Vedanta University, Bhubaneswar is an undertaking of Anil Agarwal, an Indian businessman, who heads the London based Vedanta Resources corporation and Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister of Orissa. With his $1 billion donation, Agarwal is set to create a large, multidisciplinary research university resembling Stanford’s “economic hub” style in Silicon Valley. With an expected enrollment of over 100,000, beginning with the first class in 2008, Vedanta University may soon attract many of the students who previously left India for foreign universities.
The university will offer graduate, post-graduate and doctoral programs with world-renowned faculty driving the academic and research agenda. Its academic and research agenda will reflect its multi-disciplinary vision through colleges focusing on a variety of disciplines such as Liberal Arts, Basic Sciences, Medicine, Law, Business and Performing Arts. Besides, there will be Centers of Excellence for cross disciplinary research in areas such as Agriculture, Biotechnology and Nanotechnology, Information and Communication Technology, Health Sciences, Rural Economics and Manufacturing Sciences. The university campus will also have an Olympic caliber sports complex.
The State Government will provide the allied infrastructure, including an expressway to connect the campus with Bhubaneswar airport. The Government has also promised to pass a specific legislation to provide complete autonomy to the Vedanta University, which will be based on a `not-for-profit' philosophy. The decision to locate the University in Orissa was taken on the basis of a detailed study carried out by A.T. Kearney, a reputed consultancy company from Germany. The Foundation has appointed the architecture firm, Ayers Saint Gross to prepare the Master Plan.