Education to benefit people of state more than industries says CM as Jharkhand signs MoU for Azim Premji University

Ranchi: Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Saturday said that the state has many industries like Tata, Birla, SAIL and Coal India but the people have not benefited much rather it is education which is more beneficial for present as well as future generations. We have a lot of industries in our state – Tata Steel, Birla, Bokaro (SAIL) and Coal India. But our experience is that they work with a simple business purpose. The sense of service that is needed for a ST-SC dominated state with a large minority population I do not see benefit from big industries to this community,” Hemant Soren said. 

Speaking after the MoU signing ceremony between the Government of Jharkhand and the  Azim Premji Foundation for setting up Azim Premji University in Ranchi, Soren said the basic requirement of the people of Jharkhand is education and if that gets fulfilled the coming generation can pave their path for a better life.

Research is crucial to understand ways to lift the people and link them to development. The state has potential but it is missing a guiding light, a platform and I believe your foundation will lead the next generation in education and other sectors as well, he said.

The Chief Minister said the state is fortunate to collaborate with industrialist and philanthropist Azim Premji for his vast experience and ideas that will help the state in its progress. The state government has taken a Cabinet decision to allot 120-150 acre land in Itki in Ranchi on a 99-year lease and the Azim Premji University has committed to invest Rs 3,000 crore over the next few years.

The state cabinet approved it on September 14. Wipro Chairman Azim Premji, who attended the MoU signing event online, said this is a very important occasion for us. Ranchi will have our biggest university. We are deeply committed to Jharkhand and we wish to expedite the commissioning of the university. After Bengaluru and Bhopal, Ranchi will be the third city to have the University. Premji said their involvement will be more than that of a university.

They will also finance many NGOs. As part of their commitment towards east India, a fourth university is in the plans for the northeast. Premji said he will be visiting Ranchi before the end of this year. Azim Premji Foundation CEO Anurag Behar said, “The University has a clear social purpose. This is just the beginning. School education, public health, panchayats and livelihood will be our biggest commitment areas for the next 10 years.” Behar said the Bengaluru campus has set up a large network of social entrepreneurs over the last 5-6 years for mentoring and funding the social enterprises.

“We will give grants to NGOs and three-year fellowships to young people to explore social things and set up small organisations. We can fund to scale it up… We need to figure out how to stop youth from migrating out and enable them to contribute in Jharkhand,” he said.

The meeting was attended by Health Minister Banna Gupta and Mandar MLA Shilpi Neha Tirkey, in whose constituency the University will come up, along with senior officials from the state government and from the Azim Premji University. 

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