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

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 Secretary Jawhar Sircar told The Indian Express the ministry had already initiated the process by referring the matter to a technical committee of the Archeological Survey of India to carry out ‘assessment and exploration’ at the site which would establish whether there was need for excavation or not.

The government had last year passed a legislation to set up a new university, very near to where the original one was situated with the aim of reviving the past glory of Nalanda. The new university will start with seven schools and expand later. The Bihar government has already allocated 446 acres of land for it.

Sen wanted the ASI to carry out a thorough check at the site acquired for the new university to prevent damage to any archeological artefacts that might be present there. A satellite survey of the site is being planned.

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