Sonepat: Ashoka University, a premier institution and pioneer of multidisciplinary liberal education in India, celebrated its Founders’ Day today. Shri ML Khattar, Honourable Chief Minister of Haryana, graced the occasion as the Chief Guest and delivered the keynote address. Vice Chancellor Rudrangshu Mukherjee delivered the welcome address and was joined by Members of the Board, founders and faculty members of the University.
Congratulating the founders on their commitment to creating a world-class University in India, Vice Chancellor Rudrangshu Mukherjee, said, “Ashoka University has a goal that is both simple and difficult. It is simple because we aspire to be the best University in Haryana, in India and the world; and it is difficult in its brave attempt to earn a place among the top universities in the world. It aspires to be a front-runner in the ‘Republic of Learning’. In a short span of time, we have built a pool of outstanding faculty members and community of students. This would not have been possible without the support of our generous and far sighted founders who have come together to make Haryana, and by extension, India proud”.
At a cultural programme lit with excitement and smiles, Ashoka University demonstrated the celebration of the old and the new with a special Kathak performance and a unique blend of music sung by the Hindustani and Western Choirs. After select faculty and students shared their experiences, a documentary film by Aman Kaleem, alumna of the Young India Fellowship, was screened for an enthralled audience.
Delivering the keynote address, Chief Guest Shri ML Khattar, Honourable Chief Minister of Haryana, said, “India has a long standing association with Emperor Ashoka who set the benchmark for an Ideal State 2000 years ago. In fact, our national emblem, the most important symbol of India, borrows from his rule. Ashoka University, in that context, gains further significance in its attempt to set a new benchmark for higher education in India. The University offers liberal arts courses, has a global pool of faculty and a group of students who are sure to be future citizens that India can be proud of. From a time where Indian students used to look at foreign shores for higher education, I think it is because of universities such as Ashoka that Indian students today are meeting their needs within their country itself.”
Chief Minister’s Fellowship Programme
Reinforcing the Government of Haryana’s commitment to initiatives such as e-governance and Digital Haryana, Shri ML Khattar, Honourable Chief Minister of Haryana, announced the launch of the unique Chief Minister’s Fellowship Programme (CMFP). The Haryana government signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ashoka University for the fellowship. The CMFP will introduce young leaders with high-potential into the district administration with the intent of monitoring and supporting the key initiatives of Office of Chief Minister, Haryana as well as providing young professionals an aspirational opportunity to learn and contribute to policy and governance. The selected CM Fellows or “Saathis” will work with Office of Chief Minister and District Commissioners. Speaking about the Fellowship, he added, “We strongly believe that youth is the biggest asset of a nation. The government of Haryana seeks to benefit from the energy of the youth as well as give young professionals a chance to be part of governance.”
Founders’ Day celebrations
80 philanthropists, businessmen and entrepreneurs joined the Founders’ Day celebrations at Ashoka University. The founder base of the University has continually grown since the University’s inception. Supporters of Ashoka, comprising a large number of HNIs and a few CSR arms of corporates, have contributed to the University in varying ways. Some of the supporters who were recognized on the occasion include Ashok Trivedi, Managing Partner, SWAT Capital and Co-Founder, Co-Chairman, IGATE Corporation, who has helped create the Ashok Trivedi Centre for Political Data; Amit Chandra, Managing Partner, Bain Capital, who has helped setup the Centre for Social Impact and Philanthropy (CSIP); Satish Reddy, Chairman, Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories, who has contributed to the creation of the University auditorium; Dilip Shangvi, Founder and Managing Director, Sun Pharmaceuticals, who has contributed to the library; Harshbeena Sahney Zaveri, President and Managing Director, NRB Bearings, who has helped forge a partnership with her Alma Mater Wellesley College and the CSR arm of Genpact Ltd., that has helped set up the Genpact Centre for Women’s Leadership (GCWL). The University has revised its project cost to INR 750 core from the original INR 500 core. The total philanthropic capital raised so far has crossed INR 400 crores. The number of contributors to Ashoka University will exceed 100 over the next few months, making it the largest collective philanthropic initiative in Indian education.
Ashoka University was born out of a dream to create a premier educational institute in India that is in step with changing times and paves the way for the creation of future leaders of the country. It has focused on the introduction of novel academic programmes, leveraging a global pool of faculty and providing a transformative learning experience. It is a fully residential university located in Sonepat, Haryana. The first undergraduate class at the university started in 2014. Its postgraduate Young India Fellowship programme is now in its fifth year.