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 advancing its mission of making India's higher education system world-class by building a world-class multidisciplinary research university, educating stakeholders, and advising governments.
Building the University of the Future in India (UFI) (Ekagrid)
Implementing game changing ideas at the system and institutional level are critical.
We are poised to launch UFI in 2022. The formal name of the UFI is now Ekagrid. (https://www.ekagrid.org) After over three years of planning and engaging with stakeholders, we have:
Exceptional team: established and strengthened (2018 - present)
Actionable plan: developed (2018-ongoing)
Land and regulatory approvals: deeply engaged with several state governments (2018 - present)
Section 8 company in India & Board of Directors: established (Oct. 2020)
Legal counsel, external auditors, accounting firm: in place (2020/2021)
Ekagrid brand and logo designed and website: launched (Feb. 2021)
Founding Chancellor and COO/CDO: announced (Feb. 2021)
Key endorsements: received (Feb. 2021)
Trademarks for Ekagrid, Ekagrid Foundation, Ekagrid University: registered (April 2021)
First MOU with a research center at a premier research university: signed (July 2021)
Op-ed by Dr. Paulraj and Dr. Kakodkar: published (Sep. 2021)
12A and 80G approvals: received (Sep. 2021)
Now, we are seeking at least $130 million in philanthropic funding to launch the university and build the Global Institute for AI. The AI-enabled Fourth Industrial Revolution is upon us. And, actions taken now will determine the winners and losers in the post-COVID-19 world. Time is of the essence!
Before a problem can be solved it must be first acknowledged.
Nalanda 2.0 is educating stakeholders on the importance and urgency of transforming India’s higher education system by writing blogs and articles, giving talks and interviews, participating in panel discussions, and meeting decision makers and influencers.
Shail Kumar, Founder and President, Nalanda 2.0, wrote a book on this subject titled: Building Golden India: How to unleash India's vast potential and transform its higher education system. Now. Many decision makers and influencers have read this book. In 2017, a Nobel Laureate presented this book to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
We have made presentations and had interactive sessions at Amazon, Salesforce, Workday, UC Berkeley and Stanford University. Been interviewed by PanIIT USA, The INDUStry Show, and news media. Given talks at the IIT Leadership Conference in the Bay Area and participated in education panels at the Berkeley India Conference and Harvard India Conference.
Over 1,500 students, faculty members, influencers, and IITians have attended these talks and panel discussions. We conducted a FB Live event that has so far reached over 6000 individuals and has been viewed by over 2000 unique viewers. In addition, we have written several articles and blogs, which had over 100,000 views and over 10,000 likes and shares.
Policy-level interventions can have a significant impact quickly and at a large scale.
With this in mind, we have met and shared ideas for transforming India’s higher education system with leaders, policy makers, and influencers. This includes the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), National Institution for Transforming India (NITI) Aayog, Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD), New Education Policy (NEP) Committee, and several state governments.
In 2019, in partnership with the Government of National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi we spearheaded an effort to transform its higher education system. This included assembling a High-Level Committee consisting of leaders from academia, industry, government, and civil society from India and the US, and developing a draft report. When implemented, the recommendations in the report have the potential of making NCT of Delhi the Knowledge and Innovation Capital in the nation.
In the NEP Draft report (published June 2019), Shail Kumar was acknowledged in the “Eminent Persons” sub-section of this report (Page 461). Several of our recommendations are incorporated in the report. There is also a growing acknowledgment of our assessment of the challenges and opportunities facing the higher education system and proposed solutions.
Most of our policy recommendations for higher education are incorporated in the National Education Policy (NEP) that was approved by the Cabinet of the Government of India in 2020. NEP 2020 is now the framework for governments' policy, funding, and actions for the future of school and higher education.