Thirty-eight per cent of the universities in India are privately managed and their number is only going to grow in the coming years. Setting up universities in India is wrought with a host of issues but they have come up due to the vision and never-say-die attitude of founders who we are featuring in this issue. Visionary Leaders in Changing Times Visionary Leaders in Changing Times
Behind each university there is an interesting story, good enough for a feature film.
For instance, Ashok Mittal, Chancellor of Lovely Professional University had to fight doubly hard to convince people to get into the education, filed as his family was in the business of a sweet shop in Jalandhar Cantonment.
Then there is Indira J Parikh, founder president of FLAME University whose educational certificates were in vernacular medium had to wage a battle before the University of Rochester accepted him. It paved the way for liberal education which is now manifest in FLAME University.
There is a criticism that India lags behind in sports, barring cricket and now badminton. The sorry state of affairs could be blamed on the lack of enough sports schools. Sports management is another area that India is found wanting. According to estimates, India would require four million skilled sports management professionals. Nilesh Kulkarni, Founder, International Institute of Sports Management is doing his bit, his journey is fascinating.
The Indian educational system is changing fast and more and more private universities are coming up providing state-of-the-art technology and world-class infrastructure. What is more interesting is people in different parts of the country are setting up universities in niche areas. Dilip Puri, founder and CEO set up Indian School of Hospitality.
In many cases, men have set up universities not just for money and fame but to give back to society and who realised that there is a vacuum. India, being such a large country with an aspirational youth, it is these visionaries that are filling the gap.
The stories of each founder is a reminder of how much talent this country has. Almost everyone rose from humble backgrounds. Dr Viswanath D Karad, Founder President & Director General, World Peace Centre, Pune said that his first memory of a classroom was in a cow shed.
All the private universities are spread over acres of land with the best buildings on par with any in the world and the thousands of students studying there barley know the men behind the institutions.