Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Anurag Behar (BMD 92) appointed V-C of Azim Premji University

From The Business Standard

Azim Premji University, India’s first private university set up by Wipro’s billionaire chairman to cater exclusively to the education and development sectors, has appointed Anurag Behar as its vice-chancellor.

The university, set up under the aegis of the Azim Premji Foundation which has an outreach of over 22,000 schools and over 2.5 million children in the country, has already announced three courses which will begin from July.

Behar is currently co-CEO of the Foundation. He also leads the sustainability initiatives of Wipro, including its social initiatives and ecological sustainability initiative. He would continue to hold these positions.

Behar has an MBA in marketing and finance from XLRI, Jamshedpur, and has a degree in electrical engineering from REC, Trichy, now NIT Trichy. He was also recognised by the World Economic Forum as a ‘Young Global Leader’.

The university will start functioning from a rented premises near Electronic City on the outskirts of Bangalore. Its own campus, being built near Sarjapur Road, is expected to be ready in the next 18 months.

Bangalore, Mar 22: Wipro Chief Azim Premji, who is also the Chancellor of the private sector deemed university, Azim Premji University, has announced the appointment of Anurag Behar, the Chief Sustainability Officer of Wipro Ltd, as its Vice Chancellor.

Anurag Behar is deeply engaged in Wipro’s Social initiatives. He led Wipro’s ecological sustainability initiative - EcoEye, and Wipro’s efforts at improving the quality of school education in India.

Currently, this program involves over 1000 schools across 17 states. He is engaged with Azim Premji Foundation’s large-scale initiatives to improve quality of school education, which currently impacts over 2 million children across 20,000 schools.

EcoEye is an initiative to drive ecological sustainability within Wipro, across all dimensions, and to help its partners, customers, and other stake-holders in their ecological sustainability initiatives.

He also leads Wipro Cares, a not-for-profit trust, which runs a range of long term programs for local communities and rehabilitation efforts in communities affected by natural disasters.

Anurag Behar is also a Director on the Board of Wipro GE Healthcare Ltd. - the leading player in Healthcare Technology Solutions in South Asia. He is also a member of the Board of the TERI University.

In his earlier roles in Wipro, Anurag Behar had led brand, quality and innovation for Wipro Ltd. Quality has long been an area of deep interest for him, going back to the days when he was the leader for Six Sigma for GE Medical in South Asia.

Earlier in his career, he was an integral part of the team that built the leadership position of Wipro GE Healthcare in South Asia. A significant part of his early career was spent in financing healthcare infrastructure in India. Anurag Behar has an MBA in Marketing and Finance from XLRI, Jamshedpur and has a Degree in Electrical Engineering from REC, Trichy. He has been honored by the World Economic Forum, by being recognized as a ‘Young Global Leader’.

Azim Premji University is committed to developing outstanding professionals in Education & Development for deeply fulfilling careers as social change leaders.

The Bangalore-based University has three key objectives: Create education and development professionals of high calibre with a deep commitment to social cause; Build capacity of existing functionaries in the education sector - both Government and private - through continuing education programs; and Create deep knowledge in education and development through high quality research that is relevant to India. The University has announced the launch of MA (Education) MA (Development) and Masters in Teacher Education programs from July 2011 and has invited applications from students.

The last date for receipt of completed application forms from interested students is May 15, 2011. The admissions test will be conducted in 38 centres across the country on 29 May 2011.

The test will examine proficiency in English, analytical ability, general and social awareness and knowledge of relevant subjects.  Candidates short-listed on the basis of their applications and performance in the written test will be interviewed in the third week of June. The University will announce the list of selected students by end June 2011.

The University has stated that every selected candidate will have the opportunity to study at the University irrespective of financial constraints. Financial assistance, including scholarships and loans will be provided in all deserving cases.

Special financial support programs are available for working professionals, who gain admission to the University. The University will provide placement support for enriching careers in government, private sector, NGOs and multi-lateral agencies.

The current estimated demand of education and development professionals is over 3 lakhs per annum. Azim Premji Foundation itself will be recruiting over 4000 professionals during the next 4 years. The University is multidisciplinary in its approach, and the faculty group brings together diverse disciplines, as well as deep experience in the field in India.

The University has been sponsored and established by the Azim Premji Foundation, under the "Azim Premji Private University Act" of the Karnataka Government.

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