Philanthropy in India: Shiv Nadar seeks land in Noida for university project

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Shiv NadarMUMBAI: HCL’s Founder and Chairman Shiv Nadar is making a second foray into university education having sought 300 acres of land in Noida, near New Delhi, to set up a Rs 300-crore multi-disciplinary university.

Former Cabinet Secretary T S R Subramaniam is said to be advising Nadar on this venture. The university will be residential and is expected to be operational by 2009.

The Forbes-listed Indian billionaire joins Mukesh Ambani and Anil Agarwal in committing funds to a major university project.

“Every company is looking at its human resource needs that other institutions are not able to provide,” said a source close to the development.

This university will be Nadar’s second major venture in education after Chennai-based SSN Institutions, which offers graduate courses and research programmes in engineering, biomedical engineering, IT and management.

“Education is a sunrise sector. Investments in this sector are limited, but the returns are very promising. This is why even companies are finding this interesting,” said another source, who is part of Nadar’s university development team.

LEARNING TO GROW
Investor  Place  Investment
(In Rs Crore)
Anil Agarwal 
Vedanta Resources Plc 
Orissa  4,200
Shiv Nadar 
HCL 
Noida  300
Mukesh Ambani 
Reliance Industries
Pune  100

India’s higher education sector is worth Rs 100,000 crore today and is expected to treble over three to five years, said industry players, as faster economic growth raises the demand for qualified people.

In 2006, Anil Agarwal, chairman, Vedanta Resources Plc, announced plans for a multi-disciplinary university in Orissa, where it is setting up an aluminium smelter, with an endowment fund of up to $1 billion and modelled on Harvard, Stanford and Oxford.

Mukesh Ambani is also reportedly planning a university in Pune at an investment of Rs 100 crore to offer courses in science, arts and professional disciplines.

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