Wipro chairman Azim Premji on Friday transferred 12 per cent (295.5 million) of the IT bellwether’s shares, valued at Rs.12,300 crore (Rs.123 billion/$2.3 billion), to an endowment trust headed by him.
The transferred shares were held by entities controlled by Premji. As a result, the trust’s shareholding in the company has increased to 19.93 per cent, including 7.93 per cent of shares transferred in 2010 when the trust was set up.
The trust will utilise the endowment to fund various social initiatives of the Azim Premji Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation he set up in 2001, with a view to contributing to a just, equitable, humane and sustainable society in India.
“The initiatives are expected to scale significantly over the next few years,” the Foundation said in a statement here. The Foundation works in rural India in partnership with state governments to help improve the quality and equity of school education.
Its activities are spread across Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Puducherry, Rajasthan and Uttarkhand.
As part of its strategy, the Foundation has set up the Azim Premji University in Bangalore, state level institutes in three states, district level institutes in seven districts and six demonstration schools during the last two years.
“The university has been established to develop professionals in the domains of education and development through degree programmes, continuing programmes and creation of knowledge in education,” the statement said.
Over the next five years, the number of district level institutions will be expanded to 60, state level institutions to eight and the university will have 3,500 students with 350 faculty members across multiple programmes.