Monday, February 19, 2007
Sunday, February 18, 2007
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.
Friday, February 09, 2007
Thursday, February 01, 2007
In today’s Samaja there is a full page ad by Vedanta University where it talks about the vision of Vedanta University.
While some people in Orissa are questioning the need of 8000 acres by Vedanta, a more enlightened Andhra Pradesh is actually spending its own money to create a similar city. In comparison, Orissa is getting $1 billion from Anil Agarwal foundation which they will use to establish the $3 billion (the other $2 billion probably comes from the development around the university) Vedanta University and the surrounding city. (Note that the land that is being acquired for this purpose is not for free; Vedanta University is paying for it, not the Orissa state government.)
|State Govt firm on setting up of university|
|However, the State Government is firm on its decision on setting up of the university and going ahead with the process of land acquisition by issuing notices to the villagers. The villagers, in their turn, have been refusing to receive the notices from the officials of district administration. |
|The highest amount of 1,240 acres of land is being proposed which is to be acquired in village Beladala near Puri town. |
|In the latest political move, the Congress organised a visit of Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development Mohammed Ali Asraf Fatimi to some villages to be affected by establishment of the university. |
|Fatimi, who officially came to review the working of the midday meal programme in schools, also chose to visit some villages where the Government has initiated the land acquisition process for the university. He met the agitating villagers and discussed the issue with them. |
|On his return to Puri, Fatimi made a statement opposing the establishment of the university. He argued that as many as 25 big universities could have been set up on those lands proposed to be acquired for the Vedanta University. He expressed his surprise that his Ministry has no information regarding establishment of such a big university. |
|He commented that at a time when the Orissa Government is unable to provide only 500 acres of land for establishment of a new Indian Institute of Technology in the State, it is going ahead with a proposal for setting up of a university on 8,000 acres of land. |
|The State has also not sought permission or clearance from the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment for establishment of the university.|