Tuesday, July 25, 2006


Baltimore architects hired to design new Indian university

Baltimore architecture firm Ayers Saint Gross has been selected to design the campus of a new university in eastern India that is being funded with a billion-dollar gift from an Indian businessman.

The university is being funded by Anil Agarwal, chairman of metals and mining company Vedanta Resources Plc. In a statement issued Tuesday, Adam Gross, principal in charge of Ayers Saint Gross, compared Agarwal's donation to the founding of major American universities such as Stanford and Carnegie Mellon by the business tycoons of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Unlike many Indian institutions, which focus on technical skills, Vedanta University will emulate comprehensive American universities with programs in liberal arts, science, engineering, medicine, law, business and performing arts.

"India has the potential to be a global leader in business, technology, science, performing arts and sports," Agarwal said in the statement. The new university "will make global standards of educational excellence more accessible to the future generations of our country."

Ayers Saint Gross, which specializes in architecture for college campuses, has performed planning work for universities including University of Virginia, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Emory and Carnegie Mellon.

The university plans to start enrolling students in 2008. It is to be located on 8,000 acres of land in the state of Orissa, near Bhubaneswar, that state's capital.

The Financial Times of London reported July 22 that the university is envisoned to include 100,000 students and a 40,000 person college town. Agarwal divides his time between London and India, the newspaper said.

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