Friday, January 30, 2015

Nalanda University Cuts PG Fee by 80%

The next batch of Nalanda University (NU) students will have to shell out much less than the pioneering batch as the university's governing board has cut the tuition fee for post-graduation courses from Rs three lakh to Rs 58,000 per annum.

Interacting with the media at the Patna airport after a two-day board meeting at Rajgir, NU chancellor Amartya Sen on Wednesday said fee revision was aimed at accommodating more talented students from economically average or weaker bac grounds.

"I'd expressed concern in this regard earlier too. After much debate and discussions, we agreed to put it at Rs 58,000 or about US $1,000 on the lines of South Asia University in Delhi," Sen said, adding he was happy with the functioning of the varsity so far.

Sen admitted the board was initially not quite alert while deciding the fee. But, vice-chancellor Gopa Sabharwal and the varsity dean received a number of letters from students saying they were interested in studying at NU but the fee structure was a deterrent.

The fee of the first batch of students, called Nalanda Pioneers, will also be adjusted in next session. The chancellor hoped the fee reduction will help attract more students to the university which started its first session with two schools - School of Ecology and Environmental Studies and School of Historical Studies, 13 students and 11 faculty members in September 2014.

NU is also contemplating opening more schools, governing board member Sugata Bose said. "A School of Economics and Management is being planned right now. A School of Public Health, which was not on the list of originally-planned seven schools and also a School of Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religion are also under consideration," Bose said.

Sen said, "I am personally involved in the School of Public Health and am visiting medical schools across the globe to see what best can happen at NU. Public healthcare institutes are not many in India but universal healthcare is the need of the hour."

All except one of the governing board members were present at the meeting held on January 13 and 14. The board has also sanctioned funds for the first phase of construction work on the 455-acre permanent campus of NU, few km from the old Nalanda Mahavihara.

"Our architects want the ground level work to finish before the monsoon hits the state. The tenders should be issued by the end of this month," Bose said even as Sen added old Nalanda had 10,000 students and NU eventually would have more than that.
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