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Showing posts from July, 2011

Nalanda’s glorious past a uniting factor in future !

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BY end-2013, an Asian university with a universal outlook and approach will take shape 887km east of New Delhi, to match what is being billed as the “Asian century”.

No geopolitics in it, although India’s soft diplomacy is very much in evidence. It is an international effort, but participating nations are not competing to gain political or economic mileage. No brownie points are being scored by individuals.

On offer at Nalanda are only knowledge and enlightenment.


Nalanda is being rebuilt near a cluster of ruins today located in backward Bihar state that was once the land of Lord Buddha and housed the internationally renowned centre of higher learning.

It will be a modern university, but will hark back to a glorious past.
Established in the early 5th century, it was the world’s first ever university. Nalanda was over six centuries old when Bologna, the oldest European university, was born.

Another distinguished university, which did not stay in existence continuously either, Al-Azhar Univer…

Nalanda-The Greatest University of World !!

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MP Speech on the Nalanda International University Bill in Parliament !!

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World Oldest university on earth is reborn after 800 years !!

Nalanda, an ancient seat of learning destroyed in 1193, will rise again thanks to a Nobel-winning economist-Dr. Amartya Sen.

During the six centuries of its storied existence, there was nothing else quite like Nalanda University. Probably the first-ever large educational establishment, the college – in what is now eastern India – even counted the Buddha among its visitors and alumni. At its height, it had 10,000 students, 2,000 staff and strove for both understanding and academic excellence. Today, this much-celebrated centre of Buddhist learning is in ruins.

After a period during which the influence and importance of Buddhism in India declined, the university was sacked in 1193 by a Turkic general, apparently incensed that its library may not have contained a copy of the Koran. The fire is said to have burned and smouldered for several months.

Now this famed establishment of philosophy, mathematics, language and even public health is poised to be revived. A beguiling and ambitious plan …

Nalanda International University will start with seven schools or more and expand later

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As a new university is being established in Nalanda to revive the glory of ancient India’s most famous centre of learning, experts have asked the government to carry out more excavations at the site of the original university to dig out those parts of the institution that still remain undiscovered.

Some members of the governing board of the new Nalanda University, including chairperson Amartya Sen, last week held a meeting with top officials of the Culture Ministry to explore the possibility of further excavation at the site where the ruins of the world-famous ancient Nalanda University stand.

“There has been a long-felt demand that there should be much more excavation at the ancient Nalanda site. There is so much that we have read about Nalanda and there is a lot of indication that there was much more to the ancient university than what is reflected in the ruins today,” said Gopa Sabharwal, vice-chancellor of the new Nalanda University that is supposed to open by 2013.

Culture Secretar…

Nalanda International University Mentor group !!

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The Central Government of India constituted a Nalanda Mentor Group (NMG) in 2007, under the Chairmanship of Professor Amartya Sen (Nobel Prize Awarded) to examine the framework of international cooperation, and proposed structure of partnership, which would govern the establishment of this University as an international centre of Learning and excellent education. The University of Nalanda is proposed to be established under the aegis of the East Asia Summit (EAS), as a regional initiative. The NMG also has representatives from Singapore, China, Japan and Thailand. The NMG has met six times. The last meeting was held in New Delhi on 2-3 August 2010.

The Nalanda University mentor Group consists of these notable personalities:-


1) Amartya Sen - Professor at Harvard University.
2) Sugata Bose - Professor at Harvard University.
3) Wang Banwei - Professor at Beijing University.
4) Meghnad Desai - Emeritus Professor at London School of Economics.
5) George Yeo - Former Minister fo…

Bihar Government sets terms for President mentor group

The Presidency University mentor group, with Harvard University professor Sugata Bose as its chairman, doesn't want the new university to be just another addition to the list, encaged within the run-ofthe-mill Act passed in the West Bengal assembly during the Left regime.

The Nalanda mentor group will be looking at complete overhaul, right from setting up search committees for recruitment of teaching staff and officers up to the level of the vice-chancellor, and streamlining the admission procedure to attracting the best talents. The group is also leaving open the option of keeping the newborn varsity a state one, or giving it a central university status, or recommending the "new innovation university" tag for it. At least, that is what the terms of reference for the mentor group indicate.

The Harvard professor and chairman of the mentor group handed out the terms of reference to the media on Wednesday after he called on chief minister Mamata Banerjee at Writers' Build…

Nalanda varsity governing board members visit sites

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Nalanda International University's governing board members on Thursday inspected the site for the proposed varsity at Nalanda and Rajgir and appreciated the initial work on the 467 acres of land given by the Bihar government for the ambitious project. Board chairman Amartya Sen, however, did not go for inspection and stayed back here.

"Only those members who had not been to the site earlier inspected the place," board member N K Singh told TOI before catching a Delhi flight.

The members, including former Singapore foreign minister George Yeo and university's vice-chancellor Gopa Sabharwal, went around the site and also inspected the subdivisional office and Convention centre at Rajgir which the state government has designated as temporary campus and university's office.

The state government has committed to do fencing of the acquired land and the work has reportedly been allotted to Bihar Rajya Pul Nirman Nigam, which is expected to start the work soon. Its official…

7 Wonders of India: Nalanda University !!

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Global competition for Nalanda university design

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A global competition will be held to get the best architectural design for the Nalanda International University at the ancient seat of learning in Bihar, officials Thursday said.

"For the sake of the best design for Nalanda university, a global competition will be held soon," said N.K. Singh, a member of the Nalanda Mentor Group (NMG) headed by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen.

The new university will be built on an area of 446 acres in Rajgir, 10 km from the site of the ancient university in Nalanda district. The members of the NMG, including Sen, visited the site of the university Thursday.

N.K. Singh said by telephone that the decision for holding a global design competition was taken at a marathon meeting of the NMG held here Wednesday.

"It was the idea of Amartya Sen not to decide the design in a hurry as it will be the university of the coming centuries," Singh told IANS.

This was the second meeting of the NMG. The first meeting was held at Bodh Gaya in 2009.

According t…

Nalanda University to Start Academic Activities From 2013

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The Nalanda university will begin academic activities from the 2013-14 session from rented premises with two subjects - Historical studies and Environment and Ecological studies, Vice-Chancellor Gopa Sabarwal said today.

The Nalanda university, being set up in the scenic precincts around Ranjir, will launch academic activities from 2013-14 session and start with two subjects, she told reporters after 10-hour-long meeting of the governing board attended among others by Nobel laureate Prof Amartya Sen.

The university will carry out academic activities from rented premises for the time being till the construction of its own campus the work on which was in progress, Sabarwal said.

The contour of the historical studies will have a strong archaeological component in view of the excavations significance of the Nalanda region and Bihar which has had a great historical background since ancient times, Nalanda university vice-chancellor said.

Speaking on the occasion, Sen expressed satisfaction with…

Nalanda Mentor Group holds meet in Patna

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The Nalanda Mentor Group, headed by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, held a meeting here on Wednesday to discuss the progress of setting up an international university at the ancient seat of learning, an official said.

The meeting was attended by Singapore's former foreign minister George Yeo, Lord Meghnad Desai, Sugata Bose of Harvard University and others to discuss the progress in the setting up of the university, said a state human resource development official.

The university's vice chancellor, Gopa Sabbarwal, was also present. This is the second meeting of the group. The first was held at Bodh Gaya in 2009.

The university plans to begin its first academic session by 2013 at its new campus in Nalanda and begin the admission process from 2012.

Sen, who arrived here Tuesday to release a report on primary education in Bihar, will also visit Rajgir in Nalanda district on Thursday.

"Sen and other members of the mentor group will visit the site of the upcoming university," the …