In an effort to support the higher education aspirations of India’s youth, the Bharti family on November 23, 2017 pledged a part of their personal wealth for philanthropic purposes and announced a plan to set up a world-class university to offer free education to deserving youth from economically weaker sections of the society.
The family has decided to pledge 10% of their wealth (approximately INR 7,000 crore), including 3% of their stake in Bharti Airtel, towards supporting the activities of Bharti Foundation, the Group’s philanthropic arm.
“Having built a successful model for primary and senior schooling under Satya Bharti Schools, Bharti Family plans to build Satya Bharti University – a world-class institution, to support the higher education aspirations of India’s youth. Our aspiration is to develop it into a centre of excellence not just in India but globally," Rakesh Bharti Mittal, Vice-Chairman, Bharti Enterprises and Co-Chairman, Bharti Foundation said.
Highlighting the achievements of Bharti Foundation, he said, "The foundation has done some exceptional work for uplifting the underprivileged and it stands out as a shining example of how professionally managed development arms of businesses can build innovative and sustainable models that make real and measurable difference on ground."
The Bharti Foundation proposed to set up the university for Science and Technology, which will have a strong focus on future technologies like AI, robotics, AR/VR, IoT, in addition to offering degrees in electrical and electronics engineering and management.
The proposed university will come up on a 100-acre land and ‘active discussions’ are on with various states including Punjab and Haryana to finalise the location.
The university that is expected to come up in north India will commence its first academic session in 2021.
“The new university will seek partnerships and industry linkages with tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Apple, among others. Over a period of time the fully-residential university will have 10,000 students,” said Sunil Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises and Bharti Foundation.
“In Satya Bharti School programmes will be offered free of cost as the idea is to bring meritorious underprivileged students to give them education… it will require a lot of money,” Mittal said.
While courses will be free for meritorious students who belong to economically weaker sections of the society – that being the prime focus of the institution – in case of any unfilled vacancies, only nominal amount will be charged in line with the government fee.
The Bharti Foundation has also supported the creation of Bharti School of Telecommunication Technology & Management at IIT Delhi, Bharti Centre for Communication at IIT Mumbai and Bharti Institute of Public Policy at ISB Mohali.
Indian industrialists are increasingly donating for philantrophic causes. Recently Infosys co-founder and Non-Executive Chairman Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini recently signed the Giving Pledge initiative.