Brocade Communications Systems' co-founder Kumar Malavalli, a non-resident Indian from the Silicon Valley of the US, has decided to fund the setting up of a school in Bangalore.
Malavalli, who originally hails from the Mandya district, about 100km from Bangalore, is considered in the tech world as one of the founding forces in fibre channel technology and in the evolution of the storage area networks.
Though he declined to reveal his seed capital to the Rs 30-crore (Rs 300 million) Indus Trust project for launching the 40-acre Indus International School in the IT corridor of Bangalore, Malavalli told rediff.com on Tuesday that he would like to showcase to other NRIs in the US and elsewhere the urgent need for associating with the development of their native country in the core areas of education, healthcare and community services.
"It is pay-back time to our motherland and the Indian society. We should reverse the brain drain by not only contributing our mite, but also bringing in the best of tools and expertise for improving the quality of life. Never mind if we may have to start from the scratch, but a beginning has to be made to achieve the long term goals," Malavalli stated.
Taking off from where he started two years ago by associating with the setting up of centres of learning in Bangalore and Besegerehalli in the Mandya district to impart computer literacy to rural students and the under privileged section of the society, Malavalli will bring his vast knowledge of computers and networking to the new school.
"The Indus International School believes in creating leaders.... individuals who can contribute to the nation and the world.
"With the objective of instilling qualities of leadership in the young students, the school will fulfill three basic needs of education, viz., empower students, strengthen their abilities to make the right choice in life and enable them to act as leaders within their community," Malavalli asserted.
In the capacity of a trustee on the Indus Trust board, Malavalli will also advise the school on the latest education trends in the US and facilitate student exchange programs with the best schools in North America.
With Lt Gen Arjun Ray (Retd) of the Kargil fame as its chief executive, the Indus School will start its academic session from July 2003, and offer syllabi of both the Indian ICSE as well as the International Baccalaureate, Switzerland.
"We don't prepare children merely for examinations, but for life itself. The thrust of the school curriculum will be to develop leadership qualities," claimed Ray, who has been a distinguished commander of the Indian Army and recently pioneered 'Operation Sadbhavana', the first socio-political strategy for preventing conflict between Indian and Pakistan.
The co-educational school is basically targeted at the Indian Diaspora, which is looking for world class facilities to enroll their wards and give them best of the academic as well as all-round personality development opportunity.
"We have already received some inquiries from NRI families in the US and UK. With the Indian government considering dual citizenship to NRIs and Persons of Indian Origin, and special educational package to their children, as announced by the Prime Minister at the first Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Delhi last week, we are upbeat about more wards of overseas Indians opting to study at the Indus school," Ray affirmed.
According to Indus Trust managing trustee T P Vasanth, each class from standard I to XII will have only 25 students with a teacher-taught ratio of 1:9.6 or 10. It will initially have about 250-300 students.
"The school will have a balanced mix of academics with IT, biotechnology, creativity and character building. We will provide a state-of-the-art infrastructure, integrating online and offline learning to provide access to information through digital library and networked computers," Vasanth said.
The school will also provide residential facilities for boys and girls separately. For physical education, facilities range from horse riding, swimming, gymnastics, sports and athletics to cricket, football, tennis, and hockey.
Thought the Indus Trust is yet to arrive at a final fugere for admission and tuition fee, the total expenses per annum from I-XII class will range from Rs 95,000 to Rs 300,000.