Sunday, February 18, 2007


Nobel laureates being tapped for proposed Vedanta varsity


Nobel laureates being tapped for proposed Vedanta varsity

Posted online: Monday, February 19, 2007 at 0000 hours IST

BHUBANESWAR: The Anil Agarwal Foundation has launched a worldwide search for academics for its proposed Vedanta University in Orissa.

"We are scouting for faculty members for the university. The list includes a few Nobel laureates," said Vednata group vice-president, AK Samal. Some internationally acclaimed academics from Indian diaspora have shown interest, he said.

The Vedanta University will have 10,000 faculty members for one lakh students. Forty thousand non-teaching staff will assist students and faculty members.

The Anil Agarwal Foundation, a trust floated by the family members of Anil Agarwal, chairman of the London-based Vedanta Resources, is proposing to set up a world class university on 10,000 acre at the Puri-Konark marine drive with an investment of Rs 15,000 crore. The foundation has committed $1 billion to start the university, which will have 95 disciplines, including engineering, medical, IT, bio-technology, and molecular neuro-biology.

Samal was here recently to address a seminar on financing higher education organised by the Bhubaneswar Management Forum.

He said the completion of the first phase of the project would be delayed owing to land acquisition problem. The admission process would start from 2009 instead of 2008, as planned earlier, he added.

Samal said without private investment, India would not be able to increase the enrolment level in higher education to 15% from the current level of 7%, as suggested by the National Knowledge Commission.

The country would require another 1,500 universities, which calls for huge investment. The role of the public-private partnership would become crucial in such a scenario, he said. In this context, Samal sought regulatory changes in higher education and said the role of the University Grants Commission and the All India Council for Technical Education should be redefined.

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