Involve corporates in higher education: Plan panel

New Delhi: A plan panel committee on corporate sector participation in higher education today suggested involving high net worth individuals in setting up a university and getting a commitment from them on positioning the institute among the top 250 in the world in 15 years.

"The committee recommends that a personal invitation from the Prime Minister should be sent to 25 Indian corporates and 25 eminent high net worth individuals to start a university…and a commitment from them for the institution to be in the top 250 in the world over a 15-year period," the committee headed by N R Narayana Murthy said.

In this context, the committee drew attention of individuals globally who have played a key role in building higher educational institutions and said India has over 30 companies with annual revenue of over USD 5 billion and 48 billionairs. The committee was set up by the Planning Commission in January 2012 to examine and provide recommendations on potential and modalities for corporate sector participation in higher education.

The committee said that in return for setting up the institute, they have be provided with complete autonomy, free land and central university status. "If an individual or a corporate is unable to set up a full-fledged university, such entities can set up a centre of excellence within an existing institution of their choice," the committee suggested.

To include the individuals in this drive, the committee suggested that the definition of corporate should be expanded as the move will encourage philanthropic corporate founders, entrepreneurs and individuals to start new institutions to contribute to higher education institutes.

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