Nalanda University Bill !
The University of Nalanda is proposed to be established under the aegis of the East Asia Summit (EAS), as a regional initiative. Government of India constituted a Nalanda Mentor Group (NMG) in 2007, under the Chairmanship of Prof. Amartya Sen 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 education. 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.
India has initiated steps to introduce the Nalanda University Bill 2010 in the Parliament. An endowment Fund has been allocated by India in the form of a special grant for the commencement of activities and till such time the Nalanda University becomes sustainable on its own.
The Government of Bihar has acquired about 500 acres of land at Rajgir (in the vicinity of the original Nalanda University of the yore) and transferred the same to the Centre for the establishment of the Nalanda University.
The University shall have the following schools of education upon its establishment:
1. Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religions
2. Historical Studies
3. International Relations & Peace Studies
4. Business Management in relation to Public Policy and Development Studies
5. Languages and Literature; and
6. Ecology and Environmental Studies
The University shall have any other school or schools as may be prescribed by the Statute.
The Government of India is prepared to provide funds for the smooth establishment and maintenance of the University. Private donations, international contributions from other foreign governments and member countries of EAS are expected on voluntary basis.
The Nalanda University is planned to be as in times past, a great seat of learning, scholarship, philosophy and statecraft. As such it will make contribution to the development and progress of the entire region in the vicinity of the University.
The university is being established as a regional initiative under the aegis of EAS. At the EAS Summit held in Thailand on 24-25 October 2009, the EAS member countries issued a Joint Press Statement which, inter-alia supported the establishment of the Nalanda University as a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution with a continental focus that will bring together the brightest and the most dedicated students from all countries of Asia. As regards funding, positive indications have been received from countries like Singapore, Thailand and Australia in the project. The Singapore Foreign Minister during his recent visit to India from August 1-4, 2010 announced that the Buddhist organizations in Singapore have offered funds amounting to around US$4-5 million for building a library at the proposed Nalanda University.
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