Nalanda work to start in March 2016 - Governing Board Clears new Buddhist Studies school !!

The construction of the Nalanda University building will start in a couple of months - a decade after then President APJ Abdul Kalam conceptualised it.

The announcement, made by chancellor George Yeo, came after the 13th meeting of the governing board, signifying the delays and difficulties the much-touted university has gone through.

The university administration would complete the tender allotment process for the upcoming building by February-end after which the construction work will start by the end of March.

The varsity is, at present, functioning from its makeshift campus on the premises of a healthcare and research unit near the Rajgir bus stand.

Yeo, a former foreign minister of Singapore, replaced Nobel laureate Amartya Sen as chancellor last year. Sen continues to be associated with the university as a member of the governing body. He attended the meeting today held at the Rajgir International Convention Centre.

The governing board also decided to launch its fourth school - on linguistics and literature - in the 2017-18 academic session.

The university has already announced it would start its School of Buddhist Studies, Comparative Religion and Philosophy from the academic session 2016-17. At present, the university is running the School of Historical Studies and School of Ecological and Environment Studies. The School of Public Health is expected to come up in the 2018-19 academic session.

Yeo said the building construction work is likely to start from March-end. "With the construction work commencing, the university will go into expansion mode by increasing student intake."

At present, the student strength is 63. This year, the university's target is to increase the strength to 300.

Sources said the first phase of construction would include the academic block, administrative blocks, residential quarters for faculty and other staff members, hostels for students and roads for reaching to various blocks. The first phase of construction work will be completed within 42 months at an estimated cost of Rs 700 crore.

Yeo denied there has been any delay in the construction. "There is no delay in construction. It takes time, as the university has to follow several procedural steps such as selecting the design architecture, erecting boundary wall and other formalities," he said.

The new Nalanda University campus is coming up over 454 acres at a site around 15km away from the ruins of the famed ancient seat of learning.

The planned School of Linguistics and Literature will complement the present School of Historical Studies and the upcoming School of Buddhist Studies, Comparative Religion and Philosophy. While catering to the present needs of the neighbourhood in which the university is located, the School of Public Health will greatly benefit the region.

Yesterday, an exhibition was held to showcase the design of the master plan and library plan of the university. Ahmedabad-based Vastu Shilpa Consultants, whose principal architect is B.V. Doshi, is the master planner of the university. RSP Architects, Planners & Engineers of Singapore is the library designer.
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