Bright-yellow mustard fields line the roadside along National Highway 8, about three hours from New Delhi in the state of Rajasthan. In the distance, tiny plumes of smoke float into the sky from the mud huts of local farmers.
For a hundred miles, the silence is broken only by the long-haul trucks, whose blaring horns discourage stray dogs and livestock from darting into their paths.
Then, suddenly, the towering tollbooths of a 12-lane expressway loom on the horizon, transforming the rustic Gandhian idyll into a scene straight out of the American Midwest.
Just a few miles from here, up a pristine blacktopped road, is the 100-acre NIIT University. Founded by two multimillionaires who earned their fortunes through a successful multinational computer-training and consulting company, NIIT represents a new kind of university sprouting up across India — one generated through private philanthropy.