Sunil Mittal pledges 10 per cent wealth for charity

Money to be used to educate unprivileged children.

New Delhi: The Sunil Bharti Mittal family has pledged 10 per cent (around Rs 7,000 crore) of its wealth, including 3 per cent of their stake in group flagship Bharti Airtel to support activities of the Bharti Foundation, the Mittal family’s philanthropic arm.

The money will be used to educated unprivileged children and in setting up a new university to offer free education to meritorious but underprivileged students.

“With this commitment, the Bharti Family envisions to significantly step up the scope and reach of Bharti Foundation’s activities, and further enable the foundation to develop and execute innovative development models to support the aspirations of India’s underprivileged including students of Satya Bharti Schools,” said the company.

The pledged amount, totalling Rs 7,000 crore would mostly go into setting up of a new technology-oriented university in North India, while some part of it would also be used for expanding the existing Satya Bharti School Programme — Bharti Foundation’s flagship initiative.

“We are not in this for business,” said Sunil Mittal, who was flanked by his brothers Rakesh and Rajan.

The proposed university will come up on a 100-acre land and “active discussions” are on with various States including Punjab and Haryana to finalise the location.

Mr Mittal said he expected the ground breaking ceremony to take place by early next year and the first academic session would commence by 2021.

Mr Mittal’s philanthropic move comes just days after Infosys co-founder and tech titan Nandan Nilekani and his wife Rohini Nilekani committed half of their wealth to philanthropy by joining the ‘The Giving Pledge’, a movement spearheaded by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.

The proposed University for science and technology would focus on advanced technologies like AI, Robotics, Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality and IoT in addition to offering degrees in electrical and electronics engineering and management.

It will seek partnerships and industry linkages with tech giants like Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Apple, among others.

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