resources Ltd. (REUTERS file photo)Premium
Anil Agarwal, chairman of Vedanta Resources Ltd. (REUTERS file photo)

Vedanta Group Chairman Anil Agarwal has sought the support of his followers to fulfill his dream of building a "world-class" university in Odisha- a billion-dollar project that is stuck in court for years.

In a post on the X platform, the business tycoon explained his vision for the planned project. The idea to build a university came from his first visit to the United States, several years ago.

"I had gone in search of equipment and funding for my own business. I was amazed at the speed with which things happened, the quality of entrepreneurship, and the grand vision that lay at the core of everything they did. I hadn’t experienced this in India. I realised that the difference lay in the education system. Their 40 top universities lay great emphasis on R&D, entrepreneurship and on enabling students to study with flexibility, subjects that were close to their heart," the Vedanta chairman wrote.

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He said that around 1,600 years ago, students from around the world used to come to India to study at universities like Nalanda and Takshashila. However, at present, scores of Indian students go to other countries to pursue higher education. "One study has estimated that by 2024 around $80 billion of foreign exchange will be spent by Indian students studying overseas, not just for fees but also living costs which can be substantial. This pains me," the industrialist wrote.

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The Vedanta chairman had envisaged creating a university that would include a special focus on "liberal arts, medicine, and entrepreneurship". Besides, Agarwal dreamt of creating a university in which 30% of students admitted would either be charged a subsidised fee or no fee at all.

Agarwal said he allocated $1 billion for the university from his own resources and committed to raise another $2 billion from other sources.

Agarwal had also appointed renowned academic William Chace, President of Emory University in the US to lead 'Vedanta University' in Odisha's Puri.

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Expressing disappointment of not being able to fulfill his dream, he added, "The world doesn’t want India to become an education hub. Many NGOs got involved and took the matter to the Supreme Court. It has taken several years and the vision still remains a dream".

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Agarwal acknowledged the recent education reforms in the country and added, "There is an opportunity to extend the scope of the university to become a digital university...I am hopeful that I will sit on the campus of this university in my lifetime and interact with the finest minds and best talent from all over India".

Agarwal concluded his post with a question, "Kya aap mere saath hain? (Are you there with me).

Agarwal also posted a video of his dream university.

 

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Published: 15 Nov 2023, 12:29 PM IST
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