Higher education system is the nerve center for any society and nation. Unfortunately, India's higher education system is in crisis. Nalanda 2.0 is on a mission to transform India's higher education system and make it world class.  

Why does Nalanda 2.0 mission matter? A vibrant higher education system empowers youth and professionals, addresses problems that matter to the society and industry, and spurs research, innovation, start-ups, and economy.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation are expected to disrupt industries, jobs, and labor market around the world. Thus, more than ever before, higher education is going to provide a critical foundation for fulfilling lives, careers, and lifelong learning. India is also facing several mega challenges such as food, water, health, poverty, energy, environment, and climate change, which need sustainable solutions now.

Unfortunately, India's higher education is in crisis. (read the link for a  detailed case and six key metrics that point to the crisis.)

With 1.3 billion people in India, which is close to 1/6th of world's population, Nalanda 2.0’s mission of making India higher education system world class is a win-win for India and its people and the global humanity. 

What is Nalanda 2.0 doing to advance this mission? Since its inception in October 2016, powered by an exceptional team of Founder & President, Board of Directors, Global Advisory Council, and a dedicated team of volunteers, Nalanda 2.0 is tackling some of the toughest challenges and opportunities facing India's higher education system. It is building a world-class multidisciplinary research university, educating stakeholders, and advising governments.

What are Nalanda 2.0 plans for 2020? Going forward, our primary focus will be to launch the University of the Future in India (UFI)—a first of its kind world-class multidisciplinary research university in India— as soon as possible. Building UFI will require at least $1 billion over the next ten years.


To launch UFI our goal is to secure land and raise $50 million to $150 million in funding commitments by June 2020. Nalanda 2.0 is raising an additional $200,000 by Dec. 31, 2019 so we can execute these plans, and pay for travel, fundraising road show, salary, and related expenses. A modest fundraising goal for a potentially outsized impact!

This Giving Season Make a Donation to Nalanda 2.0 

There are four ways to make a donation to Nalanda 2.0:


  1. Give on Nalanda 2.0 Facebook page. (US donors only)

  2. Make checks payable to Nalanda 2.0 and mail it to P.O. Box 14841, Fremont, CA 94539, USA.

  3. Pay by credit card or PayPal by clicking on the Donate button. 

  4. Make a contribution via your company's giving portal and multiply your impact. 

Nalanda 2.0 is now eligible for employee-matching program in companies such as Google, Microsoft, Intel, Adobe, Applied Materials, Sony, LinkedIn, Nvidia, Salesforce, and Apple. Check your company's giving website and multiply your giving to Nalanda 2.0.

You will join close to 170 donors who have donated approximately $114,000 starting May 2018 to partially fund this journey. The donors include the Tarsadia Foundation, Deshpande Foundation, Guru Krupa Foundation, Dr. Anand Deshpande and Mrs. Sonali Deshpande, and 165 individual donors from India and the US. 

Nalanda 2.0 (EIN 36-4878144) is exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code Section (IRC) 501 (c) (3). Donors can deduct their contributions that they make to Nalanda 2.0 under IRC Section 170.

Guru Krupa Foundation makes another gift to Naland 2.0 for its University of the Future in India initative

December 20, 2019

Nalanda 2.0 is pleased to announce that Guru Krupa Foundation has given another gift to support Nalanda 2.0's initiative to build the University of the Future in India (UFI).

"We are pleased to support Nalanda 2.0's efforts to improve the higher education system in India," said Mukund Padmanabhan, president of Guru Krupa Foundation (GKF). He added, "Education related projects are an important component of GKF's charter, and we look forward to helping Nalanda 2.0 in its efforts to put Indian higher education institutions on the global stage."

"We are delighted to receive Guru Krupa Foundation's gift. The general expense funding support is critical for advancing Nalanda 2.0's mission and its initiative to build the University of the Future in India," said Shail Kumar, Founder and President, Nalanda 2.0.

GKF's gift is at the Benefactor's Circle level. To learn more about the Giving Levels and making a gift visit https://www.nalanda2.org/give-now . 

Dr. Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan nominated to be the next Director of National Science Foundation

December 19, 2019

We are pleased to share that Dr. Sethuraman "Panch" Panchanathan, executive vice president and the chief research and innovation officer at ASU has been nominated to be the next Director of NSF. He is also on University of the Future in India (UFI) Global Advisory Board.

University of the Future in India: meeting leaders, refining plans, and advancing the initiative.

University of the Future in India (UFI) will have a game changing impact on students, professionals, industry, and the society. UFI's Global Advisory Board completed its planning in Nov. 2018. Since then, Nalanda 2.0's Founder & President Shail Kumar has also been meeting and speaking with faculty members and academic leaders in universities such as MIT, UC Berkeley, Tsinghua, and Stanford to get their advice on the plans. 

In the photo with Dr. John Hennessy, President (Emeritus), Stanford University, Turing Award winning faculty member and researcher, entrepreneur, and Chairman, Alphabet, Inc. 

Nalanda 2.0 is a Knowledge Partner for Reforming Higher Education in Delhi

Nalanda 2.0 is excited to be the Knowledge Partner with Dialogue and Development Commission for its High-level Committee on Reforming Higher Education in Delhi. The High-Level Committee includes entrepreneurs, and leaders from academia, industry, government, and civil society from India and around the world. 

Watch Facebook Live with Nalanda 2.0 Founder & President Shail Kumar

In an interactive Facebook Live session, Shail Kumar, Founder & President, Nalanda 2.0 answered audience questions on:

- Why India needs a vibrant higher education system in the 21st century,
- How India's higher education system is currently doing, 
- Why there is an urgent need to transform and make it world class, and
- What Nalanda 2.0 is doing to execute this transformation!

The Time to Reform India’s Education System is Now

​Lagging far behind developed nations in university rankings, India must transform its ailing higher education system.

At the Harvard India Conference 2019

Nalanda 2.0's Founder & President, Shail Kumar spoke at the Harvard India Conference 2019.  He was a speaker in the panel on "Innovation in Education: Can India realize its demographic dividend", and moderated a panel on "Education: Skills for the new economy".

Amazon Palo Alto hosted Nalanda 2.0 for a talk and interactive session

Amazon Palo Alto hosted Nalanda 2.0 on Jan. 31 for a talk on "Transforming India's higher education system: Why and How".

Interacting with a highly-engaged audience, Nalanda 2.0’s Founder and President Shail Kumar explained the need for urgent and comprehensive reforms and Nalanda 2.0’s 5-point mission for executing this transformation.

Lessons from Nalanda University of ancient times and Stanford University of modern era for a new India

The lessons from Nalanda of ancient India and Stanford of modern era offer a compelling roadmap to create a better future for India’s youth, society, and its economy. 

Year-end report: 2018 was a stellar year for Nalanda 2.0Nalanda 2.0 had a stellar 2018 — Building the University of the Future in India and beyond!

Thanks to the growing community of Nalanda 2.0’s team, donors, and well-wishers, 2018 was a stellar year for Nalanda 2.0.

IIT Alumni Spotlight: PANIIT USA Interviews Shail Kumar, Founder & President, Nalanda 2.0

The IITian on his journey from IIT Kharagpur to Nalanda 2.0. 

​Nalanda 2.0 launches "Building the University of the Future in India" initiative.

In April, 2018, Nalanda 2.0 launched an initiative to build a world-class multidisciplinary teaching and research university. It is inspired by Nalanda of ancient India and Stanford of the 21st century. 

What can states in India learn from California, a trailblazer in knowledge economy

One idea can change the trajectory of a state's economy and its people—create a world-class higher education system. 

Talk at the IIT Leadership Conference in the Bay Area

India Abroad wrote about the Leadership Conference and Shail Kumar. 

Click here to watch the talk

​Read the book that is the foundation for Nalanda 2.0. 

Building Golden India: How to unleash India's vast potential and transform its higher education system. Now.  (published October 2015) Shail Kumar, Founder & President, Nalanda 2.0 is the author. This book is the fountainhead for Nalanda 2.0's mission, plans, and actions.  


The book includes a foreword by Desh Deshpande, Life Member, MIT Corporation, and has received international acclaim from academic and business leaders. In 2017, a US-based Nobel Laureate presented this book to India’s Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi.

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Nalanda 2.0 is partnering with QuestionPro. QuestionPro's advanced survey features powers our data intelligence, allowing us to create surveys, collect responses, distribute critical information, and analyze results.

© 2019 by NALANDA 2.0


Supported in part by the Tarsadia Foundation, Deshpande Foundation, Guru Krupa Foundation,        Dr. Anand Deshpande & Mrs. Sonali Deshpande, and 165 individual donors. 

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