Nitish offers land for three more schools in Nalanda University


Chief minister Nitish Kumar on Friday offered to give "more land" to the upcoming Nalanda University (NU), if NU chancellor and Nobel laureate Amartya Sen agreed to open three more school of learning -- concerning economics, basic science, and conflict resolution for peace in the world - at the new university that would have global reach and prominent presence in Asia.

"If you need more land for the purpose, we will provide it," Nitish said, adding since the inception of NU, things have begun to move along a path of certainty, as the Centre has begun to take active interest after a phase of initial uncertain steps and has now decided to turn it into a vibrant reality, and in fact, has also taken concrete steps in this regard.

He was speaking at the inaugural function of the three-day international seminar on "Civilizational Dialogue between India and ASEAN" organized by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR). The CM informed the governing body members of NU and others present at the seminar that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had constituted Nalanda Monitoring Committee (NMC) at the Planning Commission, while the Centre, on his suggestion, had put NU under ministry of foreign affairs (MFA).

"I, as special invitee member of NMC, told them on June 26 that given its vision, nature and reach of NU, tackling its affairs would simply be impossible for the Union human resources development (HRD) department. I, therefore, advised them to keep it with MFA to which they agreed," CM Nitish said, adding NU has seven schools, but he felt that three more schools for learning and research could also be added.

Incidentally, Sen, in his deliberation before giving his keynote address having bearing on the theme of the international seminar, agreed with the CM, saying he has merged "economics" with the school of management, and his two other suggestions would be attended to in course, as seven schools has already been introduced.

Responding to the demand of ICCR president Dr Karan Singh that a separate school on religion and language be also introduced at NU, Sen said it, in fact, is already there as school of studies in comparative religion and language. He pointed out four Indian languages, including Assamese, Bengali and Nepali, had abandoned gender denomination in their verb forms in 12th century AD. Sen, however, refused to digest the theme of Singh that ancient India-ASEAN cultural relations had occurred without violence and colonisation, since Chola dynasty kings established relations with the ASEAN countries by dint of their navy and army.
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