Bharti family pledges Rs. 7,000cr to university for free education
One of India's richest families, the Bharti family, has pledged 10% of their wealth, Rs. 7,000cr, to philanthropy. Sunil Bharti Mittal said most of the contribution would go into setting up a university to provide 'free education' to underprivileged youth under the Bharti Foundation. This comes days after Infosys co-founder Nandan Nilekani and wife Rohini committed 50% of their wealth to 'The Giving Pledge'.
The Bharti Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Bharti Enterprises, was established to "help underprivileged children and young people realize their potential". It reportedly has over 200 professionals and 8,000 teachers working in education, the benefits of which reach 24,000 children in rural India.
It is now working on the Satya Bharti University for Science and Technology. The goal is to launch the first session by 2021 and eventually take in 10,000 students. Sunil Mittal says talks are on to acquire land for the project in north India. According to a statement, it will pay special attention to future technologies like AI, Robotics, VR, Internet of Things and more.
According to Bain and Company's India Philanthropy Report 2017, funds contributed by individual philanthropists have risen faster than those from foreign sources and CSR. The role of private sector has increased too: its share in total contribution to the development sector rose from 15% (2011) to 32% (2016). Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Azim Premji and PNC Menon have also pledged half their wealth to philanthropy.