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March 13, 2019

Azim Premji pledges 34% Wipro shares for philanthropy

Agencies

Bengaluru, Mar 13: Wipro Chairman Azim Premji has earmarked 34% of Wipro Ltd shares worth ₹52,750 crore ($7.5 billion) for his philanthropic activities, a statement said on Wednesday.

“Azim Premji has increased his commitment to philanthropy, by irrevocably renouncing more of his personal assets and earmarking them to the endowment, which supports Azim Premji Foundation’s philanthropic activities,” the city-based Foundation said in a statement.

With his new commitment, Mr. Premji’s total contribution to the philanthropic endowment corpus is ₹145,000 crore ($21 billion), which includes 67% of economic ownership of Wipro Ltd, it said. The Foundation works in the education sector, aiming to improve the quality of public schooling system, and supports other non—profit organisations working in the field through multi-year financial grants.

“Currently the field work in education is spread across Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Puducherry, Telangana and Madhya Pradesh, along with some work in the northeastern states,” the statement said.

As many as 150 not-for-profit organisations working for the marginalised sections across the country have received the grants from the Foundation over the past five years.

“Over the coming years, the Foundation’s activities are expected to scale up significantly. The team driving the field work in education is expected to grow significantly from the current 1,600 people,” it added.

The Foundation, which also runs the Azim Premji University in Bengaluru which offers undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate courses in education and human development, will also expand, it said in the statement.

“The university will expand to have 5,000 students with 400 faculty members across multiple programmes. Thereafter, another university in the northern part of India may be set up,” it said. The expansion aims to contribute to developing a more just, equitable, humane and sustainable society in India, it added.

Azim Premji pledges 34% Wipro shares for philanthropy

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