Vedanta University

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Proposed Vedanta University Project
VedantaUniversityOrissaLogo.jpg
Established 2006
Type Proposed Private
Endowment Unverified endowment numbers
Chancellor Sam Pitroda (tentative)
Admin. staff None
Students None
Location Konark, Orissa, India
Campus Rural, 6,000 acres planned, not yet acquired
Website www.vedanta.edu.in

Vedanta University was a proposed, private, multi-disciplinary, co-educational university to be started by Anil Agarwal of Vedanta Resources corporation near Puri-Konark highway, Orissa, India. According to the news reports and as of Sep 2010, The plans of the university is a closed chapter.[1]

The vision[edit]

Anil Agarwal, an Indian businessman, who heads the London based Vedanta Resources corporation and Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Orissa state in eastern India, had signed a memorandum of understanding to create a world class, multidisciplinary university, Vedanta University.[2] The university, which would be entirely a not-for-profit venture, was planned to be funded from Agarwal's personal funds[2][3] Sam Pitroda, the chairman of the Knowledge Commission was the choice of the first chancellor of Vedanta University. Recent reports also suggest that at least three Nobel laureates have been contracted to join the university.[4] In July 2009, the government of Orissa passed a landmark bill to allow the massive university to be set up and function with autonomy.[5][6]

The three goals of Vedanta University are in the following directions:

  • Education: To provide meritorious Indian students access to world class education within India.
  • Research: To conduct cutting edge research on globally relevant topics from an Asian-centric perspective.
  • Society: To produce tomorrow's leaders, and to promote economic growth in the region.

Academics and research[edit]

According to the Anil Agarwal Foundation, the university was being modeled most closely on Stanford University and aims to be a peer institution to them in terms of world class research and education.

VedantaUniversityOrissaLogo.jpg

Schools and colleges[edit]

Centers of excellence[edit]

Campus and township[edit]

The foundation has identified 6,000 acres (24 km2) of land near the Puri-Konark marine drive between Nuanai and Balighai for the proposed Vedanta University. However the land acquisition for the university has hit a roadblock with the Supreme court ordering a status quo and hence the project has been stayed. [7]

Environmental Violations[edit]

Several environmental violations were raised against the university which resulted in cases in the High court and the Supreme Court. In May 2010, Government of India asked the Anil Agarwal Foundation to stall the construction of the proposed Vedanta University at Puri to address issues related to environmental violations in the project. [8] [9]

Controversies[edit]

An academic has questioned whether, given its location and size, Vedanta can achieve its aims of being a leading research university.[10] A rejoinder was also published.[11] Another criticism leveled at the university, by politicians, local academicians, and the farmers currently occupying the proposed site relates to the relatively vast area of the proposed campus and its large student intake,although a few individual opinions differ.[12]

Legal Issues[edit]

High Court Declares University as Illegal and Void[edit]

On 16 November 2010, the Orissa High Court declared the land acquisition for the Rs 15,000-crore Vedanta University project in Puri town as illegal and void[13] [14][15] [16] [16]

Supreme Court - Status quo on all land acquisition for Vedanta[edit]

A couple of months later, the Supreme court of India based in New Delhi ordered a stay or status Quo on all acquisition proceedings.[17]

University is now a closed chapter[edit]

News paper reports have appeared that the university is now a closed chapter.[1]

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

References[edit]