Wipro founder Azim Premji contributed his personal wealth to create a higher education institution aimed at growing leaders of social change…
Through Faizal Khan
At the turn of the closing century, Information Technology multi-millionaire and billionaire Azim Premji determined to contribute to a social purpose and for that reason cope with developmental challenges going through the u. S. The owner of software giant Wipro had a few options at the table for the selection of an area of labor: schooling, vitamins, healthcare, and a few tasks in governance. Premji chose number one education, and through the 12 months 2000, the Azim Premji Foundation became registered.


A decade later, the Azim Premji Foundation was running in almost 50 districts unfold throughout six states and one Union Territory to enhance the first-class of schooling on the grassroots degree and allow social alternate. Premji then took a decision that might prove to be a watershed inside the history of better education in India. He installation a no longer-for-profit university in 2010 in Bengaluru and called it Azim Premji University.
Now, nearly another decade later, the Azim Premji University (APU) is considered as a frontrunner in better education for social trade. With its campus located in the Electronic City in India’s Silicon Valley, the college is completely focused on programs within the large social zone domain, areas like schooling, sustainability, livelihood, and improvement. Catering to students from 26 states, the group is a shining worldwide model of philanthropy in schooling.
A philanthropic journey
The tale of APU is steeped in private philanthropy. Premji became propelled into the management chair at Wipro, a vegetable oil business enterprise, as a 21-year-antique after the demise of his father on the age of 51. A Stanford University graduate in electrical engineering, Premji took his family commercial enterprise to similarly heights, foraying into Information Technology and reaping the advantages of a software boom within the 80s. Wipro became a 15-billion-dollar business enterprise. Premji, who was stimulated through Mahatma Gandhi and his own mom’s philanthropy efforts in a youngsters’ health center in Mumbai, didn’t relaxation on his laurels.
Premji says, “My personal taking into account wealth and philanthropy is that we ought to remain ‘trustees’ of our wealth for society, now not its proprietors. As introduced earlier, I actually have irrevocably renounced extra of my private property and earmarked them to the endowment which supports the Azim Premji Foundation’s philanthropic sports. The general fee of the philanthropic endowment corpus contributed over the years is USD 21 billion, which incorporates 67% of monetary ownership of Wipro Limited.”
On the dedication to training, he says “Education, has been the number one cognizance of our work for near two a long time now. Till date, we’ve got partnered with 166 groups working in college training. Wipro Earthian, a sustainability education program targeted on water and bio-diversity, has reached out to eight, six hundred faculties over the past nine years. The Wipro Science Education fellowship inside the USA, which we started in 2013, works in seven web sites across 35 faculty districts on enhancing STEM learning in colleges serving disadvantaged groups.”

Premji, at 36 on the listing of global’s richest humans, started his philanthropic journey via putting in the Azim Premji Foundation in 2000 with a donation of one hundred twenty five million greenbacks from his personal wealth. Another 4 billion bucks were to comply with. Today, Premji’s philanthropy interventions are well worth a mind-boggling 21 billion greenbacks. Premji’s steadfast perception in the first-class of training as a criterion for improvement lies at the middle of his philanthropy aimed toward the improvement of the united states of America. This is contemplated in APUy’s vision, which states that the college has an absolutely said social reason and it exists to make extensive contributions through education in the direction of the building of a simple, equitable, humane and sustainable society.

“Our beginning is unusual. We are a university that emerged from our deep, at the ground enjoy in the running with the authorities faculty gadget. This individual is reflected in all components of our paintings. I think we’ve demonstrated that a university, targeted on schooling for social exchange is viable and we can continue to attention in this,” says Vice-Chancellor Anurag Behar. In the philosophy at the back of developing leaders of social change lies a deep-rooted perception in philanthropy to gain the purpose. “Everyday, I meet with tremendous individuals who paintings in education. We are convinced that all training, faculty or higher training, need to be non-industrial. That approach both they’re public funded or completely philanthropic. I don’t see it any other manner,” says Behar. Premji is the Chancellor of the university.

A university is born

Like the Foundation, APU changed into created from the personal wealth of Premji. “The endowment is fairly great, which allows the college to assume large in terms of scale,” says APU’s Registrar Manoj P. Premji’s wealth and imaginative and prescient is backed by way of his sturdy perception that India needs lengthy-term institutions due to the size and complexity of the us of a and the diversity of its education zone. While there are over 1,000 college students presently analyzing on the university housed on the PES University campus, a sprawling cutting-edge campus on 80 acres coming up next yr on the outskirts of Bengaluru may have the potential for a whopping 10,000 students.

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