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Home > Business > Business Headline > Report

Family rift overshadows Ambani Institute meet

Meghdoot Sharon & Mitul Thakkar in Ahmedabad/Gandhinagar | December 11, 2004 12:26 IST

The scenic environs of the Dhirubhai Ambani Institute of Information and Communication Technology perhaps camouflage the confusion in the minds of students at the institute.

For, the serenity of the institute on the outskirts of Gandhinagar and the fact that the first convocation of the institute is being held a few hours later are overshadowed by the bitter struggle that rages within India's most powerful business family, Reliance.

On Saturday, Reliance Industries chairman and managing director Mukesh Ambani will give away degrees to the first batch of students of the institute.

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On Friday evening, final touches for the event were being given. The graduating students were seen rehearsing the convocation march and other duties that will be required to perform on Saturday. Most looked anxious and eager about one of the most important days of their lives. The last thing they perhaps wanted to worry about was the Reliance family dispute.

"Sometime back, Anil Ambani had visited the institute with his mother Kokilaben Ambani informally. He has not attended any function of the institute, while Mukesh Ambani is visiting the institute for the fifth time. Mukesh has also interacted with the students whenever he was here. The institute is much closer to Reliance Infocomm, because it is related to the communication technology and it is basically being taken care by Mukesh," said a last year B Tech student.

But there are others who feel that the standoff between the brothers has not affected them or the institute while a few commented that the brothers should sort out the issues.

"It will be a proud moment in my life to accept my degree from Mukesh Ambani. I also feel that a possible separation of the brothers would go against the development of the Indian industry as the Reliance group has contributed a lot to India Inc," said a student.

"The rift between the Ambanis has not created much confusion in the campus except in the initial days when reports in the print media used to draw our attention," said a third-year B Tech student.

But students do have their own opinion and assessment about the brothers.

"Mukesh seems more serious with his business affairs and related activities, while Anil seems more busy with his friends in media and entertainment. Apart from Mukesh no other family members are associated or affiliated in the management of the institute," said Jitesh Paliwal, a final year B-Tech student.

It might not be possible for all the 1,200-odd students to be present at the first convocation ceremony, as many are out of town on projects or study leave.

Conspicuous by his absence will be Anil Ambani, but the official invitations for the event do not even have Chief Minister Narendra Modi. Apart from Mukesh Ambani and union minister Kapil Sibal, no other political or business bigwigs are scheduled to be present at the event.

An official of the information department confirmed that neither Modi nor any of the state ministers are going to attend the function.

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