Monday, July 31, 2006
Large does not mean low quality
That is of course a possibility, but if Vedanta University sticks to its goal of having the quality of Harvard/Stanford/Oxford/Cambridge then just aiming for 100,000 students will not make it a trade school.
As an example consider the following large universities in the US:
|Arizona State University, Main Campus||51,612|
|University of Minnesota, Twin Cities||51,175|
|The Ohio State University||50,504|
|University of Texas, Austin||49,696|
|University of Florida||49,693|
|Michigan State University||45,166|
|Texas A&M University, College Station||44,910|
|University of Illinois, Urbana||41,862|
|University of Wisconsin, Madison||41,447|
|Pennsylvania State University, University Park||40,709|
All of the above are quite good universities and most are better
than any existing university or other institutions (such as IITs or IISc) in Asia. Most of them have nobel prize winners. Among them the University of Texas at Austin which has 50,000 students is ranked 15th best university in the world.
If Vedanta can be like any of the above university then that would be great for Orissa and India. Finally, I do not think Vedanta is planning to have 100,000 students immediately or even in 5 years. Its goal is to reach its maximum size in 2025. I think by that time a couple of the above universities, especially Arizona State University (the university I work at) will have 100,000 students.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Vedanta’s alumina deal intensifies duel in Orissa
|Union minister Srikanta Jena wrote a letter to the chief minister alleging the deal would result in a loss of Rs 50,000 cr to the exchequer|
|Posted online: Monday, July 31, 2006 at 0000 hours IST|
BHUBANESWAR: An interesting duel between the Naveen Patnaik government and former Union minister and Congress leader, Srikanta Jena, is going on over Vedanta Resources’ 1.4 million tonne alumina project in Kalahandi’s Lanjigarh. While Jena smells a stink in the deal, the BJD-BJP government asserts that the deal is as transparent as ever.
It was Anil Agarwal’s announcement of setting up a world class university, Vedanta University, in the state early this month that prompted Jena into action. At a press conference, he said the proposed university was a ploy to divert the attention of the people from the murky deal between Patnaik and Agarwal on the Lanjigarh refinery project.
The duel became bitter last week when Jena shot off a letter to Patnaik alleging that the deal would result in a loss of Rs 50,000 crore to the exchequer. Disapproving the government’s signing of the agreement with Vedanta Aluminium Ltd (VAL) unilaterally, Jena suggested that Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) could have gone for the global tender route for exploitation of bauxite mines. He questioned the rate at which bauxite will be available to VAL for the Lanjigarh project.
Behera, a simple tribal leader from Phulbani district, showed his grit and slapped a reply. Reminding Jena that the deal with VAL (Sterlite Industries Ltd) was signed during the Congress regime in 1997, he questioned why the then JB Patnaik government did not opt for the global tender route to select a partner for OMC. “Our government has decided to keep the mines with OMC against the Congress government’s plan to transfer the entire mine to VAL”, he pointed out.
Countering Jena’s allegation that OMC, which is selling iron ore and chromite through tender route, is maintaining double standards when it comes to bauxite sale, Behera said the market dynamics of bauxite were quite different from iron ore and chromite. Nowhere in India do the alumina/aluninium industries purchase bauxite through the tendering process. Grant of bauxite mines is the normal practice in the country as in the case of Nalco in Orissa, Hindalco in Uttar Pradesh, and Balco in Chhattisgarh. “The bauxite raised by the OMC-VAL joint venture company shall be purchased by Vedanta by paying OMC an amount which will comprise raising cost, royalty payable to the government of Orissa, consideration money equivalent to royalty, and dividend on its 26% free equity, besides any other statutory dues”, he clarified.
As the duel goes rages, clearly, the last word on the deal is yet to come.
I think most of the issues raised by Mr. Srikanta Jena have been adequately addressed in 2004 in the documents
Thursday, July 27, 2006
New Indian university modeled after StanfordJuly 27, 2006
Modeling after Leland Stanford himself, Anil Agarwal of Vedanta Resources, a metals and mining company in India, has made the largest ever donation granted to a single educational institution anywhere in the world.
With his $1 billion donation, Agarwal established Vedanta University in the Indian state of Orissa. The money, according to Agarwal as quoted in The Chronicle of Higher Education, is set to create a large, multidisciplinary research university resembling Stanford’s “economic hub” style in Silicon Valley.
India’s state-run educational system has long been criticized for using outdated approaches, like rote learning. In the 2004-05 school year, more than 80,000 Indian students entered American universities, according to the Institute of International Education. But with an expected enrollment of over 100,000, beginning with the first class in 2008, Vedanta University may soon attract many of the students who previously left India for foreign universities.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
A google search on Vedanta University related news
Congress complaining about deals with Vedanta
(i) Samaja, July 25th 2006
(ii) Sambada, July 26th 2006
(iii) Samaja, July 26th 2006
I think they are raising the same issue they raised two years back. So the response from the government two years back (see  and ) is still valid.
Congress and other opposition parties should not oppose developements in Orissa just for opposition sake. They should channelize their energey for positive things. For example, they could demand that Vedanta should establish some health centers in other locations in Orissa. Vedanta's medical school will need to do that anyway and Congress can then get some mileage out of it.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
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.
|Tarun Narayan / Mumbai July 26, 2006|
|NEW PROJECT: The Sterlite-group’s Vedanta university education project will invite venture capital funds and angel investors to fund new ideas.|
|The $1 billion (around Rs 4,700 crore) investment-laden Vedanta University will bring in Angel Investors and Venture Capitalists to fund innovative ideas and research outputs that would emerge from the university.|
|On completion, it would be a pointer to VC funds finding their way into the education sector. An “entrepreneurial incubatory” or research park will also be set up to drive entrepreneurship whereby initial seed capital and infrastructure will act as a trigger for launching start-ups.|
|Not just that. To bring the university in league with the likes of Oxford and Harvard universities, the academia will have five to eight faculties of international repute leading its ‘Centres of Excellence’. Some of the premium academic talent from India and overseas will be hired as deans of colleges and heads of faculty departments.|
|The university has also drawn up an organisational structure to operationalise some of its goals.|
|At the highest level, for instance, there will be a board of trustees for university foundation that will comprise leaders from industry and society. They will be followed by University Leadership Team that will comprise of President & Provost. This in turn will be followed by heads and deans of schools and colleges who would then have a faculty pool under them.|
|Several alliances are planned with other campuses so that it facilitates exchange of ideas, research and teaching practices. Says M.Siddiqi, Project Director, Vedanta University, “The University will confer degrees in all streams: engineering, medical and management.”|
|The 10,000 acres of real estate in the Konark-Puri Marine Drive in Orissa where the university will be located has been identified based on criterions like nearness to airport, water body, and other factors like –tucked away from city yet not too far from the city– so that the spot has easy accessibility.|
|Recently, the university signed an MoU with the Orissa Government. The other “first” to this mega-endeavour being that the 1 billion dollar endowment is the highest ever endowment to have been given by any private individual in the entire world, that too for setting up a university. “The objective is to produce leaders in diverse fields: politics, olympians et al,” says Siddiqi.|
|Even the eco-system will be created with this objective in mind. Apart from a Olympic-calibre sports complex that has been talked about, there will also be a township on international lines that will have primary and secondary schools, theaters, cinemas, restaurants and book stores.|
|“Globally whether it is scientists, space-researchers or any other profession, at least 10 per cent faculty are Indians. At least 3 billion dollar goes out of India in the area of education. The focus of this University is to contain this outflow by providing a set up which can compare itself with the world.|
|If Indians can learn in some of those overseas universities why not create one ourselves?,” he asks. While benchmarking with overseas universities, master planners will look at factors like climatic conditions for instance, and this will be used in the master planning.|
|“In Oxford, for example, you can have study groups sitting in lawns, in India you can’t have that as it is too hot. Our master planning will be in lines with the likes of University of Arizona where the climate is more or less like India.” affirms Siddiqi.|
|M/S ASG from USA have been appointed Master planner. They are one of the top three campus master planners of the world. Here then is an academic venture that claims to be a front-runner right at the concept phase.|
Monday, July 24, 2006
Press release dated Oct 19,2004 by Orissa Mining Corporation Ltd.
AGREEMENT OF OMC WITH M/S. VEDANTA ALUMINA
LIMITED IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE STATE.
Govt. of Orissa decided in March, 1997 to develop the bauxite
deposits in Lanjigarh and Karlapat and a MoU with Sterlite Industries Ltd.
was executed during April, 1997 by OMC. After successful negotiation with
Sterlite for setting up an integrated aluminium project consisting of 1 million
tonne Alumina & 2.2 lakh tonne of Aluminium per year, the MoU was
converted into an agreement with M/s. Vedanta Alumina Ltd ( the arm of
M/s. Sterlite Industries for bauxite / Alumina Projects ) on October 5 , 2004
for the Lanjigarh deposit after obtaining due approvals. Govt. of India has
also approved the mining lease for the Lanjigarh bauxite deposits in favour
of OMC after being fully informed of the terms and conditions of the above
In this regard a number of misleading, concocted and baseless news
reports have appeared in the press on which OMC wishes to clarify as under:
In order to set up an integrated aluminium project, a mining lease of
Bauxite is an essential requirement, grant of which is the normal practice in
the country which can be seen from the cases of NALCO in Orissa,
HINDALCO in U.P. and BALCO in Chhatisgarh. The MoU of 1997,
envisaged clearly the transfer of the mining lease to M/s. Sterlite. The
amendment to rule 37(2) of Mineral Concession Rules of the Govt of India,
prohibits a PSU to charge or accept any consideration on per tonne basis in
respect of a mining lease transferred to another party. Since the original
MoU was providing for payment of consideration money to OMC which
was not possible after the amendment to the Mineral Concession Rules,
OMC protected its interest by not transferring the lease to M/s.VAL as
required under the MoU and insisted upon by Vedanta. Had the transfer of
lease been done as per the 1997 MoU, OMC would not have received any
consideration on per tonne basis from Vedanta Alumina and thereby lost
around Rs.675 crores which has been checked as a result of this agreement.
The detailed factual position is placed below to clarify the issues
which have been highlighted in the recent media reports:
1) It has been reported that OMC will pay all legal obligations to all
statutory authorities such as sales tax, etc. However, as per the agreement,
OMC will recover such dues from Vedanta Alumina and will pass on to
the statutory authorities, as OMC is the lessee vide clause No.2.3.3(a).
2) It has been highlighted that Vedanta will transfer the bauxite so
raised from Lanjigarh to outside the State. In this regard, it is clarified
that the clause (b) of the preamble clearly brings out that Vedanta will
set up a 1 million tonne/annum alumina plant at Lanjigarh and a 2.2
lakh tonnes aluminium smelter at Bhukhamunda, Jharsuguda along
with 600 MW capacity of captive power plant. Hence question of
transferring bauxite to outside State does not arise. The agreement at
Sl.No.2.3.2 (e) clearly specifies that bauxite ore from the mines will be
utilized exclusively in the proposed refinery of Vedanta to be established
3) As regards the report that OMC will not share in the profit, it may be
noted that OMC holds 26% free equity share in the J.V.C. and is
entitled to get 26% of the declared dividend.
4) It is also claimed that in the name of testing purpose M/s .VAL will
take away35 lakh MT of bauxite from Lanjigarh to outside the State. We
wish to clarify that during prospecting period, the job of the lessee is to
ascertain the quantity and quality of the mineral. For that purpose,
maximum 5-10 tonne of mineral is required. Hence in the name of
testing, removal of 35 lakh tonnes of bauxite outside Orissa without
permission of OMC and Govt. of Orissa is a figment of imagination.
5) As regards the report that OMC cannot do anything if Vedanta fails in
achieving its target and that OMC Directors can not participate in their day
to day management in respect of the joint venture company, it is clarified
that adequate provisions have been kept in the agreement for protecting
the interest of the OMC by serving notice for termination of the
agreement for failure in achieving the milestones and the agreement
also provides for dispute resolution mechanism as per Indian
6) It has also been reported that Lanjigarh Mines are worth more than
Rs. 80,000 crores and even in domestic market OMC will lose Rs.500/- per
tonne of bauxite. In this regard, the factual position is that Lanjigarh
bauxite reserve is about 75 million ton and not 125 million tonnes as
claimed in the Press reports. OMC had committed to supply upto
150 million tons. The allegation of OMC losing Rs.500/- per tonne of
bauxite is baseless when the cost price of bauxite is not more than
Rs.200/- per tonne. It is pertinent to mention here that bauxite is not
usually sold as raw material nor its market price quoted. It is normally
transferred at cost price to the alumina plant from the mines of the
alumina producer. Such transfer is made by NALCO from its mines at
a cost of around Rs. 168/- per tonne. Even if Rs. 200/- per tonne is
taken as a the price, the total cost of 150 million tonne will be Rs. 3000
crores, not Rs. 80,000 crores as alleged. As against this Rs. 3000 crores,
the investment on the integrated alluminium complex will be nearly 5
times besides employment opportunities and flow of revenue to the
State. It is indeed unfortunate that when the 1997 MoU has been vastly
improved upon under the Agreement and the interests of the OMC
have been protected by not transferring the lease of the mines, such
highly misleading and palpably untrue allegations have been made.
COUNCIL OF MINISTERS CONFIRMS DECISION ON AGREEMENT BETWEEN OMC LTD.
AND M/s VEDANTA ALUMINA LTD.
His Excellency, the Governor of Orissa in a letter to the Chief
Minister had requested that the matter of the agreement between M/s.
OMC Ltd. and M/s Vedanta Alumina Ltd. be placed before the Council
of Ministers for its consideration. Accordingly, this matter was
placed before the 3 rd meeting of the Council of Ministers held
today, dt.29.11.2004. After careful consideration of the issues
raised in the letter of His Excellency, the Governor and detailed
deliberation thereon, the Council of Ministers not only approved the
decision of the Govt. in the Dept. of Steel & Mines, but also
approved the agreement. The issues raised and the brief answers to
the same are provided below:
Issue : Was the MoU of April, 1997 valid when the agreement was
Answer: The MoU of 1997 was renewed from time to time and was valid
on the date of agreement.
Issue : With 26% of equity share, OMC will not have
adequate say in the day-to-day management of the joint venture
Answer : 26% equity share is a controlling interest and the
State Government will be able to ensure that no resolution of the
Board is passed which adversely affects the interest of either OMC
Ltd. or the State Government.
Issue : Government and OMC did not consider going for an open
Answer : The Agreement was to be executed within the framework of
MoU which has been signed in 1997. This MoU did not envisage any
tendering process. The MoU of 1997 clearly promised transfer of
lease of 2 mines namely Lanjigarh and Karlapat by OMC Ltd to M/s
Sterlite Industries (I) Ltd. Introduction of a third party through a
tendering process would have vitiated the understanding. Moreover,
brining in a Page 3 3 third party as raising contractor would have
created serious complications between OMC Ltd. and M/s. Vedanta
Alumina Ltd particularly if the performance of the contractor did
not satisfy the requirement of M/s. Vedanta Alumina Ltd. Therefore,
the question of inviting tenders for raising contractor after more
than 7 years simply does not arise. When a clear assurance has been
provided in the MoU to the party concerned, going back on such an
assurance would not only be a breach of trust, but would also
vitiate the investment climate in the State.
Issue: Foundation stone was laid by Hon’ble Chief Minister, Orissa
without having captive mines.
Answer : The foundation stone laid by the Chief Minister was
independent of the agreement signed on 5 th October, 2004. The
foundation stone was laid for alumina plant and not for the bauxite
mines. The foundation stone laying was done only after the State
Govt. had executed the MoU with M/s Vedanta Alumina Ltd on 7.6.2003
through the Industries Department.
Issue : Government and OMC did not consider export of bauxite.
Answer : The unequivocal policy of the State Government is to add
value to minerals within the State as far as possible. Hence export
of bauxite ore outside the State by a third party was not envisaged.
Issue: Why did OMC agree for a price of approximately Rs.250/- per
metric tonne when the market price is much higher ?
Answer: In fact, bauxite is not sold in the open market. The major
companies such as NALCO and HINDALCO have captive deposits and use
the bauxite for their alumina plants. It has been ascertained that
the pithead price of bauxite for NALCO is Rs.168/- per metric tonne.
At the international level, the bauxite is sold at 16-17 US$ or say
Rs.782/- per metric Page 5 5 tonne. But this price is the FOB price
which includes cost of transportation from mines to port, loading
and unloading charges, chemical analysis, port charges etc. If this
price is analysed, it would be seen that the actual cost of the
bauxite itself would be to the tune of approximately Rs.230/- per
tonne at the pithead (apportioned cost of machine used in mining
plus cost of labour plus the chemical analysis charges Rs.168/- plus
royalty of Rs.60/- = Rs.228/- say Rs.230/-). Hence the approximate
price of Rs.250/- per metric tonne being paid by M/s Vedanta Alumina
Ltd to OMC Ltd is very much in tune with the prevailing price. Also,
there is only one exporter in India which is exporting bauxite in
very small quantities at 16-17 US$. But this is also FOB price. Here
too, the cost of bauxite itself works out to approximately Rs.200/-
per metric tonne.
Issue : Setting up of an aluminium smelter was made optional for M/s
Vedanta Alumina Ltd.
Answer: M/s Vedanta Alumina Ltd have resolved in a Board meeting
held on 18.11.2004 that they will set up the aluminium smelter in
Orissa and are agreeable for due amendment to the agreement.
Issue: The agreement was not approved by the Board of OMC Ltd.
Answer: The agreement was approved by the 345 th meeting of the
Board of OMC Ltd held on 26.06.2004 and 27.06.2004.
Three main dimensions of Vedanta in Orissa
First and foremost one must make a distinction between the Vedanta company and Vedanta university. The publicly traded Vedanta Company is not making the Vedanta University. The Vedanta Company has not established the $1 billion endowment for the Vedanta University. Mr. Anil Agarwal of Vedanta Company has established the $1 billion endowment from his own personal fortune.
However, since many people will link Vedanta University with the Vedanta Company,
we will briefly touch upon the two issues/controversies. So the two issues related to the Lanjigarh operations are:
(i) The mining lease and related MOUs/agreements that they have with the Orissa government.
(ii) The environmental issues associated with the Lanjigarh operations.
On issue (i) we were able to find couple of documents from 2004 that answers the controversy. We will list excerpts from those documents in another posting.
On issue (ii) supreme court is involved, environmental agencies are involved, etc. So our take on them is to let those take their course. That is how things should be in a democratic country with rules of laws. If Vedanta satisfies all these agencies and the supreme court and then does the operations then we are fine; subject to proper R & R. If not, Vedanta will not be able to mine, and then the controvesy on this issue will vanish.
Now the reason we separate the issues (i) and (ii) from the issue of Vedanta University is that Mr. Anil Agarwal has operations in many countries. If pacifying issues like (i) and (ii) were the reason behind setting up the Vedanta university foundation then he could have split that money and set up many smaller institutions in the various places where he has operations.
So, even if there are some issues with respect to (i) and (ii) there is no doubt that a $1 billion (Rs 5000 crores) endowment is a groundbreaking action in India. Taking into account purchasing power parity it is closer to the actions of Bill and Melinda Gates in setting of their foundation and the recent action of Warren Buffet donating a large chunk of his money to that foundation. Plus no individual person has donated
that much to an university ever, and anywhere in the world. This is an unparallelled act. One most also note that Bll Gates' Microsoft has been introuble in recent years and has been fined by various agencies. That does not make Bill Gates, less of a philanthropist and no one doubts the sincereity of his foundations. Similarly, let us give Mr. Anil Agarwal a chance to create this mega university which will benefit Orissa tremendously.
With respect to the university, some people have questioned the amount of land he has asked for. First, he is paying for the land. If people are willing to sell him the land, then others have no say in it. With respect to the government land others have a say as a citizen. But then they should behave like citizens. If they have elected a government, then they should let the government do its job. Unless the government is doing something illegal, people should not take matters to their own hand beyond throwing the government (or campaigning to throw the government) out in the next elections. Anyhing other than that is "mob rule" and not democracy.
Having said all that does Vedanta need 10,000 acres of land and what will it do with that land? Are they trying to hoodwink the Orissa government in selling them this land at IDCO rates? Are they going to take the land in the name of the university and then do something else?
Following is our take on it. Vedanta aims to have 100,000 students in that university. A university of 100,000 would need a staff of another 10-15 thousand at least. This is the minimum. Anil Agarwal has talked about developing organizations such as Stanford Research Institute which will be associated with the university and collaborate with university faculty and students to research. Such companies can employ another 5-10 thousand people. So we are talking about the land required to house 120,000 people with academic departments, research buildings, swimming pools, stadiums, shopping areas etc. This is almost a small town. In Orissa, this town will be close to the 6th largest town. (The population of various cities and towns in Orissa are: Bhubaneswar+CTC - 15,77,016; Raurkela - 524,473; Brahmapur - 334,006; Sambalpur - 245,797; Puri - 174,218; Baripada - 122,462; Baleshwar - 116, 420; Bhadrak - 100206; Balangir - 92,753; Barbil - 57,959; Bargarh - 69,943; Bhawanipatna - 65,385; Brajarajnagar - 79,976; Dhenkanala - 63,391; Jatni - 56,316; Jaypur - 81,878; Jharsuguda - 80,438; Kendujhar - 56,797; Paradwip - 89,228; Rayagada - 62,313; Sunabeda - 61285)
So is it reasonable to accumulate 10,000 acres for 120,000 people?
10,000 acres = 40.5 sq km i.e an area of 5 km by 8 km.
It may seem a bit big by Indian standards. But for comparison, as mentioned in the Wikipedia, IIT Kharagpur has 2100 acres for 5000 students, 500 faculty, 2200 employees and a total of 15,000 inhabitants. So Vedanta University with 20 times more students but 5 times the land is not that bad. Lets consider Mumbai, where real estate is really expensive. IIT Mumbai has 550 acres for 4,200 students. Vedanta will have 20 times the land for 25 times the student. So it is not that bad.
International media coverage of Vedanta
Source: Vedanta University
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 06:07 PM IST (12:37 PM GMT)
Editors: General: Economy, Social issues; Business: Business services, Education & training, Mining companies
The Anil Agarwal Foundation Announces a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Orissa to Establish Vedanta University
Government of Orissa identifies 8,000 acres of land near the Konark-Puri Marine Drive to set up India’s first world-class, multi-disciplinary university in the state
Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India, Wednesday, July 19, 2006 -- (Business Wire India)
The Anil Agarwal Foundation–promoted by Mr. Anil Agarwal, Chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc-today announced that it has chosen Orissa as the location for the world-class, multi-disciplinary Vedanta University. The formal announcement was made here today at a brief ceremony held at the State Secretariat where a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with the Government of Orissa. Mr. Anil Agarwal has committed a personal endowment of USD 1 billion towards the setting up of the Vedanta University.
Mr. Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Orissa, who graced the signing ceremony, said, “It is a matter of pride that Vedanta is going to set up a world-class university in India. We are proud that this university is going to be located in Orissa. I hope this university will be the guiding light for thousands of students, both national and international, and will put in motion an immense knowledge revolution in our state.”
Speaking with the media just after the signing ceremony, Mr. Anil Agarwal commented, “India has the potential to be a global leader in business, technology, science, performing arts and sports. The Vedanta University will make global standards of educational excellence more accessible to the future generations of our country thereby creating tomorrow’s Nobel laureates, Olympic champions and heads of government & state. It is my honour and privilege to dedicate the Vedanta University to the people of India”.
Dr. Werner Kreuz, Managing Director of A.T. Kearney, Germany, who are consultants to Vedanta University said, “I am pleased to announce that after careful consideration and an exhaustive search, it has been decided to locate the Vedanta University in the State of Orissa. The Government of Orissa has committed to support and partner with the Vedanta University and it shares our vision of creating a centre of academia that will be amongst the best in the world and the first such university in India. The State Government will pass specific legislation to provide complete administrative autonomy to the Vedanta University. The State Government has identified 8000 acres of land near the Konark-Puri Marine Drive for the campus. The Government will also provide allied infrastructure including an expressway which will connect the campus to Bhubaneswar airport”.
The Vedanta University has appointed the globally acclaimed architecture firm, Ayers Saint Gross to prepare the master plan for the university. This firm has designed some of the best campuses in the world and has 90 years of rich experience with specialization in projects of higher education.
About the Vedanta University
The Vedanta University has been conceived as a world class, multi-disciplinary university. The vision includes the spawning of a research township that grows with the university. Besides serving as a ‘regional economic engine’ the university will set up state-of-the-art infrastructure to drive overall development beyond the academic dimension. The objective is to drive cutting-edge research and produce generations of Indian and global students who will go on to earn laurels in their chosen fields. The Vedanta University, based on a ‘not-for-profit’ philosophy, has been conceived with an autonomous governance structure, made possible by an endowment that provides self-sufficiency.
A university of this stature can have immediate impact on the local economy, by driving significant direct and indirect employment and economic value addition. However, in the longer term, this university will enable the creation of a ‘thriving ecosystem’, in terms of, academia, research, industry and government inter-linkages, resulting in the development of a new ‘economic hub’. Stanford University’s Research Park has spawned more than 1200 companies in the Silicon Valley, with a combined market capitalization of more than USD 300 Billion. The vision of the Vedanta University is to be a similar enabler for India.
The university’s academic and research agenda will reflect its ‘multi-disciplinary’ vision through colleges focusing on a variety of disciplines, including Liberal Arts, Basic Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Law, Business and Performing Arts, as also ‘Centers of Excellence’ for cross-disciplinary research in areas like Agriculture, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology, Information and Communication Technology, Health Sciences, Rural Economics and Manufacturing Sciences. The Vedanta University would offer graduate, post-graduate and doctoral programmes with world-renowned faculty and potential Nobel laureates driving the academic and research agenda. At the core will be a high calibre, globally diversified student body, comprising an equal mix of Indian and international students. It is envisaged that as the university grows, it would also enable the establishment of other R&D centres, knowledge-based industries and start-ups, to create a vibrant, education and research township.
The estimated outlay for developing the university in phases is Rs.15,000 crores. Earlier this year, the Anil Agarwal Foundation had announced an endowment of USD 1 billion for the setting up of the Vedanta University. The university expects to begin enrolling students in 2008.
To view the photographs please click on the links given below:
For press backgrounder on Vedanta University click here
Media contact details
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Tuesday, July 25, 2006 01:24 IST
The government’s delay in taking a decision led to a loss of Rs5,000 crore investment and a world-class university. Chairman of Vedanta Resources Anil Agarwal signed an MoU with the Orissa government last week after the Maharashtra government failed to
“The biggest problem was providing 5,000 acres of land adjoining Mumbai and Pune,” said minister for higher and technical education Dilip Walse-Patil.
The Orissa government provided 9,000 acres of land between Puri and Konark and in the process walked away with a mega project.
“Coalition politics along with state’s failure to get the Private University Bill cleared because of a dispute on the reservation quota during the monsoon session has affected the investment,” said an official.
A few NCP and Congress leaders want 50 per cent quotas in private universities.
A proposal to set up Vedanta University with a $1billion investment by Vedanta Resources was presented before the state government. Agarwal had sought the PM’s support too.
“The Vedanta University will make global standards of educational excellence more accessible to the future generations of our country, thereby creating Nobel laureates, Olympic champions and heads of the government and state,” the chairman had said.
The multi-disciplinary university will be set up in phases. The enrolment will start from 2008.
According to a university statement, “The future non-profit institution will aim to compete globally for the finest students, lecturers, and researchers with world renowned universities such as Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford.”
Some links to Vedanta University related news
[Webindia][DNA India July 20]