Punjab CM Amarinder Singh Inaugurates Plaksha University

• Collective inspiration of over 40 first generation entrepreneurs and business leaders

• Planned investment of INR 2000 Cr. over 15 years

• Academic Advisory Board comprises global engineering institute leaders

• First academic program to be launched in 2019 in partnership with UC Berkeley

Mohali, India, February 18, 2019 : Inaugurating India’s first next-generation engineering university in the country, Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, today, laid the foundation stone of Plaksha University’s 50-acre campus in Mohali. Plaksha University is founded on the collective vision of over forty technology entrepreneurs and industry leaders across five countries. Their vision is to build a Next Generation University at the intersection of technology, science and humanities to transform the world in the 21st Century.
 
Speaking at the inauguration, the Chief Minister of Punjab, Captain Amarinder Singh, said, “India is at a cusp of a technology revolution and there is dire need to support initiatives that nurture a new generation of technologist who will have the knowledge, skill and the temperament to harvest the benefits of accelerated technology to leapfrog India in its journey to becoming a global superpower.” He further added, “Successful innovation-driven ecosystems are built around great universities, such as Stanford in the Silicon Valley, MIT in Boston, Technion in Israel. We are excited at the prospect of Plaksha replicating the same in Mohali and my government is committed to its success.”
 
Plaksha Co-Founder and former Executive Vice Chairman, Tech Mahindra, Vineet Nayyar, who spent his formative years in Chandigarh as an IAS officer, said, “As technology continues to deepen its impact on business and society, at Plaksha, we aim to create a playbook for a 21st century technology education in India, a paradigm shift to an interdisciplinary education that reimagines the pedagogy, curriculum, faculty, culture and process of learning. He added, “In Mohali, we found the ideal destination for Plaksha and thank the Hon’ble Chief Minister for his support and encouragement.”
 
The vision of the founders is being guided by an Academic Advisory Board, which includes pre-eminent academic leaders at MIT, Princeton University, UC Berkeley, University of Michigan, Purdue University, Harvard Business School and IIT Delhi. Dr. S. Shankar Sastry, former Dean of Engineering, UC Berkeley and Founding Academic Advisory Board member says, “It is a time of change in higher education and this effort cannot come at a better time. Plaksha is truly reimagining higher education. In successful institutions globally, it is very hard to make big changes. Having a clean slate opportunity is an opportunity of a lifetime.”
 
Speaking about a crucial aspect of the University, Co-Founder Plaksha, and CEO of Software firm Nagarro, Manas Fuloria, said, “New-age industries are relying on digital technologies to attain non-linear growth and gain competitive advantage. At Plaksha, we intend to foster an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship where graduates will be nurtured by industry leaders and incubation sessions to innovate at the bottom of the stack to address real-world challenges, transforming obligations to opportunities.”With a state-of-the-art campus being designed by American architect, Aaron Schwarz, Plaksha University’s 50-acre campus is expected to be live in 2021 coinciding with the commencement of its first undergraduate programme. The project involves an investment of Rs. 2000 Crores over 15 years catering to a thousand students in Phase 1 with plans to expand to 8,000 students by 2035.
 
Emphasizing the commitment of the founders to Plaksha, Mohit Thukral, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Vivtera and a Founding Group member, said, “We are fully committed to the success of Plaksha and recognize our responsibility in nurturing graduates who aspire to leverage technology to lead organizations, create trailblazing ventures, undertake research & innovation to impact the world at scale and become role models of possibility, for India and the world.”
 
Founding Group members comprise business leaders from India, US, UK, Singapore and Hong Kong including Boston Consulting Group Asia Chairman Neeraj Aggarwal, Genpact Founder Pramod Bhasin, Warburg Pincus Special Limited Partner Dalip Pathak, Jamboree Education MD Vineet Gupta, former Evalueserve COO Ashish Gupta, InfoEdge (naukri.com) Co-Founder and CEO Hitesh Oberoi, Royal Bank of Scotland Human Resources MD Anuranjita Kumar, Singapore based Mission Holdings Chairman Saurabh Mittal, Vivtera Co-Founder & Managing Partner Mohit Thukral, Nagarro CEO Manas Fuloria, Mphasis CEO Nitin Rakesh and Clix Capital Director Anil Chawla. The founders also include Chandigarh based entrepreneurs Pranav Gupta, Karan Gilhotra and RoundGlass CEO Sunny Singh.
 
Chandigarh based Co-Founder Sunny Singh, also CEO of RoundGlass said, “This university will provide a huge impetus to Mohali and its emerging technology eco-system. We are keen for a wider participation in this venture from Chandigarh-based business leaders.” The first academic program, the “Plaksha Tech Leaders Fellowship” in partnership with UC Berkeley will be launched in 2019 with undergraduate programme scheduled to commence in 2021. The University will also soon establish research centers to address some of the big challenges that India faces in urban mobility, sustainability, digital agriculture, factories of the future, health and education.

About Plaksha University :  Indian scriptures state that the River Saraswati, synonymous with learning, originated from a ‘world-tree’ called Plaksha, which grew at the foothills of the Sivaliks. The name ‘Plaksha’ therefore reflects the idea of the university as a tree, from which a river of learning flows endlessly, constantly renewing itself and nurturing everything that it touches. Plaksha University’s 50-acre campus is located at Mohali, near Chandigarh, the Capital city of the States of Punjab and Haryana, approximately 200 kms from the National Capital Region of India.

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