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Mukesh Ambani to set up varsity

December 23, 2006 03:07 IST

Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani plans to set up a private university in Mumbai or Pune, to be named the Dhirubhai Ambani International University.

While investment details of the project are not known, sources close to the development said the subject, faculty and infrastructure aspects are being worked out.

However, when contacted, a Reliance Industries spokesperson declined to comment. The university is expected to come up on a 100-acre plot of land. Courses in science, arts and professional disciplines will be offered.

Education is not a new field for Mukesh Ambani. His wife Nita Ambani is the chairperson of the Dhirubhai Ambani International School, which was set up in 2003.

The school offers a blend of nationally and internationally acclaimed programmes up to middle school, and the Indian Certificate for Secondary Education, International General Certificate of Secondary Education and International Baccalaureate diploma programmes at the higher level.

The school's integrated curriculum at the primary level also draws on the ICSE and the Cambridge International Primary Programme.

Mukesh Ambani is expected to make use of this experience. A source close to the development said the university would attract students from across the world, having state-of-the-art facilities.

"The blue-print for the university is almost ready, but Mukesh Ambani is waiting for the private university Bill to be passed in Parliament. Once the Bill is passed, it should be up in 12-18 months," he added.

The private universities (establishment and regulation) Bill was presented in Parliament in August 1995. It was passed by the Lok Sabha but rejected by the Rajya Sabha. The Supreme Court has already given the green signal, and various parties are now waiting for the Bill to be passed.

Earlier this year, Anil Agarwal, chairman, Vedanta Resources, too announced plans to establish a multi-disciplinary university called Vedanta University in Orissa, with an endowment of up to $1billion.

The university is expected to match the standards of institutions like Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford.

Kalpana Pathak in Mumbai