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Revived Nalanda University started its first session on 1 September 2014

Sep 1, 2014 15:15 IST

The revived Nalanda University on 1 September 2014 started its first session with 15 students in its makeshift campus at the Buddhist pilgrim town of Rajgir, about 100 km from Patna.

The University started its first session 2014-15 with the classes for the School of Ecology and Environmental Studies and the School of Historical Studies. At present, the University has 10 faculty members. The University started its first session after completing the three-day orientation programme for students.

The formal inauguration of the University work will commence in mid-September, while the fully-residential university will be completed by 2020. Then it will have seven schools for post-graduate and doctoral students and will offer courses in science, philosophy and spirituality and social sciences.

Nalanda University Vice-Chancellor - Gopa Sabharwal
Chairman of the Governing Body of the university - Economist Amartya Sen


The University will come up in Rajgir, 12 km away from the location of ancient Nalanda University that stood till 12th Century, until it was razed by an invading Turkish army.

The governing body of the University also has several renowned teachers from various countries ad its members that include Former Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo and Ministry of External Affairs Secretary Anil Wadhwa.

The University attracted 1000 application from 40 countries the world but only 15 students (5 are women) were selected. The selected students include one from each Japan and Bhutan and rest are from India. Further, the University some more students will be enrolled by September 2014 as the selection process is still under way.

In the process of enrolling, the University received applications from the US, Russia, England, Spain, Germany, Japan, Myanmar, Austria and Sri Lanka, among others, as also from West Asian and Southeast Asian countries.

Revival of Nalanda University
The Nalanda University has been revived following the proposal of the former President APJ Abdul Kalam. He proposed the revival of the university in 2006. The University came into existence by the Nalanda University Act 2010 that was passed by Parliament and got its notification on 15 November 2010. The Union government has sanctioned 2700 crore rupees for the university, to be spent over 10 years.

Apart from this, the University is an initiative of the Indian government and 18 East Asia Summit (EAS) countries. The Seven EAS countries in October 2013 during the trip of the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Brunei inked an agreement for their commitment to the project. The seven EAS countries were Australia, Cambodia, Singapore, Brunei, New Zealand, Laos and Myanmar.

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Apart from this in November 2013 China also committed to provide 1 million dollar for project. This commitment was made by China during Beijing visit of Manmohan Singh. Singapore also pledged to donate 5 to 6 million dollars and Australia also planned to provide 1 million Australian dollars to the University.

Ancient Nalanda University
The ancient Nalanda University was established in the fifth century during the Gupta dynasty. It is an ancient international centre for learning in Bihar that attracted students from across the world, mainly from East Asia and China during 5th Century CE to 1197 CE. In the ancient times, the Nalanda University saw thousands of scholars and thinkers from across the world. It was destroyed in 1197 by the invading Turkish Army of Bakhtiyar Khilji a general of Qutbuddin Aibak. The blaze of the huge library is believed to have raged for several days.

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