Nalanda university to get $4m grant !!

Buddhist organizations in Singapore have committed to give almost $4 million to rebuild the famous library in Nalanda University but the UPA government is yet to pass legislation in Parliament that will give life to this project.

The Nalanda mentor group on Tuesday announced Gopa Sabharwal as the vice-chancellor-designate and hoped that the project would get underway within the next couple of years. Amartya Sen, chairman of the mentor group, said the group had crafted a plan to revive the educational institution, which had attracted students from across the world in ancient times. Sabharwal is a professor in sociology at Delhi's Lady Sri Ram College.

George Yeo, visiting Singapore foreign minister and member of the mentor group, said he hoped "that by the East Asia summit, the bill will be passed and work will begin". Nalanda University is a pet project of the Indian government as a showpiece diplomacy in Asia, resurrecting an ancient seat of Buddhist learning at its original site in Rajgir, Bihar.

Sen said they were looking at both public and private funding for the university. Planning Commission has promised funds for the university, he said. The seat of learning and excellence plans to have partners from universities in the western world, as well as institutes like Chulalongkorn University of Thailand.

Along with Buddhist studies and religion and divinity, the university plans to offer studies in humanities and contemporary sciences like information technology and environment.

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