Vedanta University links categorized to various topics

To make it easier to find various information regarding Vedanta University I have categorized various articles/reports on them. Hope this will be useful in seeing the real value of Vedanta University and convincing people of Odisha that we must thwart the BJP and Congress efforts to take Vedanta University to Karnataka and Andhra respectively.

  1. Must see youtube video on the story of Vedanta University.

  1. Vedanta University Home Page
  2. Initial blog to watch the progress of Vedanta University
  3. Petitions to thwart attempts to take Vedanta University away from Odisha
    1. Petition to the Honorable Governor of Orissa to give assent to the Vedanta University bill passed by Orissa assembly in July 2009 (more than a year back)
    2. Petition to the CM to seek the PM’s help regarding Vedanta University
    3. Petition to Delhi to stop putting hurdles on the Vedanta University project and to facilitate its establishment
  4. Categorizing the articles on Vedanta University in this blog
    1. Accolades for its campus master plan
    2. Ads
    3. Anil Agarwal
    4. Appeal to Anil Agarwal
    5. Architects and Construction Contracts
    6. Beyond the Puri main campus
    7. BJP attempt to steal it to Karnataka
      1. Orissa BJP opposes Karnataka BJP lures
    8. Congress attempt to steal it to Andhra
      1. Andhra Science City plan: They have had plans like the Vedanta University township for a long time. So they are doing their best to take Vedanta University from Odisha.
      2. Congress ruled Andhra’s overture
      3. Environment minister Jairam Ramesh, Congress MP from Andhra, creates hurdles
      4. Orissa Congress opposes Andhra Congress lures
    9. CSR in Puri
    10. Honorable Odisha governor (a former member of Congress) has not signed the Vedanta University bill which was passed in July 2009
    11. International media coverage
    12. Land Acquisition and Land Use (Why so much land?)
    13. Medical College progress
    14. Pictures, master plan layouts, Videos
    15. Provisions for Orissa students
    16. Rally, petitions and articles in its support
    17. Rebuttals to opposition arguments and unsubstantiated rumours
    18. Slowing brain drain
    19. Vedanta University Bill
    20. What does $1 Billion buy? What is once in a century opportunity?

3 comments September 13th, 2010

Vedanta University campus design showcased as a 21st century university campus

Following is a lecture announcement in New York for 14th December 2009. It is excerpted from the page

Mon 12.14.2009


CES LUs 1.5; HSW 1.5

When: 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM MONDAY, DECEMBER 14

Where: 19 Washington Square North

Adam Gross
Design Principal, Ayers Saint Gross
Pawan Agarwal Civil servant in the Indian Government and author of Indian Higher Education, Envisioning the Future


The 21st Century Campus Series

NYU Abu Dhabi joins a small number of complete universities developed in the 21st century. The series will highlight both campus design and the ideas about education these plans embody. We are interested in the communal ideals the campuses stand for, the challenges associated with community building in the 21st century, and the intercultural agenda universities are forging with their host cities and regions. The lectures will take place at 19 Washington Square North, the gateway to NYUAD in New York City.

This series is co-sponsored by the AIA New York Chapter.


CES LUs 1.5; HSW 1.5

Lectures are free and open to the public, but seating is limited.

Please RSVP by email to


This second lecture in the series, on Vedanta University, Orissa India, will feature:
Adam Gross, Design Principal, Ayers Saint Gross, Inc.
Pawan Agarwal, Author of Higher Education in India: The Need for Change (2006)

December 27th, 2009

Vedanta University masterplan wins one of the 15 2008 Charter Awards of the Congress for the New Urbanism

Following is an excerpt from

The Congress for the New Urbanism announces the recipients of its 2008 Charter Awards, the annual prize honoring the best of the New Urbanism. The 14 winning professional submissions and one student/faculty submission were chosen by a seven-member jury of leading urbanists last month, with Andrés Duany serving as chair. In fulfilling and advancing the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism, the projects reveal the power of well-executed urbanism to strengthen communities, achieve broader sustainability and create places worthy of respect and admiration.

The awarded projects are found in the U.S. and four other countries: the Bahamas, India, Saudi Arabia, and Scotland. Among US regions, the Southeast again had a strong showing, followed by the Midwest. All but one of the awarded neighborhood- and block-scale projects in the USA are built or under construction, and none are on true greenfield sites. Several projects directly address quality affordable housing design, including one HOPE VI development from Chicago and a national pattern book for affordable houses. Several projects bring well-executed, innovative housing types to unexpected locations, like small Southern cities.

Duany and other jurors said winning projects demonstrated excellence, often in the face of difficult contexts or other challenges requiring ingenuity to overcome. The awards will be presented on April 5, 2008 in conjunction with the 16th Congress for the New Urbanism in Austin. See images and descriptions of all awardees.

Following are some details from the page

Location: Orissa, India. University

Charter Award Winner:

In India today there is only one seat for every 10,000 university applicants, and those lucky enough to find a seat have limited choices of single disciplinary universities. To meet this unprecedented demand, the project’s design sought to create a multi-disciplinary University for 10,000 students.

As designers their aspiration was to create a campus master plan which would reflect not only the goals and philosophies of this new University, but would be Indian in spirit. The result of these intentions led to a simple ‘parti’ of two overlapping circles inscribed within an oval. The circles represent the balance between the two major areas of discipline, Arts & Humanities and Science & Technology. Intersecting these circles in a spoke are areas for housing and student life, and surrounding these forms are professional schools, a medical school, and hospital. At the core is a crescent open space which is the heart of the University, demonstrating a strong focus on the creation of a sustainable, pedestrian-oriented campus that fully embraces the principles of responsible development.

A total of approximately 500 buildings on 280 sites are identified within the university precinct to accommodate the anticipated student population, all of which will be no more than 5 stories, and have green roofs. Several localized sewer treatment plants will provide grey water for irrigation and toilet flushing and several utility pad sites for water storage, electrical transformers, pumps and cooling towers have been identified to maximize efficiency of utility services.

Transect Zone(s): T6 core.
Status: Plan Approved
Guiding Charter Principle(s): Principle 1, Principle 3, Principle 5, Principle 6, Principle 7, Principle 8
Project or Plan’s Scale: Region
Features: Affordable/subsidized housing, Civic buildings & parks, Green buildings, Live/work, Transit oriented development.
Land area (in acres): 8700
Total built area (in sq. ft.):
Total project cost (in local currency):
Retail area (in sq. ft.):
Office area (in sq. ft.):
Industrial area (in sq. ft.):
Number of hotel units:
Number of residential units (include live/work):
Civic uses (type and size): University, Townships, Exhibition Ground, Airport, Resort, Agricultural Research, Horticulture, Athletics & Sports Facilities, Utility Substations, Conference Center
Parks & green space (in acres): 440
Project team designers: Ayers/Saint/Gross Inc, Architects+Planners
Project team developers: Ayers/Saint/Gross Inc, Architects+Planners

Previous site status:

Starting/Ending date of construction/implementation: 2009 –

The goal of this design is to offer an array of academic interests and a centralized area for student life surrounded by a mixed-use space including professional schools and a hospital. The unique geometrical design of the New University will create a balanced environment of living and learning.The goal of this design is to offer an array of academic interests and a centralized area for student life surrounded by a mixed-use space including professional schools and a hospital. The unique geometrical design of the New University will create a balanced environment of living and learning. The goal of this design is to offer an array of academic interests and a centralized area for student life surrounded by a mixed-use space including professional schools and a hospital. The unique geometrical design of the New University will create a balanced environment of living and learning.

Location: Orissa, India.

February 24th, 2008

Vedanta University Campus among 2007 AIA Baltimore Design Award Winners and Jury Comments

The following is from

Vedanta University Master Plan –UNBUILT
Orissa, India
Contact: Adam Gross, FAIA, 410.347.8500

“The scope and scale of this proposed university master plan is impressive. The conceptual thought to develop this complex program has been handled well. The design process makes it comprehensible. The unusual integration in India of the arts and humanities with science and engineering has been carefully planned with the use of radial and grid systems. It is well thought out and not contrived.”

Vedanta University Master Plan --UNBUILT

January 15th, 2008

A campus for India, shaped like a mandala: New Urban News article on Vedanta University

From the SEPTEMBER 2007 issue of New Urban News

A campus for India, shaped like a mandala

Courtesy of Ayers Saint Gross

Vedanta, the largest new university in the world, will have a plan that draws from Indian spiritual traditions.

On an expanse of flat rural land near the Bay of Bengal, earth-moving is to get under way this fall for an extraordinary institution. Vedanta University — to be built with a billion dollars donated by Indian industrialist Anil Agarwal — will have a shape like no other university on the planet (see plan, above, and on home page).

Dhiru Thadani, lead architect-planner at Ayers Saint Gross (ASG), has been spending about one week per month in India, spearheading the master-planning of the approximately 10,000-acre project. Thadani and his team have produced a remarkable, complex layout, one that suggests an elaborate mandala.

A mandala — a symbol associated with Hinduism, Buddhism, and other religions as well — is sometimes defined as a geometric pattern that represents the cosmos. The mandala that Thadani’s team has created in the state of Orissa consists of two large, overlapping circles, each half a mile in diameter. They sit within a larger oval that stretches about 1.4 miles from east to west.

Within the two circles and the 780-acre oval, there may eventually be as many as 280 university buildings, predominantly three to five stories high. Thanks to their disciplined arrangement, tight spacing, and consistent heights, the buildings will form dozens of well-defined outdoor spaces, ranging from small private courtyards to quadrangles and parks.

The patterns made by the buildings’ curved, angled, or straight walls will be intricate. Weaving through them will eventually be 100,000 students, plus tens of thousands of teachers, administrators, and others.

Thadani, who was born in Bombay (Mumbai) and educated at Catholic University in Washington, DC, is based in Washington, but has previously worked on large planning projects in his native country. He and Adam Gross, principals at Baltimore-based ASG, say they set out to make the campus “Indian in spirit.”

The western circle, containing humanities programs, has an oval open space at its center and “is organized by a series of radiating spokes representing the Indian flag and the spokes on Gandhi’s spinning wheel,” a master plan document explains. “The eastern circle — science — is organized orthogonally around a central square, representing practice and research that is grounded in the earth.”

Unlike many universities, where the arts and humanities occupy the well-loved, walkable core of the campus, while the science, engineering, and professional schools sit in less lovely, more disconnected settings, Vedanta is striving for an intertwining of disciplines — with all of them enjoying a pleasing ambience.

For protection from the sun and from the 79 inches of rain that fall annually on this section of India, the planners called for continuous arcades, which can also keep the buildings cooler. They encountered some resistance — arcades in India are sometimes associated with housing occupied by the poor — but the logic of the arcades seems to have won out.

Prior to starting Vedanta’s planning, some of the principal figures — from India and the US — toured several campuses. The three- to five-story height of most of the buildings is consistent with precedents the team examined, including the University of Virginia, Stanford University, and the city of Bologna, Italy.

Among their practical advantages, those heights reduce the need for elevators and mechanical equipment. A key element of circulation inside the buildings will be grand staircases placed within atriums. Big rooms, such as auditoriums, will be mostly at first-floor level, to keep most traffic at the lower level. Academic buildings will be constructed mainly of concrete, with stone cladding. “There’s a lot of granite in this area,” Thadani points out, so it’s affordable. Residential buildings may have stone on the ground floor and stucco above.

The goal is for 40 percent of the buildings to do without air conditioning, relying on stone screens, cross-ventilation, and other tactics to ameliorate the hot climate. “That will not be possible in laboratory buildings,” Thadani acknowledges.

In Indian educational circles, one tendency today is for people to want buildings that look very modern, with an abundance of glass — ostensibly forward-looking structures. But across much of Asia, this mindset is producing many buildings that consume power heavily, ignore human scale, inadequately define public spaces, and seem at odds with traditional places. “From the start, we have been emphatically talking about sustainability,” Thadani notes. Emphasizing sustainability can win people over to an architecture that is generally not so flashy but is more economical, more urbane, and presumably of more lasting value.
Besides planning the campus and the surrounding township, which may ultimately have a population of 400,000, ASG is designing three of Vedanta’s first buildings — a library, a science building, and a humanities building. These structures divide a diamond-shaped open space where the campus’s two circles overlap. The firm is also programming three other buildings.

Thadani and Gross are encouraging the client to retain other architects for other buildings. However, the US-based designers hope to continue in a design review capacity once the master plan is in place. As of mid-August, the plan was nearly complete.

This article is available in the September 2007 issue of New Urban News, along with images and many more articles not available online. Subscribe or order the individual issue.

November 18th, 2007

Master plan for Vedanta University wins AIA Baltimore design awards

Baltimore Sun writes that the master plan for Vedanta University, designed by Ayers Saint Gross,  wins the 2007 AIA Baltimore design awards. The award celebration will be today, Oct 19th 2007, at 6:30 PM  at Stewart’s Building, 230 Lexington Street at Howard in Baltimore, MD. (The AIA Baltimore design award web page says that: "Award-Winning projects will be on display at the Baltimore City Hall Rotunda November 13 – December 7, and thereafter with all entries, in the AIABaltimore Gallery through the end of the year.") 

The Ayers Saint Gross web page now also has the Vedanta University Humanities building listed under "On the boards" category. About the Humanities building, it says the following:

The Humanities Program was written by Ayers/Saint/Gross Inc. in April 2007.  The building was programmed as 11,731 gross square meters with 7,273 net assignable square meters.  This is based on an enclosed, conditioned shell in accordance with standard U.S. methods of calculation.

October 19th, 2007


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