City may get university on urban issues


Dubbed as be the first-of-its-kind university in the country solely devoted to the study of urbanisation and related issues, the privately-funded initiative is being set up by the Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS).

The IIHS promoters include IT icon Nandan Nilekani, a founder of Infosys and now head of India's Unique Identification Number project, industrialists Keshub Mahindra, Jamshed Godrej, management experts Xerxes Desai and Deepak Parekh and former Reserve Bank of India deputy governor Rakesh Mohan.

IIHS director Aromar Revi, a consultant on urbanisation, told reporters that the plan is to offer a four-year Bachelors degree in Urban Practice and a two-year Masters degree in Urban Practice courses.

The Masters programme would begin from next year. A two-year doctoral programme would start from 2013 and thereafter the Bachelors degree course.

An IIHS statement said it has been started to create "India's first independent National Innovation University" focused on the challenges and opportunities of its urbanisation.

"This will be a privately-funded globally-ranked education and action-oriented research institution at par with the celebrated Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).

"The IIHS will host an integrated programme of high quality education, research and knowledge generation, executive training, distance learning, design and advisory services, advocacy and intervention," it said.

While the Karnataka government was keen to have the university in Bangalore, the promoters were also looking at Mumbai, Hyderabad and the National Capital Region, according to Revi.

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