Shiv Nadar, the founder chairman of software major HCL Technologies, announced on Monday that he would set up a research-led multidisciplinary university at Greater Noida, a satellite town of Delhi. The Shiv Nadar University, named after the IT billionaire, marks the germination of an idea that was incubated five years ago in the mind of Nadar, who thought of the concept in his zest to make a creative difference in India’s educational system.
“The University will be endowment-led, research-driven with multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach,” Nadar told Hindustan Times. The total endowment would be R1,000 crore. Education is not a virgin territory for Nadar. The Shiv Nadar Foundation runs the VidyaGyan School at Bulandshahar in Uttar Pradesh that aims at nurturing talent and leadership amongst the highly gifted rural poor children of UP.
A visibly happy Nadar said with the setting up of this University, he feels the same excitement as was when HCL was first formed in 1976. Nadar had already committed a 10% of his wealth for philanthropic causes. His total worth has been estimated at around R15,000 crore.
Nadar said an undergraduate student spends close to $150,000-$200,000 seeking degrees on foreign shores and a good chunk comes from North India. “At undergraduate levels one doesn’t get scholarships. The idea to create a world class University at Greater Noida was born out of this need.”
It will offer courses in engineering, social sciences, natural sciences, schools of business and other professional courses in due time. “We will start admissions from this academic session itself and the total intake this year would be around 200-300 students,” said Dr Nikhil Sinha, the founding vice-chancellor of the University. Sinha has served as associate dean for academic affairs at the University of Texas.