Mohali: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday laid the foundation stone for the next generation Plaksha University in Mohali, with the hope that it would transform the destiny of the state’s students and help them keep pace with the changing global milieu.
Underlining the importance of preparing children to meet the needs of tomorrow, and even the day after, the Chief Minister said with technology shrinking the world into a global village, technological advancements, particularly in the field of communication and IT, were positively impacting life. The university, with its tie-ups with international institutions of high class, would play a pivotal role in strengthening the technological prowess of the state’s students, he added.
Recalling his own graduation days in NDA, when students had no access of gadgets, Captain Amarinder said what he had learnt in those days had become irrelevant today, but the foundations that had been built continued to remain strong. Technology will grow further and institutions like Plaksha will groom the students into staying ahead, he added.
Thanking the founders for putting up a great institution, the Chief Minister said, as per plans shared with him, the university, with the entire area around it beautifully developed, would become a centre of excellence for the state by 2035, when it is estimated to have 8000 students. Its close proximity to the international airport would give the university an added advantage, said the Chief Minister.
Speaking on the occasion, Finance Minister Manpreet Badal said the launch of the world-class university was a proud moment for the state, and stressed that resources should not be allowed to come in the way of imparting quality education. Pointing out that Harvard University and Taj Mahal were built in the same year, with the latter at a much higher cost, Manpreet said it was a question of priorities, which needed to be set right.
Cabinet Minister and Local MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu lauded the Chief Minister for taking lead in facilitating the setting up of another world level educational facility. This was yet another example of Captain Amarinder Singh’s visionary approach in investing in education to impart quality educating to youth, he added.
Plaksha University, being set up across 50 acres with a capital investment of Rs 2000 crores spread over 15 years, will cater to 1,000 students in Phase 1 and plans to expand to 8,000 students by 2035. The Academic Programme, prepared in partnership with UC Berkeley, will be launched in 2019, as the “Plaksha Tech Leaders Fellowship”. The undergraduate programme will start in 2021.
Being established by 40 technology and business leaders, it is set to pioneer the transformation of technology education in India, with its own Academic Advisory Board of global engineering leaders. The university also aims to start research centres around some big challenges that are relevant to India including urban mobility, sustainability, factories of the future, health and education. The vision is to build a Next Generation University at the intersection of technology, science and humanities to transform the world in the 21st Century.
The university has been co-founded by Ashish Gupta, also the Co-Founder and Trustee of Ashoka University, as well as Tech Mahindra former Executive Vice Chairman Vineet Nayyar. Others involved in the venture include Boston Consulting Group Asia Chairman Neeraj Aggarwal, Genpact Founder Pramod Bhasin, Warburg Pincus Special Limited Partner Dalip Pathak, Jamboree Education MD Vineet Gupta, former Evalueserve COO Ashish Gupta, InfoEdge (naukri.com) Co-Founder and CEO Hitesh Oberoi, Royal Bank of Scotland Human Resources MD Anuranjita Kumar, Singapore based Mission Holdings Chairman Saurabh Mittal, former SVP at Genpact Mohit Thukral, and Nagarro CEO Manas Fuloria. The founders also include Chandigarh based entrepreneurs Pranav Gupta, Karan Gilhotra and RoundGlass CEO Sunny Singh.
Seventeen of the forty founders were present at today’s function, which was also attended by Cabinet Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Vijayinder Singla, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, Additional Chief Secretary Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh.