To recreate their own experience of learning at US universities, a group of professionals have come together to set up a new university of liberal arts in India. Well known names in Delhi and Mumbai circles — Ashish Dhawan (ChrysCapital), Sanjeev Bikhchandani (Naukri.com), Pramath Sinha (9.9 Mediaworx), NV “Tiger” Tyagarajan and Vineet Gupta (Jamboree), among others, are part of the International Foundation for Research and Education.
To be located in the Rajiv Gandhi Education City in Kundli, Sonepat, across 25 acres, Ashoka University has sought “private university” status from the Haryana government and will be not-for-profit. A total of Rs 50 crore has been paid for the land, and the first phase is expected to cost about Rs 200 crore. The seed capital has been put up by the trustees, apart from donations from individuals.
Dhawan, senior managing director, ChrysCapital — who recently announced he was stepping down — plans to get into school education in a big way. However, with Ashoka University, the “idea is to offer a greater focus on languages, humanities and social sciences and to offer breadth rather than just depth as in the British system. Instead of studying one subject in depth for 3-4 years, the idea is to study many subjects across disciplines,” says Dhawan. He says it will offer courses and areas of study on the lines of universities such as Yale, Princeton and Amherst.
… Pramath Sinha, founder of 9.9 Mediaworx, brings his experience of the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, to the new venture. Some of the IFRE founders were keen to set up a quality engineering institute, while others wanted “more holistic” liberal arts courses. “We decided to marry the two and brought everyone together to set up a more ambitious project,” Sinha says.
Says an advisor in the Planning Commission: “Given the paucity of public funds, we need many such initiatives to bridge the demand between quantity and quality in higher education.” The founders, he says, can raise funds through various means. Given the founders’ past experience, raising capital should be the least of their problems.
The Reliance Group is setting up a ‘world-class’ university as it seeks to promote education and research in sectors ranging from liberal arts to technology .
Reliance Foundation, which will spearhead the project, is expected to start the university either in Mumbai or Delhi. Nita Ambani, the wife of RIL chairman Mukesh Ambani, will head the new project.
India’s largest business conglomerate has started the process of identifying land for the proposed university , according to persons familiar with the development.
The university, modelled on the lines of American universities such as The University of Pennsylvania, will tie up with foreign universities. "It will be international in scale and in best practices, but with an Indian soul," said Mukesh Ambani, chairman, Reliance Group.
Nita Ambani told ET that the proposed university would be located either outside Mumbai or Delhi. "We are looking for sufficient land to set up a world-class university," she said.
Mr Ambani made this announcement while making the acceptance speech at Mumbai’s Tident Hotel after receiving the Dean’s medal from the University of Pennsylvania’s engineering school. His father Dhirubhai Ambani was earlier conferred Dean’s medal from Wharton School of Management.
The university will initially offer undergraduate courses. It will later offer postgraduate and doctoral courses, Ms Ambani said. India’s big business houses are strengthening their focus on education as it is poised to become a $80-billion opportunity by 2012. Indian spend $50 billion on private education annually, according to a research report by IDFC. It is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16%, said a CLSA Pacific study.
Q: So could we possibly see a Bharti University being setup anytime soon? And now you can also bring in foreign partners and collaborate with them.
Mittal: For us education will never be a business and therefore whatever we do will have to be done through grants and contribution from the group and friends. And I don’t know whether foreign universities would want to come in for the philanthropy part of it. But we will bring them in at our cost and price but they will not be a foreign university, it should be a Bharti University funded endowed by the contributions that we have made.
It has come to the notice of the University Grants Commission that some of the State Private Universities have affiliated colleges and started off-campus centre(s) in violation of the UGC (Establishment of and Maintenance of Standards in Private Universities) Regulation, 2003 and against the judgment of Honble Supreme Court in case of Prof. Yash Pal & Others vs. State of Chhattisgarh & Others. Some of these Universities are running these Centres on franchising basis also which is not allowed.
The public at large and the student community in particular are therefore informed that as per the information available with the UGC as on date, there are following 73 Private Universities established by the Acts of the Legislatures of different States:-
University of Patanjali
Information called for inspection purpose
These 73 Universities are competent to award degrees as specified by UGC under Section 22 of the UGC Act with the approval of the statutory councils, wherever required through their main campus. Wherever the approval of the statutory council is not a pre-requisite to start a programme, the Universities are required to maintain the minimum standards regarding academic and physical infrastructure as laid down by the concerned statutory council.
It is also informed that Private Universities cannot affiliate an institution/college. They cannot establish off campus centre(s) beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the concerned State. However, they can establish off-campus centre(s) within the concerned State after their existence of five years and with the prior approval of the University Grants Commission. So far, UGC has not approved any off campus centre(s) of any Private University.
Course(s) under distance mode can be started by the private university only after the prior approval of the UGC-AICTE and DEC joint Committee for which Director, Distance Education Council, IGNOU, Maidan Garhi, New Delhi – 110068 is the coordinator.
Students/Public at large are advised to go through this website carefully at the time of taking admission and should clarify the status of the University from UGC before taking admission in any Private University other than those listed above
Further, para 3.7 & 3.8 of the UGC (Establishment of and Maintenance of Standards in Private Universities) Regulations, 2003 are reproduced below for information of all the Private Universities: –
3.7. A private University shall provide all the relevant information relating to the first degree and post-graduate degree/diploma programme(s) including the curriculum structure, contents, teaching and learning process, examination and evaluation system and the eligibility criteria for admission of students, to the UGC on a proforma prescribed by the UGC prior to starting of these programmes.
3.8. The UGC on detailed examination of the information made available as well as the representations and grievances received by it from the students as well as concerned public relating to the deficiencies of the proposed programme(s) not conforming to various UGC Regulations, shall inform the concerned University about any shortcomings in respect of conformity to relevant regulations, for rectification. The University shall offer the programme(s) only after necessary rectification.
A copy of the UGC (Establishment of and Maintenance of Standards in Private Universities)Regulations, 2003alongwith theproformafor submission of information by the Private University are annexed with the notice
Great Lakes business School, Chennai is all set to open a university in Orissa, besides another b-school in Delhi. This is after taking Mumbai Business School, Mumbai under its wings a few months ago. Disclosing this, Founder and Dean of Great Lakes, Dr Bala V. Balachandran told Pagalguy that the university in Bhubhaneshwar, Orissa will be modelled differnetly and not like the usual universities.
“This university will cater to different subjects like engineering, law, schools of art, science, economics, math,” said Dr Balachandran. This university may not be called Great Lakes but could be called the University of Corporate Excellence. When asked why, Dr Balachandran replied that Great Lakes already has an identity of a b-school. “Would be confusing to name the university with the same name.”
With regards to the b-school in Delhi, it would be called Great Lakes, like the one in Chennai. While the Great Lakes in Delhi is expected to come up in the next six months, the university is Bhubhaneshwar will come up in a year’s time.
Founder and Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, India J L Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Accounting and Information Management (Emeritus in Service), Northwestern University, Illinois, USA Executive Professor & Strategy Advisor to the Dean, Bauer College, University of Houston, Texas, USA
As evident from http://www.orissalinks.com/archives/4229 Odisha needs to have more private universities, some of them in backward areas and with medical colleges, some with unique foci, and at the same time it needs to avoid having 3rd rate money spinning universities. Based on these constraints following is a first take on a guideline on how Odisha should go about allowing foundations and organizations to set up private universities in Odisha. These are preliminary thoughts, so your feedback is most welcome.
0. A foreign university that is a research 1 university in the US, or has a similar standing in the other foreign countries. (For example, they must appear in the top 300 in the Times UK ranking or the Sanghai Jiao Tong ranking.)
1. Foundations headed by people with multi-billion dollar assets and with interest in building a world-class university e.g. Anil Agarwal foundation, Azim Premji foundation, Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation, etc.
2. Foundations associated with organizations that have world-wide presence and demonstrated ability to raise sufficient money (say $100 million = 400-500 crores) to establish a top-notch university. e.g. Art of Living Foundation.
3. Foundations that have built top notch educational institutes in India (in some field). I.e., their institutes or colleges in their universities are ranked in top 20 in India in various rankings. e.g. Xaviers, Amrita University, BITS Pilani, etc.
4. A foundation that has at least one well regarded university in another state and that guarantees investment of 200 crores. e.g. ICFAI may satisfy this.
5. Existing private deemed universities in Odisha. e.g. KIIT, SOA.
6. Existing colleges or college-clusters in Odisha that have been in existence for 10+ years and are among the top 3 in Odisha in terms of student preferences that can be evaluated using the common counseling data. e.g., Silicon, NIST. [Initially 2-3 universities may be made based on this criteria and there after at most 1 university every three years can be created based solely on this criteria.]
7. Existing colleges or college-clusters in Odisha that have been existence for 10+ years, are in the top 40% in terms of student preferences that can be evaluated using the common counseling data and serve a tribal district (40% or more tribal population) without a university. E.g. Gandhi Institute in Gunupur; JITM Parlakhemundi. The head quarter of a university created this way must be in the backward district and more than 50% of its students must be enrolled in that campus. [Initially 2-3 universities may be made based on this criteria and there after at most 1 university every three years may be created based on this criteria.] (The goal here is to encourage establishment of universities in tribal districts.)
8. Existing colleges or college-clusters in Odisha that have been in existence for 5+ years, are in the top 50% in terms of student preferences that can be evaluated using the common counseling data and that have a medical college, preferably in a district without a pre-existing medical college. e.g., Hi-Tech group may satisfy this, and would be a preferable candidate when its medical college in Rourkela is up and running. [Initially 1-2 universities may be made based on this criteria and there after at most 1 university every two years may be created based on this criteria.] (The rules are relaxed here to encourage establishment of more medical colleges in districts that don’t have any.)
9. A institute that has a strong partnership with a Research 1 university in the United States or similarly recognized university in other foreign countries. By strong partnership we mean that the foreign university is willing to list this location as one of its branch campus and gives degrees that have the emblem of the foreign university. (This is to encourage collaboration with top foreign universities.)
10. A unique institute, in existence for more than 5 years, preferably promoted by a foundation with past experience in building a university, or by an internationally reputed academic. By unique, we mean something whose equivalent does not exist in the country. e.g., KISS
(Request to readers: If you know of private state universities not listed below and not in the UGC list mentioned below, please add a link in the comment. We will update this page.)
In this page we will collect information regarding private state universities in India. By private state universities we mean privately managed universities that are establish by an act in the assembly of various states of India. These are different from the deemed universities.
We start with Odisha: Odisha has passed state acts for two private universities:
Sri Sri University
Odisha has introduced an act for ICFAI university. It has been discussed and tabled in the assembly. As of writing this, It is yet to be passed by the Odisha assembly.
Chhatisgarh: The UGC list of June 2009 lists two private universities. (i) CV Raman in Bilaspur and (ii) MATS in Raipur
Gujarat: .The UGC list of June 2009 lists five private universities. (i) DAIICT Gandhinagar (ii) Ganpat, Mehsana (iii) Kadi Sarva, Gandhinagar (iv) Nirma, Ahmedabad (v) Pandit Deendayal Petroleum U, Gandhinagar
Himachal Pradesh: It passed an umbrella private university act in 2006. The UGC list of June 2009 lists two private universities. (i) Chitkara University, Solan (ii) Jaypee, Solan. Besides them following are some new ones.
Maharashtra has also revived the plan to bring private universities into the state. Tope said that plans were afoot to help the corporate sector play a key role in the field of education. The Private University Act is being finalised in this connection, he pointed out.
Meghalaya: The UGC list of June 2009 lists two private universities. (i) Martin Luther Christian (ii) Techno Global.
Mizoram: The UGC list of June 2009 lists one private university. (i) ICFAI
Nagaland: The UGC list of June 2009 lists one private university. (i) Global Open
Punjab: The UGC list of June 2009 lists one private university. (i) Lovely Professional U.
Rajasthan: It has an umbrella private university act (enacted in 2005) to facilitate creation of private universities. There are 11 private state universities in Rajasthan in the UGC list of June 2009. (i) Bhagwant University, Ajmer (ii) Jagannath University, Jaipur (iii) Jaipur National University, Jaipur. (iv) Jyoti Vidyapeeth Women’s University, Jaipur. (v) Mewar University, Chittorgarh. (vi)
NIMS University, Jaipur. (vii) Sir Padmapat Singhania University, Jhunjhunu. (viii) Singhania University, Jhunjunu. (ix) Suresh Gyan Vihar University, Jaipur. (x) Jodhpur National University, Jodhpur (xi) Amity University, Jaipur
Beyond those 11, some of the new ones not in that list are:
Sikkim: The UGC list of June 2009 lists two private universities.(i) Eastern Institute for Integrated Learning in Management University, Jorethang. (ii) Sikkim- Manipal University of Health, Medical & Technological Sciences, Gangtok.
Tripura: The UGC list of June 2009 lists one private university. (i) ICFAI
UP: The UGC list of June 2009 lists eight private universities.(i) Amity University, NOIDA (ii) Integral University, Lucknow. (iii) Jagadguru Rambhadracharya Handicapped University, Chitrakoot Dham. (iv) Mangalayatan University, Aligarh (v) Mohammad Ali Jauhar University, Rampur. (vi) Sharda University, Gautam Budh Nagar. (vii) Swami Vivekanand Subharti University, Meerut. (viii)
Teerthanker Mahaveer Univesity, Moradabad.
Uttarakhand: The UGC list of June 2009 lists six private universities.(i) Dev Sanskrit Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar. (ii) Doon University, Dehradoon. (iii) Himgiri Nabh Vishwavidyalaya, Dehradun. (iv) ICFAI Dehradun (v) University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Dehradun. (vi) University of Patanjali, Haridwar.
West Bengal: The UGC list of June 2009does not have any from West Bengal. However, the following has been passed by West Bengal assembly since then.
Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology, Kalyani
Prof. Yashpal & Anr. Vs. State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.
Coram: CJI ,G. P. Mathur , P.K. Balasubramanyan 11/ 02/ 2005
CASE NO.: Writ Petition (civil) 19 of 2004
PETITIONER: Prof. Yashpal & Anr.
RESPONDENT:State of Chhattisgarh & Ors.
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 11/02/2005
BENCH:CJI,G. P. Mathur & P.K. Balasubramanyan
has reiterated (see point 36) UGC rules that say:
3.1 Each private University shall be established by a separate State Act and shall conform to the relevant provisions of the UGC Act, 1956, as amended from time to time.
3.2 A private university shall be a unitary university having adequate facilities for teaching, research, examination and extension services.
The following table summarizes the private and deemed universities in various states of India. The data regarding deemed universities is from http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=50713. Since the HRD minister Mr. Sibal has said that the deemed university system will vanish, most of the private deemed universities will become private state universities.
# private universities in June 2009
# deemed universities
# private universities in pipeline that we know of (work in progress)
It is in this dreary world of higher education in India that we have shining examples, such as St Xavier’s College. It was founded by the Society of Jesus. Long before Shri Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr S Radhakrishnan, Dr Zakir Hussain, Dr Humayun Kabir and my good friend Shri Kapil Sibal, there was an intrepid soul named Fr H Depelchin. Along with six Belgian Jesuits, he arrived in Kolkata and founded the St Xavier’s College.
The college has been in the service of the nation for 150 years. Not only in Kolkata, but in many other parts of India, the Society of Jesus has rendered yeoman service to the cause of education. Its 153 high schools, 38 university colleges, 14 technical institutes and five business administration institutes teach, at any given time, over 230,000 students belonging to every section of the society. St Xavier’s alone has over 4,000 students.
Like every Jesuit educational institution, St Xavier’s College has an admission policy that is biased in favour of the poor, especially the socially and financially marginalised, and I commend the college on its sense of social responsibility. We are beholden to the Jesuits for the unwavering dedication, the sense of duty, and the strict discipline they bring to their work and to the institutions founded by them.
I passed through a Jesuit institution and I fondly remember the great teachers: Fr Murphy, Fr Sequira, Fr Coyle, Fr Lawrence Sundaram, Fr Amascua and Fr Yedanapally. It surprises me even today how so many of them could leave such an indelible impression in a period of barely one year.
We are still debating the norms and values that must prevail in an institution of higher learning, and especially the place of the non-government sector in providing higher education. I recognise and support the role of the private sector in higher education, but I am absolutely clear in my mind that the private sector in higher education ought not to mean private business in higher education. As far as I am aware, no great university in the world was established for the purpose of profit. I believe that some activities in a society must stand outside the world of profit and higher education, in my view, ranks first amongst such activities.
For over 150 years, the Society of Jesus has done just that in Kolkata, in Chennai and in many other towns and cities. For that and for many other blessings that they brought to India, we thank them and we salute them.
(Excerpts from Home Minister P Chidambaram‘s valedictory address at St Xavier’s College (Autonomous) in Kolkata on January 17, 2010)
The above is very relevant to the proposal of a Xavier University in Odisha. The Odisha government should expedite that proposal.
Among the local opposition to Vedanta University there are many who are opposed to the whole idea of private higher education institutions. Many others do not get some of the important reasons behind the necessity of Vedanta University. The following excerpts from speeches by the Union HRD minister Mr. Kapil Sibal and Chair of the National Knowledge Commission Mr. Sam Pitroda explains the important role private higher education institutions like Vedanta University can play and more importantly the country’s need for such institutions.
Inaugurating it at Nishani Mundali in Koraput, Union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal said the university’s location was the reflection of pro-tribal policy of the Congress-led UPA government.
“This university will definitely help in development of backward Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput (KBK) region and western Orissa,” said Sibal.
Stating that the Centre was keen to set up international standard educational institutions across the country through public-private partnership, Sibal said companies should come forward to set up such institutes to help students to pursue higher studies in India instead of going abroad.
Pitroda emphasizing the lack of capacity when "you really look at higher education overall in India," said that as much as expanding this on the one hand, "on the other hand, the quality of education needs to be improved substantially."
… Pitroda said that these were the three broad categories "under which the Knowledge Commission started looking at recommendations for higher education."
At the macro level, he said, "We have to create more universities," and argued that "the roughly 400 universities that we have is not enough for a country of a billion people. Roughly 8 percent of our eligible children have the opportunity to enter the higher education and that number ought to be closer to 16 or 20 percent."
"So, we need to expand more colleges, more universities, more research programs, more teachers, more facilities, so on and so forth," he added.
Pitroda said in this regard, "The overall expansion requires not only participation from government, but also participation from the private sector …
39. Himgiri Nabh Vishwavidyalaya (University in the Sky), Dehradun.
40. Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India (ICFAI), C-1/103, Indira Nagar, Dehradun-248 006.
41. University of Petroleum and Energy Studies, Building No. 7, Street No. 1, Vasant Vihar Enclave, Dehradun-284 006.
42. University of Patanjali, Patanjali Yogpeeth, Haridwar.
In that document, after giving the list, the notice says the following:
These universities are competent to award degrees as specified by UGC under Section 22 of the UGC Act and with the approval of the statutory councils, wherever required through their main campus. Wherever the approval of the statutory council is not a pre-requisite to start a programme, the universities are required to maintain the minimum standards regarding academic and physical infrastructure as laid down by the concerned statutory council.
It is also informed that private universities cannot affiliate an institution/college. They cannot establish off campus centre(s) beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the concerned State. However, they can establish off-campus centre(s) within the concerned State after their existence of five years and with the prior approval of the University Grants Commission. So far, UGC has not approved any off campus centre(s) of any Private University.
Approval letters for course under distance mode should clearly state that the course has been approved by the Joint Committee UGC, AICTE and DEC and the approval letter should be jointly signed by Secretary UGC , Member Secretary, AICTE and Director, DEC as per the provision laid down under clause 9 of the MOU signed by UGC, AICTE and DEC.
Students/Public at large are advised to go through this website carefully before taking admission in any of the above State Private Universities and report the matter to Secretary, UGC on finding any violation of the above provisions.
Interestingly, none of the above are in the southern states (Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala) or Maharastra which took a huge lead in establishing engineering colleges.