NEW DELHI : Ashoka University (AU) set to raise ??1,500 crore of businessmen, non-resident Indians (NRI) and wealthy individuals (HNI). The private university, whose co-founders invested more than ??1,000 crore to build the first campus, Ashish Dhawan, co-founder of private equity fund ChrysCapital Investment Advisors, told the fundraising effort.
Dhawan said the funds would be used to build a second campus on 27 acres of land adjacent to the university. The land was purchased from the government of Haryana.
The new 1.8 million square foot campus will be built in three phases of two years each. “The last decade was about starting Ashoka and this decade is going to be about building and expanding Ashoka,” Dhawan said in an interview. “We are well positioned to undertake the next phase of growth for Ashoka University. This second campus and the funds we raise will be used to differentiate Ashoka from a liberal arts university by adding wings, departments. and research and development laboratories in the field of advanced science and technology., “he said.
Dhawan said he would approach businessmen, NRIs and HNIs from the UK, Singapore and the US to raise funds. However, much of the capital is expected to come from entrepreneurs and companies in India, he said. “Over the years, we have over 160 co-founders and we believe they are all on board for these new funding expectations in different capacities. We will add more to the list, ”he said.
Some of the founders, including him, and the founder of InfoEdge Ltd, Sanjeev Bikhchandani, have already stepped up their philanthropic contributions. Dhawan said Ashoka University will raise enough funds from sensible people, but “will not increase the debt.”
Ashoka University has a roster of famous co-founders including Dhawan, Bikhchandani, Dalmia Cements Puneet Dalmia Managing Director Jerry Rao, Chairman of Value and Budget Housing and Former Mphasis Ltd Developer, Pramath Sinha, Founding Dean of ISB, and Atul Nishar, the former promoter of Hexaware Technologies Ltd.
“We are developing post-doctoral, doctoral and graduate programs, and we will expand our research capacity. As part of the first phase of this new campus, we are constructing a new biological sciences building with state-of-the-art research and development facilities. There is a great focus on science, ”he said.
“We will also focus on computing, creating and using computer applications for use in areas such as the environment and other societal issues. We are also setting up a data science center. Our goal will be to use data science in research and social welfare and to train people to face the future of work, ”Dhawan added. “Once we launch the fundraising campaign (soon) some of us might give some numbers from our side as well,” he said.
A budget of ??2,500 crore to create two campuses for an educational institution, through collective philanthropy, is unheard of. The Center generally allocates less than ??800 crore as an initial cost to establish an Indian institute of technology or a central university
Never miss a story! Stay connected and informed with Mint. Download our app now !!