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    Default Azim Premji Trust to sell 35 mn Wipro shares to fund education

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    Wipro Chairman Azim Premji's The Azim Premji Trust will sell 35 million shares of the company to fund educational activities of Azim Premji Foundation, which also runs a private university in Bangalore. The shares are valued at Rs 1,530 crore ($300 million).

    In a regulatory notification, the trust said the amount raised through the sale of shares would be used to scale up the foundation's activities to improve the quality and equity in school education.

    The IT bellwether's shares on Tuesday were trading at Rs 430.80, down 1.35 per cent, in afternoon trade.

    Premji, who still holds 78 per cent of the Wipro's equity stock, transferred 213 million shares to the Trust in December 2010, which accounted for 8.7 per cent of the company's total shares. The shares were then valued at Rs 8,846 crore.

    "The foundation is scaling up its field programmes by establishing district and state-level institutions focused on capacity building of existing functionaries in the education and development sector," the trust said in a statement.

    The endowment will also use a part of the fund to scale up the university's programmes focused on research and teaching in education.

    "In the next five years, the not-for-profit foundation aims to scale up six fold to 60 district and state-level institutions from 10, especially in the disadvantaged districts across the country," the statement noted.

    Each such district, where the foundation will establish an institution will also have two 'demonstration schools'.

    "The university will also scale up its teaching and research programmes over the next five years," the statement added.



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