Sunil Bharti Mittal has pledged to give 10% of their family wealth which includes 3% of shares of one of the leading telecom firms, Airtel to their philanthropic arm, Bharti Foundation. Bharti Foundation is known for running Satya Bharti Schools especially in Northern India for the unprivileged kids. This firm now plans to open up a Satya Bharti University which will provide free degree in Science and Technology to the aspiring underprivileged students.
- In an interview, Mittal had said, “We aim to focus on education in our philanthropic ventures, though from time to time we may look at other initiatives like Nyaya Bharti (aid for undertrials) and Satya Bharti Abhiyan (sanitation drive) but on a smaller scale,”.
- Sunil Mittal is latest addition to the list of multi-millionaires who pledged a certain amount of their wealth to philanthropy. Apart from him, recently on 19th November, Nandan and Rohini Nilekani, chairman of Infosys Ltd had pledged 50% of their wealth for the upliftment of underprivileged section. Azim Premji had also pledged 50% of his wealth as also Kiran Mazumdar who had pledged 75% of her wealth to philanthropy amongst others.
- It is being said that the aforementioned Satya University will be set up in North India with a capacity of around 10,000 students. This university will attract academicians from across the world. “We are looking for about 100 acres somewhere close to Delhi or Chandigarh for it is tough to attract talented academics if campuses are set in extreme rural settings,” Mittal said.
- Continuing, he said, When we started the primary school programme, we realized that the students had nowhere to go for secondary education. Then we got into that. Similarly, coming out of secondary school, such children need university education and they don’t have the money to get it. They need a place which we will provide.”
- However, he acknowledged the fact that they may not be able to find 10,000 deserving students from the underprivileged section at once and so they may take 60% students who are both deserving and can also afford the education.
- The Satya Bharti University for Science and Technology will put more focus on cutting-edge technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, augmented reality/virtual reality and the Internet of Things, in addition to offering degrees in electrical and electronics engineering and management.
- Mittal said that being a non-profit center of excellence, the university will also promote and fund advanced research with global linkages and will also strive to add industry partners such as Facebook Inc., Google, Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and SoftBank Group Corp.