Who is Satnam Singh Sandhu? The Newly Nominated Rajya Sabha MP

On Tuesday, President Droupadi Murmu nominated Satnam Singh Sandhu to the upper house of parliament. The Union Home Ministry, in a notification, said the president had nominated Chandigarh University founder-chancellor Satnam Singh Sandhu to the Rajya Sabha.

Sandhu, the son of a farmer, founded the Chandigarh Group of Colleges (CGC) at Landran in Mohali in 2001 and Chandigarh University in 2012. The university featured on QS World Rankings 2023, becoming the first private university in Asia to achieve the feat. According to R.S. Bawa, pro-chancellor of Chandigarh University, there are about 30,000 students, including international students from 54+ countries, currently enrolled at the university.

Philanthropic Deeds by Satnam Singh

Satnam Singh Sandhu is recognised for his charitable activities, where he extends financial support to students pursuing education. He is actively engaged in community initiatives aimed at enhancing health and wellness and promoting communal harmony through his two NGOs – the Indian Minorities Foundation and the New India Development Foundation (NID).


The Educationist Sandhu

Sandhu and Rashpal Singh Dhaliwal, the co-founders of Chandigarh University, have experienced a rapid ascent from a small village in Ferozepur to one of the fastest-growing private varsities in Asia. Despite their success, both Sandhu and Dhaliwal remain proud of their humble beginnings and farming backgrounds in the hinterland far from the capital. They often recount their time studying in government schools that were dilapidated and held classes under trees while sitting on sacks brought from home. Sandhu, who represents Chandigarh University, grew up in Rasulpur village of Ferozepur and met Dhaliwal in Moga while he was attending college. Dhaliwal, who is a few years older, eventually turned to politics, and Sandhu supported him as he was elected chief of the local civic body in 1995. Even though politics was not their calling, it provided them with many opportunities, including in education.

In 2000, they set up an engineering college in Landran, Kharar, on the outskirts of Chandigarh, with a loan of Rs 95 lakh. Initially, many considered it a risky venture, but Sandhu believed the area would eventually flourish. Starting with 100 students, they offered BCA and MCA courses. They expanded to Jhanjeri and Gharuan, finally establishing Chandigarh University in 2012. They require 30 hours of social work as a prerequisite for any degree. Sandhu is responsible for education, and Dhaliwal oversees infrastructure and finances.


An Appropriate Honour

Sandhu’s political closeness to the Akali Dal and his neutral treatment and gesture towards all has earned him much praise in the legislative and bureaucratic corridors.

When newly elected CM Bhagwant Mann came to power, Sandhu invited him to inaugurate the first drone hub at Chandigarh University displaying political neutrality and astuteness.


Satnam’s nomination is a well-deserved one as he is working towards providing quality education and has been at it for over a decade. His inputs and insights in the sittings of the upper house will only help the nation in formulating well-informed policies.

Vice President Jagdeep Dhankar and PM modi tweeted on X, congratulating sandhu on his nomination.


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