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Jharkhand to host Azim Premji’s biggest university, admission likely from July 2024

Ranchi, Sept 24: Jharkhand government inked a pact with Azim Premji Foundation for Azim Premji University at Itki near Ranchi on Saturday.

Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren who was present during the signing of the MoU said, “We have got delayed in signing of the memorandum but would like the university to start functioning at the earliest and the government will expedite all formalities for the university. The establishment of an university by an experienced organisation like Azim Premji Foundation will not only raise the standard of higher education in the state, but the talented students of the state will not have to migrate to other states for higher education.”

Soren said that the state has many industries like Tata, Birla, SAIL and Coal India but the people have not benefited much. 

“We have a lot of industries in our state – Tata Steel, Birla, Bokaro (SAIL) and Coal India. But our experience is that they work with a simple business purpose. The sense of service that is needed for a ST-SC dominated state with a large minority population … I don’t see benefit from big industries to this community,” Hemant Soren said.

 Soren said the state is fortunate to collaborate with industrialist and philanthropist Azim Premji for his vast experience and ideas that will help the state in its progress.

It may be noted that the state government has took a Cabinet decision to allot 120-150 acre land in Itki in Ranchi on a 99-year lease and the Azim Premji University has committed to invest Rs 3,000 crore over the next few years. The state cabinet approved it on September 14.

Wipro Chairman Azim Premji, who attended the MoU signing event online, said, “This is a very important occasion for us. Ranchi will have our biggest university. We are deeply committed to Jharkhand and we wish to expedite the commissioning of the university.”

After Bengaluru and Bhopal, Ranchi will be the third city to have the University. Premji said their involvement will be more than that of a university. They will also finance many NGOs. As part of their commitment towards east India, a fourth university is in the plans for the northeast. Premji said he will be visiting Ranchi before the end of this year.

Azim Premji Foundation CEO Anurag Behar said, “The University has a clear social purpose. This is just the beginning. School education, public health, panchayats and livelihood will be our biggest commitment areas for the next 10 years.”

Behar said the Bengaluru campus has set up a large network of social entrepreneurs over the last 5-6 years for mentoring and funding the social enterprises. “We will give grants to NGOs and three-year fellowships to young people to explore social things and set up small organisations. We can fund to scale it up… We need to figure out how to stop youth from migrating out and enable them to contribute in Jharkhand,” he said.

 

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