Overview of Vedanta University
The Vedanta University, Puri-Konark Orissa, is an incredibly ambitious project planned to be India's first and only world class, multidisciplinary university
. It will be a not-for-profit
university that aims to compete with universities the caliber of Harvard or Oxford
. The goal is several-fold: to develop India's future generations of Leaders, Nobel Laureates, Olympic Champions, Community Leaders, Entrepreneurs, and CEO; to spawn a world-class township; and to create immediate economic benefit to the region.
The university will house several inter-disciplinary centers of excellence
and will support approximately 100,000 undergraduate, masters and doctoral students enrolled in 95 disciplines,
and employ a 10,000 internationally renowned faculty members
, making it Asia's largest university, and one of the largest universities in the world. It will also have a state-of-the-art Olympics Sports Complex
, fully equipped to train India's future olympians.
The project aims to attract a student body of the best minds from around the world, making it international in character. It aims to be a world leader of research with cross-disciplinary Centres of Excellence, R&D with private-public partnership to ensure greater application of innovation, and will combat eurocentric academic monopoly with insights on globally relevant topics from an Asia-centric perspective. Eventually, the university foundation hopes that Vedanta University would stem the annual exodus of Indian students seeking higher education abroad, out of which about 80,000 head for the USA alone.
Vedanta University is the brainchild of Indian businessman Anil Agarwal. Needing a total outlay of 150 billion rupees (approximately US $3.2 billion) to set up the university, the foundation has been endowed $1 billion contributed from Mr. Agarwal's personal funds, the largest single person contribution ever made towards the endowment for any educational institution worldwide. The University has recieved full, enthusiastic support from the State, National governments and Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India himself. Currently,
The Vedanta University Campus
The sprawling Vedanta University campus will follow a Mandala layout, centered around a large body of water. Its idyllic surroundings will include a picturesque lake in its immediate vicinity and rolling hills at a distance. The gentle, flowing waters of the Nuanai river meeting the crashing waves of the Casuarina tree-lined beach at Balighai would complete the scenic backdrop. The well-known ruins of the Sun Temple at Konark would be a few minutes away.
Vedanta University will be developed in several phases until its planned completion in 2025. However, the university is expected to start admitting its first batch of around 3,500 students as early as 2009, into its engineering, liberal arts, and basic science programs. Most academic schools, including those of law and performing arts, as well as a few centers of excellence would be in place by 2016.
^ The Train Station Plaza, the point of arrival for many visitors to Vedanta University
^ The University Green, the main campus prominade. Tall shade trees and fountains provide relief from the summer heat.
^ Great stretches of lawn offer views of state-of-the-art facilities.
^ Example of an academic building
^ Example of an academic building. The landscape and the architecture employ the best elements of Indian design traditions and the latest building technology.
^ The university green leads to the campus quadrangle gateways.
^ The students residences are expressed in lively architecture.
^ At the heart is a large grass courtyard for leisure and recreation.
^ The learning spaces are just next door, grouped around academic courtyards.
^ Classrooms lecture halls, offices and laboratories enjoy shaded courts with fountains
^ The Vedanta Stadium
, venue of multi-sport, national competitions is the signature building of the Olympic Class Sports Complex.
The campus layout will be designed by Ayers Saint Gross
, a Baltimore based architectural firm. Ayers Saint Gross has 90 years of experience developing some of the best university campuses in the USA such as Duke, Carnegie-Mellon and Johns Hopkins.
Additionally, Mumbai architect Hafeez Contractor
, would be hired to impart an Indian touch to the various department and office building architectures.
The Vedanta University Township
The Government of Orissa has identified 10,000 acres of land for the campus on a seafront location on Puri-Konark marine drive between Nuanai and Balighai, only an hour away from Orissa's state capital, Bhubaneswar, and minutes from the world famous Sun Temple at Konarak.
With close to 500,000 people living in its premesis
, it aims to be an educational hub that will trigger development and provide employment, directly and indirectly, hundreds of thousands of people in the region, thus giving rise to a thriving township.
The township will include primary and secondary schools, apartment complexes and private residences, theaters, cinema, parks and recreation areas, restaurants and shopping complexes. The township will also have allocated land for a research & development park. This park would serve as an incubator for other research laboratories, centers of excellence, and research oriented private companies as Vedanta University spin-offs. It will serve to channel venture capital funds into research and education. The entire area is expected to eventually evolve into a large research-cum-education complex, similar to the economic hub around Stanford with a combined market capitalization of $300 billion
The Orissa Sate government will provide all necessary support infrastructure for this undertaking. The campus will have connectivity via a swanky new international airport being constructed near Bhubaneswar, connected by means of a four lane expressway under construction. Furthermore, railway stations will be located in the campus and township.
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