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Lavasa Smart City to attract foreign varsities, institutions

It is reliably learnt that Darwin Platform Infrastructure Limited, the flagship unit of Darwin Platform Group of Companies (DPGC) is in advanced talks with leading US universities to join hands and open up campuses in Lavasa, the proposed smart city near Pune

Lavasa Smart City to attract foreign varsities, institutions
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Lavasa Smart City to attract foreign varsities, institutions

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Mumbai: After Gujarat International Financial Tec-City (GIFT City), it is now Lavasa Smart City expected to host campuses of reputed foreign Universities. Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget 2022-23 had mentioned that world-class foreign universities and institutions will be allowed in India in specialised locations like GIFT City to offer courses with liberalised domestic regulations. This move prompted globally reputed universities and institutions to explore opportunities of setting up campuses in India.

Now privately owned Smart City Lavasa near Pune has emerged as a hot destination for foreign universities and institutions to set up their campuses in collaboration with Indian Partners. The interest shown by four reputed universities from the United States has pushed realty prices at Lavasa northward.

It is reliably learnt that Darwin Platform Infrastructure Limited, the flagship unit of Darwin Platform Group of Companies (DPGC) is in advanced talks with leading US universities to join hands and open up campuses in Lavasa, the proposed smart city near Pune.

Talking to Bizz Buzz, Raja Roy Choudhury, Group CEO, Darwin Platform Group of Companies (DPGC) said, "We are waiting to get clearance from NCLT to go ahead with the project. Institutions such as Brandeis University, University of Dallas, University of Wisconsin, Northeastern Illinois University have shown tremendous interest in setting up a base in India because of the student potential we have for international degrees. Once the foreign universities set up their shops at Lavasa the burden of higher education fee will come down to as low as half of the existing level."

The Group has ambitious plans to promote higher education in the country with foreign tie-ups. "The opportunity in the future would be in the higher education space where the Government has come up with liberalised policies under NEP 2020 and opened FDI in the education sector. Indian students can avail

world-class education at affordable Indian rates with the same rigour and intensity and value proposition which they would have got in pursuing at overseas locations," said Choudhury, the key champion to promoting institutional tie-ups for the Group.

"Talks are also going on with institutions in the UK and Israel in the area of liberal arts as well as high-tech education and very soon announcements will be made. There has been a lot of buzz in the real estate market with prices shooting up with such international interest in Lavasa Smart City," added the Group CEO.

Earlier, India has a complex higher education regulatory system, with multiple regulators governing the universities, numerous permission requirements and several compliances on an ongoing basis. The top universities of the world, therefore, were hesitant to have an India campus. Indian (Business Conglomerate and Education institutions) and overseas partnerships are expected to be a game-changer in the real sense. It could be the beginning of the long-anticipated arrival of world-class foreign universities in the country. No place is better than Gift City or Lavasa Smart City! No wonder real estate sector is also in a jubilant mood now!

Kumud Das
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