The NU Story
The idea takes shape
The idea of setting up a not-for-profit university came from a desire to create a new model of higher education that is relevant to the industry requirements of the 21st century. Technology, industry and economy were advancing fast and higher education needed to reinvent itself to cope with these demands.
Mr Pawar, an ‘ideas man’, saw a need to transform the higher education system to bring it to the global standards of higher education and to open up new possibilities for students. Just as he was deliberating on the idea, regular interactions with acclaimed educationists triggered the idea of the four core principles on which NU is built.
The first step - Board of Advisors
Late. Prof PV Indiresan
Late. Prof JR Isaac
Retd Professor, IIT Bombay; Former Advisor, NIIT Ltd
Prof C Jha
Late. Prof MP Kapoor
Retd Professor, IIT Kanpur; Former Director, TIET; Project Director, NIIT Institute of Information Technology (TNI)
Dr Kiran Karnik
Prof RC Malhotra
Dr RA Mashelkar
Prof Ashok Misra
Dr CR Mitra
Former Director, BITS, Pilani; Former Advisor, NIIT
Prof VS Prasad
Prof VS Raju
Prof PB Sharma,
Rajendra Singh Pawar
President, TNI; Chairman, NIIT
Vijay K Thadani
Chairman, BOG, TNI; CEO, NIIT
At that time we were talking of creating something truly world-class, but in a broader sphere of work. The IITs spell quality in engineering education, but we wanted to emulate the range of quality in a broader range of disciplines.”
Dr Kiran Karnik, Member, Advisory Board (NU) and former president, NASSCOM.
The emphasis right from the beginning was to promote innovation and take a concept and idea to commercialisation so that wealth could be created. In India, unfortunately we have failed to do so. At NIIT University, we emphasised on bridging the gap.” Dr RA Mashelkar, Member, Advisory Board, NU and Former DG, Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
Challenges notwithstanding, the determined founders decided to walk the arduous path and build the university of their dreams.
A strong foundation
And so, the foundation had to be rock-solid. After a long period of deliberations, the four core principles that would become foundational pillars of the new university emerged – industry-linked, technology-based, research-driven seamless education. Then came the quest for an inspiring motto that reflected the vision of the founders.
Anadi-Anant was chosen as the motto by the first Chairperson of the University Dr Karan Singh, MP, noted scholar and philosopher and former cabinet minister. It is an ancient Indian concept implying that the Universe is eternal – without beginning and without end. Its significance is that the knowledge that NU will create and impart will be the foundation for multifaceted careers, endless in their potential. The motto is aptly represented by the emblem of the university, the Mobius ring that stands tall, perched on a hillock within the lush green university campus.
Capturing the free-flowing, flexible and limitless nature of the learning process, the spirit of the motto and the emblem seems to exhort the learner – “Learn what you want, how you want, where and when you want, but learn you must!”
A case study in sustainability
Yet, the challenge of constructing a campus here and the unpredictability of nature appealed to Mr Pawar. He insisted that the land not be flattened at all and that its natural contours be integrated into the building plan. He also made it clear that not a truck-load of earth would enter or exit the campus. His vision was ambitious but not impossible. The university needed a master planner that could turn this vision into reality.
Apart from populating the campus with native species, NU has also been actively involved in ‘greening’ the 750-acre Aravalli Range adjoining the campus. The ‘walk-only’ campus reduces fossil fuel consumption and the campus further minimises its carbon footprint through Earth-Air Tunnels, which act as self-regulating heat sink for the campus. The campus needs very little electricity to cool or heat the buildings. The university also has rain water harvesting facilities and a water recycling system which is 97% efficient.
A story to inspire millions
NU is a story
- of passion
- of dreaming audacious dreams
- of commitment to education
- of love for the country and its students
- of building a world-class university in the face of toughest challenges
- of remaining true to one’s dreams no matter how arduous the path gets
- of a deep sense of responsibility towards the environment and the community
Rajendra Singh Pawar, then-Member, Advisory Board, IT Infrastructure Development to Rajasthan's Chief Minister, pitches the idea of setting up a private university to the Government of Rajasthan. The same year, the Government of Rajasthan passes an ordinance to set up self-financed private universities in the state.2004
The proposal and DPR for establishing a private university in Rajasthan is submitted. The Government of Rajasthan allots the land to establish the university campus. The same year, a 15-member advisory board is created to implement the founders’ vision.2005
YRM (UK), an architectural firm specialising in residential university campuses, is appointed for a master planning exercise.2006
Construction activity commences after the ground-breaking ceremony.2008
The master planning exercise concludes. The required academic and physical infrastructure is completed in a record 15 months. The same year, the first batch of 19 BTech, and 11 MTech Educational Technology students join the pioneering batch.2009
The Ordinance of October 2009 is subsequently passed by the Legislative Assembly of Rajasthan and notified as Act 5 of 2010.2010
NU hosts its first convocation ceremony.2011
NU hosts its tenth convocation ceremony – a virtual one, owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.2020