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Company : Vedanta University  
Wednesday, July 19, 2006 6:07PM IST (12:37PM GMT)
The Anil Agarwal Foundation Announces a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Orissa to Establish Vedanta University
Government of Orissa identifies 8,000 acres of land near the Konark-Puri Marine Drive to set up India’s first world-class, multi-disciplinary university in the state
Bhubaneswar, Orissa, India

The Anil Agarwal Foundation–promoted by Mr. Anil Agarwal, Chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc-today announced that it has chosen Orissa as the location for the world-class, multi-disciplinary Vedanta University. The formal announcement was made here today at a brief ceremony held at the State Secretariat where a memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with the Government of Orissa. Mr. Anil Agarwal has committed a personal endowment of USD 1 billion towards the setting up of the Vedanta University.

Mr. Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Orissa, who graced the signing ceremony, said, "It is a matter of pride that Vedanta is going to set up a world-class university in India. We are proud that this university is going to be located in Orissa. I hope this university will be the guiding light for thousands of students, both national and international, and will put in motion an immense knowledge revolution in our state."

Speaking with the media just after the signing ceremony, Mr. Anil Agarwal commented, "India has the potential to be a global leader in business, technology, science, performing arts and sports. The Vedanta University will make global standards of educational excellence more accessible to the future generations of our country thereby creating tomorrow's Nobel laureates, Olympic champions and heads of government & state. It is my honour and privilege to dedicate the Vedanta University to the people of India".

Dr. Werner Kreuz, Managing Director of A.T. Kearney, Germany, who are consultants to Vedanta University said, "I am pleased to announce that after careful consideration and an exhaustive search, it has been decided to locate the Vedanta University in the State of Orissa. The Government of Orissa has committed to support and partner with the Vedanta University and it shares our vision of creating a centre of academia that will be amongst the best in the world and the first such university in India. The State Government will pass specific legislation to provide complete administrative autonomy to the Vedanta University. The State Government has identified 8000 acres of land near the Konark-Puri Marine Drive for the campus. The Government will also provide allied infrastructure including an expressway which will connect the campus to Bhubaneswar airport".

The Vedanta University has appointed the globally acclaimed architecture firm, Ayers Saint Gross to prepare the master plan for the university. This firm has designed some of the best campuses in the world and has 90 years of rich experience with specialization in projects of higher education.

About the Vedanta University

The Vedanta University has been conceived as a world class, multi-disciplinary university. The vision includes the spawning of a research township that grows with the university. Besides serving as a ‘regional economic engine' the university will set up state-of-the-art infrastructure to drive overall development beyond the academic dimension. The objective is to drive cutting-edge research and produce generations of Indian and global students who will go on to earn laurels in their chosen fields. The Vedanta University, based on a ‘not-for-profit' philosophy, has been conceived with an autonomous governance structure, made possible by an endowment that provides self-sufficiency.

A university of this stature can have immediate impact on the local economy, by driving significant direct and indirect employment and economic value addition. However, in the longer term, this university will enable the creation of a ‘thriving ecosystem', in terms of, academia, research, industry and government inter-linkages, resulting in the development of a new ‘economic hub'. Stanford University's Research Park has spawned more than 1200 companies in the Silicon Valley, with a combined market capitalization of more than USD 300 Billion. The vision of the Vedanta University is to be a similar enabler for India.

The university's academic and research agenda will reflect its ‘multi-disciplinary' vision through colleges focusing on a variety of disciplines, including Liberal Arts, Basic Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Law, Business and Performing Arts, as also ‘Centers of Excellence' for cross-disciplinary research in areas like Agriculture, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology, Information and Communication Technology, Health Sciences, Rural Economics and Manufacturing Sciences. The Vedanta University would offer graduate, post-graduate and doctoral programmes with world-renowned faculty and potential Nobel laureates driving the academic and research agenda. At the core will be a high calibre, globally diversified student body, comprising an equal mix of Indian and international students. It is envisaged that as the university grows, it would also enable the establishment of other R&D centres, knowledge-based industries and start-ups, to create a vibrant, education and research township.

The estimated outlay for developing the university in phases is Rs.15,000 crores. Earlier this year, the Anil Agarwal Foundation had announced an endowment of USD 1 billion for the setting up of the Vedanta University. The university expects to begin enrolling students in 2008.

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Anil Agarwal, Chairman, Vedanta Resources Plc and Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Govt. of Orissa look on as Vedanta and Orissa Govt. sign offic
Anil Agarwal, Chairman, Vedanta Resources Plc and Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister, Govt. of Orissa after the exchange of MoU