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Showing posts from September, 2012

Yale Univ likely to mentor Nalanda University !!

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One of the most prestigious global institutions Yale University may assist India's ambitious plans to revive Nalanda University, the ancient seat of higher learning in Bihar. The ministry of external affairs (MEA) is in talks with the Ivy League university which will initially mentor the proposed varsity's first department - a school of environmental studies, government sources confirmed to a major daily.

"We may then seek to extend this cooperation," a senior official said.

Though no formal MoU has been signed between India and Yale yet, the American university is ready to assist in the project.

"We are happy to extend our support to this project, about which we are in touch with the Indian government," said George Joseph, assistant secretary for international affairs at Yale, the first university in the world that had a school of environmental sciences.

Nalanda International University is being built by India in collaboration with China, Japan and Singapore,…

The other Nalanda in West Bengal !!

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A group of researchers discovered a forgotten shrine between Medinipur in West Bengal and Jalesar in Orissa, on the south bank of the river Subarnarekha. What we know as the Moghulmari Buddhist Monastery is believed to have been a structure similar to the ancient Nalanda University.

The researchers, led by the late Dr Ashoke Dutta, reader at the department of archaeology, University of Calcutta, were in search of a lost course of the Subarnarekha when villagers drew their attention to a mound of artefacts, mostly stone inscriptions. The team found several hundred small figurines and started investigating. They discovered that beneath the 20x80 square metre mound was a 3,600 square metre space — most likely to hold mass prayer or meetings — in ruins. Remnants, excavated and analysed through carbon dating and other methods, indicate that this used to be a huge monastery, set up at least 1,400 years ago.

Their findings suggest that what is Moghulmari today was a part of Dantapur, a place …

India wants stronger university ties !!

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India wants to have a 'stronger' collaboration with Bangladesh's public and private universities in the field of science, technology and innovation, its envoy says.

Indian High Commissioner Pankaj Saran expressed the interest when he called on University Grants Commission's (UGC) Chairman Prof A K Azad Chowdhury on Tuesday.

According to a UGC media release, they agreed to introduce exchange visit of Vice-Chancellors and increase the number of fellowships, scholarships in Masters and Ph.D programme for Bangladeshi students at Indian universities.

The high commissioner also offered to make arrangements so that funds are available for higher education from the Tk 5 billion aid money earmarked for small projects in Bangladesh.

He called for active collaboration and participation of Bangladesh in the newly established Nalanda University in India.

UGC Chairman assured the envoy of extending 'all out cooperation' in the collaborative efforts.

He also drew the envoy's at…

Lord Meghnad Desai: Nalanad University to be the best university of 21st century !!

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London School of Economics's Professor Emeritus Lord Meghnad Desai was in the city on Wednesday to deliver a talk on 'The Bhagavad Gita: A secular inquiry into a sacred text' as part of a Distinguished Lecture Series organized by upcoming Nalanda University (NU). Also a member of the NU's governing board, he talked to TOI about his vision of the university, the 'global' tag it has and his fondness for novel writing. Excerpts:

Have you visited the NU site?

Yes... quite a number of times as a member of the varsity's governing board. The archeological site has been well preserved.

How do you visualize the future of NU?

We have planned to give it the shape of a distinctive campus for postgraduate studies. It will surely come up as one of the best universities of the 21st century. It will be a multimedia university equipped with a multimedia library.

Don't you think that Bihar lacks proper infrastructure to accommodate such a mega plan?

It's all about imaginat…

Milinda Moragoda appointed as Advisor to Nalanda University !!

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Laureate and Chancellor of Nalanda University, Professor Amartya Sen and the Governing Board of the university have invited Milinda Moragoda to assist in the establishment of the university as an advisor.

The Nalanda University was an ancient centre of Buddhist learning and repository of world knowledge, functioning for 800 years from the 5th-12th century CE. The most famous Buddhist university, it was one of the first universities in the world and reputed to have had in its heyday 2,000 teachers and 10,000 scholars from many countries, including Sri Lanka.

Close to the 12th century, Nalanda was destroyed by invaders.

In 2007, the 16-member East Asian Summit held in Cebu, Philippines endorsed the plan to reestablish Nalanda University in keeping with its original values.

Among the countries that participated at the summit were India, China, Japan, Thailand, and Singapore. In 2009, the East Asian Summit held in Thailand formerly supported the establishment of the Nalanda University and enc…

Vikramshila varsity in Buddhist Circuit likely

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The demand for the inclusion of the ancient Vikramshila Mahavihara in the Buddhist Circuit along with other places, has been realized with the ministry of tourism, Government of India, agreeing to include the historical seat of education in the Buddhist Circuit for its unified development in the 12th plan in collaboration with the states concerned.

Vikramshila Mahavihara was one of the two most important centers of Buddhist learning in India during the Pala dynasty. The other was Nalanda University. It was established by King Dharmapala (783 to 820 AD) and at present is located at about 50 km east of Bhagalpur and about 13 km north-east of Kahalgaon railway station on Bhagalpur-Sahebganj section of Eastern Railway.

At present, the area is under the jurisdiction of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) that had undertaken excavations from 1960 to 1981 to conserve the ancient seat of learning, according to sources. BJP MP from Bhagalpur Shahnawaz Hussain, who had made efforts for the inclu…

Nalanda University VC holds discussion with Nalanda DM !!

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The vice chancellor of the upcoming Nalanda University, Gopa Sabarwal, discussed the ongoing construction work and other modalities with Nalanda DM Sanjay Kumar Agarwal on Wednesday evening.

She said the modalities of the construction of the proposed university at Rajgir had been finalized and the academic session of the university will begin in 2014 after the building is complete in 2013 decided at the board meeting in Patna.


A probationer, appointed to look into the planned work of the university, will function from the present university office located on the first floor of the Rajgir SDO's office. She added that in the first phase, two departments -- history and environment and ecology -- are proposed to be opened and the process of appointing 26 professors will be completed next year.

The DM said the university's boundary wall will be completed in September and assured the visiting vice chancellor that the district administration is ready to extend any help sought by the uni…

Nalanda University Statutes pave way for crony academic appointments !!

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While Chief Minister Nitish Kumar might think roadblocks in the path of Nalanda University have been cleared, and Amartya Sen might claim that first two schools will start functioning in 2014, the Nalanda University thinks it can do without academic staff. The low priority assigned to the recruitment of academic staff is evident from the perusal of the Nalanda University Statutes, 2012.

The Statutes are byelaws framed in pursuance of the Nalanda University Act, 2012 for functioning of the University. They define the powers, tenure, and mode of appointment different officials. The focus is on Governing Board, Chancellor, Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Finance Officer and International Advisory Panel. The omission of mode of recruitment for academic staff, despite having taken longer time to frame the Statutes than allocated, reflects on the intention of the Governing Board.

The issue of Academic Staff is disposed off within one paragraph under Section 14 of the Nalanda University Statutes,…