Sunday, July 29, 2012

With Amartya Sen as Chancellor, Nalanda University to function soon !!

With appointment of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen as first Chancellor of Nalanda International University, all remaining works of the university would get completed with accelerated pace, said Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar here today.
Addressing an international seminar by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), Mr Kumar exuded his confidence that work of Nalanda International University would not get stalled after constitution of Nalanda monitoring committee by the Centre and appointment ofNobel prize winner Mr Sen as the first Chancellor of the university.

With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh specially taking interest and constituting a monitoring committee to oversee the work of Nalanda International University and also after appointment of Amartya Sen as Chancellor, the work of the university will never get stuck, the Chief Minister further added.

Mr Kumar said Mr Sen was vexed over the inordinate delay in completion of the work of Nalanda University and taking his concern into consideration, he had requested the Prime Minister to take concrete steps in this regard.

"I have been raising the point since long that a university of such standard and par excellence could not be established only with the support of Bihar government and Human Resources Development Ministry of the Centre, " he said and added that role of External Affairs Ministry was also vital for the purpose.

"From 2014, teaching in Nalanda International University would start in two faculties, " Mr Kumar said adding 100 seats would be available in each faculty.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Sen said he had confidence that Nalanda International University would regain its past glory and Bihar would once again become seat of learning and wisdom to be acclaimed across the globe.
Read more:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Bihar CM demands school of economics at Nalanda University !!

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today demanded opening of a school of economics and basic science in Nalanda International University.

''Nalanda international university should have school of economics and basic science and teaching in related subjects,'' he said during a meeting with members of the governing board for the university here.

Earlier the chief minister met board members Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, George Yeo, Susumu Makanishi, Wang Bangwei, Sugata Bose, Tansen Sen, Gopa Sabbaharwal and Lord Meghnad Desai and discussed the future of the university.

State HRD Minister P K Sahi, MP N K Singh, Chief Secretary Navin Kumar, development commissioner A K Sinha and principal secretary to the education department Amarjit Sinha were also present at the meeting.
Read more:

Invest in education: Amartya Sen !!

Amartya Sen, the Nobel laureate and chancellor of upcoming Nalanda University in Bihar, said here on Friday it was massive investment in education in the select East Asian nations that not only led to their emergence on the international map, but also helped in the formation of their identity as East Asian giants.

Sen, in this regard, cited the case of Japan which, under the Meji Restoration period, saw a huge investment in elementary education under 'Education for All' programme. As a result, Japan, in early 20th century, was "producing more books than Great Britain, and also twice the number of books produced in the US."

He also said Bangladesh, in recent times, had pumped in a huge sum of money for the promotion of elementary education, even as its growth rate in terms of gross domestic product (GDP) was lower than that of India. The all-round progress witnessed in China in Maoist China before 1979 was also propelled by the push given to its education sector, following which reforms brought in by Deng Xiao Ping became possible. According to Sen, the GDP of India is certainly greater than that of Bangladesh, but Bangladesh is the only country in the world where more girls than boys have been going to schools, and it had "definitely overtaken India".

Sen was giving the 12th foundation lecture of Asian Development Research Institute (Adri) at a function otherwise held to mark the inauguration of the three-day international seminar organized by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) headed by former Union minister Dr Karan Singh and supported by ministry of external affairs (MEA). Thematically, the lecture of Sen was synchronized with the theme of the ICCR international seminar - 'Civilizational Dialogue between India and ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations)'.

His notes on Asiatic, South Asian, East Asian and South Asian identities and experiences apart, Sen, in tune with the theme of the ICCR international seminar, went back and forth in time, and presented haunting childhood memories of his years, when he was six years old and his father had gone to Mandalay in the then Burma (present-day Myanmar) to work. The locals considered his father a Vaidya (people of the caste dealing in medicine), even as the family had abandoned the caste profession. Sen, juxtaposing his local and national impressions with their images presented in the writings of Rudyard Kipling (poem 'Mandalay') and George Orwell (in his book 'Homage to Catalonia' on Spanish civil war), said that his own personal impressions of Burma were different.

Sen recalled the local flora and fauna, people, rivers (specially the Irawady river), mountains and palaces, and also mentioned how he used to draw their images on the walls of the family house. While the locals were "happy and cheerful people, always showing their smiling faces," the nanny who took his care left an indelible impact on him. "She was very beautiful, among the most beautiful I had seen. I still remember a few Burmese words," Sen said, adding: "These impressions formed a standard of Asian identity within me that helped me in my later research."

He also said the only place outside their mainland to which the Chinese first went was ancient Nalanda University to learn. "There should be no hesitation on our part to learn from any country in Asia," Sen said.
Read more:

Nalanda - World's oldest university recreated !!

Nalanda: It is the world's oldest university and after centuries, is now set to be recreated. Nalanda in Bihar, a renowned seat of learning and excellence 800 years ago, will soon stand tall again - this time as a truly international university.

The Nalanda International University, a pet project of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, hopes to revive the lost glory of the 4th century university that drew students and scholars from across Asia. The new avatar is also being designed to serve as India's very own centre for conflict resolution, on the lines of the one at Geneva.

A first of its kind in Asia, the university is being funded by India, China, Japan, Singapore and Thailand. The university will have seven schools comprising faculty from India and abroad who will impart teaching in courses like science, philosophy, spiritualism and international relations.

Nobel laureate Prof. Amartya Sen, who was appointed as the Chancellor of the university last week, has already announced that the first two of the seven proposed post-graduate schools will start functioning from next year. Each of the two schools - School of Historical Studies and School of Ecology and Environmental Studies - will have 100 students enrolled for the programme.

Read More:

Friday, July 20, 2012

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.
Read More:

Nalanda International University won't be stalled: Nitish Kumar

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Friday expressed confidence that work of Nalanda International University would not get stalled after constitution of Nalanda monitoring committee by the Centre and appointment of Nobel prize winner and economist Amartya Sen as the Chancellor of the university.

With Prime Minister Manmohan Singh specially taking interest and constituting a monitoring committee to oversee the work of Nalanda International University and also after appointment of Amartya Sen as Chancellor, the work of the university will never get stuck, Kumar said while addressing an international seminar organised by Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR).

"All these are positive signs and even ICCR chairman Karan Singh too has promised to extend all possible help for the university," the Chief Minister said.

He said earlier it had looked otherwise and there were doubts whether the university's work would progress.

Kumar said he had also met the Prime Minister about the work of the university that was suffering and requested him to look into it but the prime minister too had expressed "dissatisfaction" over the progress of the work.

Kumar said now the governing body of the university had accelerated the pace of work and its members met him on Thursday to discuss various issues.

The Chief Minister expressed the hope that the Nalanda International University would emerge as a centre of resolution to stop the conflict in future and would become a centre for global knowledge and study.

Kumar suggested that the university should have seven proposed vidyapeeths apart from conflict resolution centre and two new vidyapeeths like school of economics and management and school of basic sciences.

The chief minister said the state government would help provide additional land if required for setting up conflict resolution centre and school of economics and management.

He said it was a matter of great happiness that the governing body of the university during its meeting yesterday decided to start teaching work in the two schools from 2014.

Kumar also expressed happiness over opening of the 19th centre of the ICCR in Patna and expressed his gratitude to the Centre. He said Bihar government would provide appropriate land for the ICCR in Patna.

The chief minister said Nalanda International University should remain under the External Affairs ministry and not with Union HRD ministry.

Kumar stressed the need for tracing the spots of archaeological importance and said the Nalanda university and ICCR centre after their establishment would start excavation of isolated archaeological spots.

He also "highlighted alleged neglect of Balirajgarh archaeological spot in Madhubani district in Bihar".
Read More:

Amartya Sen appointed first chancellor of Nalanda University

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen was on Thursday appointed as the first chancellor of the upcoming Nalanda International University in Bihar, an official said.

“Decision to appoint Amartya Sen as first chancellor of the university was taken Thursday in its meeting of the board of governors here,” said the official of the state education department.

The meeting also decided that the process of recruitment of acclaimed and renowned faculty for the university will begin in July 2013 and the academic session of its two schools – historical sciences and environment and ecology – will start from April 2014, the official said.

The university in Bihar’s Nalanda district, about 100 km from here, will be fully residential, like the ancient Nalanda university. It will offer courses in science, philosophy and spiritualism along with social sciences.
Read more:

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Proposal to shift airport to Nalanda not mine: Nitish Kumar

Chief minister Nitish Kumar stoutly denied that he was behind the reported move to shift Jaya Prakash Narayan International Airport from Patna to Nalanda. He said an airport in Nalanda has been proposed in the light of the terms of reference of the upcoming Nalanda International University, which would require air connectivity.

Talking to media on Monday on the sidelines of 'Janata ke darbar mein mukhya mantri', the CM said he came to know about it during the last week meeting of the monitoring committee for Nalanda University, which has been constituted by the Prime Minister. The chairman of Airports Authority of India (AAI), who was also present at the meeting, said an airport could be made there. The committee is headed by Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia. "When they take the final decision, we will start land acquisition process between Nalanda and Pawapuri," Nitish said.

About the expansion of the Patna airport, the CM recalled that in 2007 he had met the then civil aviation minister Praful Patel and a map for expansion plan of Jaya Prakash Narayan International Airport towards Phulwarisharif had been handed over to him during his meeting with the officials of civil aviation ministry and the AAI. He had also asked Patna DM to inspect the place and explore land to be given to the airport. But the idea was suddenly shelved by a joint secretary-level official of the government of India, who visited the site and said it was not feasible, the CM said.

He further recalled that a few years back the issue of shifting the airport was raised by the AAI. Its team came for survey of an alternative place. They visited Bihta but were told that land acquisition was not possible there as large chunks of land of farmers had already been acquired for various projects. The team found Nalanda-Pawapuri an ideal place, Nitish added.

About the cutting of the trees at Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park, the CM said the pruning of trees was a normal practice but felling hundreds of tress was not permissible. "This is the only green belt here and it cannot be finished," he added.

He was also critical of the policy of civil aviation ministry and the AAI and said they just forgot the renewal plan of the Patna airport. The state government officials had to rush to Delhi pleading for renewal of the airport. "The running of an airport is not the responsibility of state government but of the AAI," the CM said.

To a query that once the Patna airport is shifted to Nalanda, it would cause great difficulty to the local passengers, Nitish said, "Many four-lane roads are being constructed to connect Patna with Nalanda and one can reach Nalanda by road within 50 minutes. All the airports in the country are located far away from the cities."

However, he said the civil aviation ministry and the AAI would make the final decision to build an airport at Nalanda. The state government would extend its support and assistance to the project, he added.

About the airport at Gaya, the CM said more land had been given for its expansion and now aircrafts of all sizes could land at the Gaya airport. The civil aviation ministry should consider starting operation of commercial flights from there, he said.
Read more:

India committed to boosting BIMSTEC connectivity: PM

Making a strong pitch for enhanced regional connectivity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that India was committed to worki...