Transforming Arid Land: NIIT University’s Sustainable Campus at Neemrana

An Institutional Marvel in the Aravali Foothills, Pioneering Sustainable Development.

Recently, I had the opportunity to visit an impressive sustainable institutional campus developed on 100 acres of arid land at the foothills of the Aravali in Neemrana, Rajasthan, India. During my interaction with President Prakash Gopalan (NIIT University), he proudly explained that the facilities of the fully developed campus are kept cool by an earth air tunnel system, saving almost 60% of the power. Air conditioners are organized only in IT server rooms. Moreover, water on campus is 100% utilized through rainwater harvesting, and recycled wastewater is used for irrigation.

Transforming Arid Land: NIIT University’s Sustainable Campus at Neemrana
(L) Prakash Gopalan (R) Vijay K Thadani

The institution received the UNDP-TERI-IWA Water Sustainability Award 2021-22 for reducing water footprints toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goal on Clean Water and Sanitation.

It was interesting to learn that while developing the campus, not a single tree was cut. Additionally, the campus houses a 350-year-old tree, around which they had to design their hostel, resulting in 35 fewer rooms. The institution actively planted trees within and even outside the campus, greening over 48 hectares of the 750-acre Aravalli range adjoining the campus. When construction began in 2008, the land around the university was fairly barren. Dedicated afforestation efforts by students, faculty, the local community, and like-minded organizations have resulted in the planting of over 150,000 trees in the deeply fissured, sandy terrain of the hills.

Transforming Arid Land: NIIT University’s Sustainable Campus at Neemrana
350 year old tree at NIIT, Neemrana

The institution is a dream project of the founders, Rajendra Singh Pawar and Vijay K. Thadani from the NIIT Group. Despite being a strong corporate entity with footprints in 40 countries, they have kept the profile of NIIT University very low. “The multi-cultural, international faculty and promotions for garnering more admissions from India and abroad are not the agenda. Rather, we are focusing on quality education with high values,” mentioned Mr. Gopalan.

In 2014, NU’s founders felt that the institution’s efforts toward creating an environment-friendly space needed to be well-coordinated and directed. To ensure that all stakeholders were on the same page, a policy was created that encapsulates the sustainability ethos. The policy document lays down the overarching principles that govern the university’s endeavors.

Numerous measures have been implemented to diminish NU’s carbon footprint and uphold the ecological equilibrium of the nearby regions.

Peeush Srivastava

Peeush is an International Media Specialist with 25+ years of experience with Indian and International Media Platforms f More »

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