Amidst a profusion of ‘rent-seeking’ private universities spawning in every nook and corner of the country to fill the void created by a woefully inadequate, ageing and creaking network of state-run universities, there are a few making waves for the quality of education they are providing. The eight-year-old Ahmedabad University is one such private player that is already emerging as an outlier for serious academics. Says Professor Pankaj Chandra, the vice-chancellor of Ahmedabad University, “Technically, we are a private university since our funding is private. But we have a very public ethos.”
Ahmedabad University was set up in 2009 by the Ahmedabad Education Society, which, for the uninitiated, is a foundation established way back in 1935 by luminaries like Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, textile doyen Kasturbhai Lalbhai and the first Speaker of the Lok Sabha Ganesh Mavalankar, with the objective of advancing higher education in the state of Gujarat. The foundation has to its credit a track record of having been either directly or indirectly involved in setting up some jewels in the academic firmament, including the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, the National Institute of Design, the Physical Research Laboratory, and the Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology. Ahmedabad University, too, is following the same illustrious footsteps.
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