The Bharti family, led by Sunil Mittal, has pledged Rs 7,000 crore — 10% of their family wealth, which includes 3% of their stake in the country’s largest telecom firm Bharti Airtel — to the Bharti Foundation, their philanthropic arm.
The Bharti family, led by Sunil Mittal, has pledged Rs 7,000 crore — 10% of their family wealth, which includes 3% of their stake in the country’s largest telecom firm Bharti Airtel — to the Bharti Foundation, their philanthropic arm. The foundation, which runs the Satya Bharti schools in northern India for underprivileged children, now plans to set up the Satya Bharti University, which would provide free education in science and technology to deserving youth from economically weaker sections of the society. The pledged amount of Rs 7,000 crore would mostly go into setting up of the university in northern India, close to Delhi and Chandigarh on 100 acres of land, Bharti Enterprises chairman Sunil Mittal said on Thursday.
“We are not in this for business,” Mittal said at a conference along with his brothers Rakesh and Rajan Mittal. He said that discussions are on with various states including Punjab and Haryana to finalise the location. Mittal said he expected the groundbreaking ceremony to take place by early next year and the first academic session would commence by 2021. The proposed university would focus on advanced technologies like artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality and virtual reality and internet of things in addition to offering degrees in electrical and electronics engineering and management.
“Given our attachment to technology, we would like it to be very significantly focused on technology on the lines of MIT, Stanford, Berkeley..,” Mittal said. The new university will seek partnerships and industry linkages with tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Apple. Over a period of time the fully residential university will have 10,000 students, Mittal said. The setting up of the university will require Rs 1,000 crore initially and a large amount will be needed to run it thereafter, he said. While courses will be free for meritorious students who belong to economically weaker sections of the society, in case of any unfilled vacancies that would be offered to general candidates, the fee charged by government universities would be levied.