from schools to universities. The Shiv Nadar University is a young and a unique research-led interdisciplinary university established in 2011 at Greater Noida; the Shiv Nadar School – a K12 initiative envisions to set up 25 schools in the next 10 years. So far, the Foundation has invested R1,800-crore in its various activities.
“VidyaGyan, an innovation in school education, reaches out to the top of the bottom of the pyramid and creates leaders from across the cross-section of the society,” says Saurav Adhikari, senior advisor at Shiv Nadar Foundation. “These students have aspirations but are trapped by economic constraints. At VidyaGyan, these brilliant minds are nurtured and empowered with knowledge to become the leaders of tomorrow.”
VidyaGyan has a methodical selection process to handpick potential talent from rural and economically disadvantaged backgrounds from across the state of Uttar Pradesh. Children from rural background with an annual household income of not more than R1 lakh and those who have topped Class 5 Junior State Examination and have studied in a rural government school for at least three consecutive years are shortlisted to appear in the entrance exam, administered by VidyaGyan in partnership with UP government.
“Corporate philanthropy is new in India and we cannot replace the government’s efforts,” says Adhikari, who is also president and global head for corporate strategy at HCL.
“We are different from other initiatives in the sense that we purchase the land at market rates and build the infrastructure facilities. The Foundation is developing a technology driven primary school programme in collaboration with HCL, ‘Shiksha’, currently being tested in rural UP, in partnership with the government,” he adds.
The curriculum at VidyaGyan is reviewed at regular intervals and changes are made accordingly. “We believe that teaching our students to communicate fluently in English is important for preparing them to become future leaders. Along with special courses in English language, imparting computer education is also vital. Our students benefit from the computer labs (fully equipped with internet, printers and scanners) for learning and research activities,” says Adhikari.
The Foundation’s relentless efforts are bearing fruit and a confident and beaming student fraternity is testimony to