Friday, 6 July 2007

Nalanda International University: A Great Initiative
by Bibhuti BikramadityaDaejeon, S Korea
March. 27, 2007

At last, Bihar government presented a Bill for the revival of Nalanda International University at Nalanda. We all should appreciate and give congratulations to the present government with a thumping desk to start the process of the revival of this International University which was known for the ancient seat of learning till 1197 AD. This university attracted 10,000 students and 2,000 scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey, besides being a pedestal of higher education in India and produced great scientists in the past, Aryabhatt was one of them who came to Bihar at the age of 13 from Kerala (some people says he was born nearby Patna) and become Vice chancellor of the University. Though it was devoted to Buddhist studies, the varsity also trained students in subjects like fine arts, medicine and mathematics.In the post independent era, talks were going on for the revival of this university and the demand was started in early 1990s but it took serious turn when our the President of India, Dr. Abul Kalam suggested to revive this university while addressing the both houses of Bihar Assembly. This gave impetus to this process and become an eye opener for Bihar government. Hats off to our beloved President of India. He deserves appreciation for this great initiative.As per the reports, Japan and Singapore have shown interest in investing about Rs.4.5 billion ($100 million) in the university. Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has offered to donate Buddhist artifacts to the proposed university.A high-level international team of consultants is going to be formed for the establishment of the International University. In the initial phase, Nobel laureate Prof Amartya Sen and British Economist Professor in London School of Economics & member of the House of Lords, Lord Meghnad Desai have agreed to be part of an international group of consultants. The state government is also in the process of roping experts from Singapore and Japan and other countries for the revival of this unique university.The report states that in its first phase, the university will offer only post-graduate, research, doctoral and post-doctoral degrees. However, the report - prepared by the Educational Consultants of India, a consulting company under the union ministry of human resource development - is also in favor of offering undergraduate courses in specific areas.The university will impart courses in science, philosophy and spiritualism along with other subjects. An internationally known scholar will be the chancellor of the university and 1,137 students from both India and abroad will be enrolled in the first year. By the fifth year, the number will go up to 4,530 and in the second phase, student enrolment will increase to 5,812.The university, spread over a 500 acres, will have a 1:10 faculty-student ratio. The 46 international faculty members will receive an estimated $36,000 per annum as salaries.The University of Nalanda Bill, 2007, states that the international university would strive to create a world free of war, terror and violence.According to Chief Minister Sri Nitish Kumar, "This (bill), which is not only for Bihar or even India, will act as a facilitator for what will emerge as a centre for renaissance of the east. He strongly feels that the university will become a reference point for international relations and a centre for peace and resolution of disputes.We do hope this University will be the center of excellence, will gather students from all over the world in all areas of life sciences and physical sciences including arts, culture and spiritualism which is the backbone of India.

Re-opening of world fame International Nalanda University is a very good news. It will bring the historical importance back to Bihar. Bit at the same time Bihar Govt. must improve roads and lights so that people can feel that some improvement is done. - T S P Sinha, Jamshedpur - Mar. 28, 2007
I was so pleased to read this article. Finally we are heading to establishment of glorious Bihar again. Revival of Nalanda University should have been the prior attention of the government effort but it’s not too late. If this project is successfully executed it would be the great gift for Biharis as well as for other states' people.We should put all our effort to make this great project successful. The revival of ancient university could be the mile stone in educational field. Our respected President and chief minister should be really appreciated for this wonderful thought. Now once again Bihar will be in world’s map. - Mamta, USA - Mar. 28, 2007
How does it sound 27% quota for OBC, 22% for SC and 7.5% for ST in this world fame International Nalanda University? - Parshuram - Mar. 29, 2007
Yeah, a very good news and a good initiative on the whole .However one name seems to have missed out from the list of people mentioned here, that is of one of the most capable bureaucrats of our time and the driving force behind this whole initiative......Mr. N K Singh. Mr. Singh has a chequered career at the helm of affairs as a former union revenue secretary (Conceptualized Voluntary Disclosure Scheme) then in PMO of Mr Vajpayee followed by an stint at Planning Commission. At Present, He is Dy. Chairman State Planning Board and the man leading the charge on many fronts including perhaps in presenting the state to Global financial Institution apart From This Nalanda Initiative. Christened by some media critics in aftermath of VDS scheme as "A person who gets things done". Aptly said indeed! - D. N. Mishra - Mar. 29, 2007
In present day and age it was Mahatma Gandhi who initiated the thinking process of revival behind the Nalanda as reference to Ahimsa being the greatest cause of nirvana or salvation by self contribution to understanding about the knowledge of the absolute and ultimate human code of conduct in an advanced society. That led Lord Buddha to be declared as the next half incarnation after Lord Krishna of the Lord Narayana. It would be a great tribute to the Mahatma if his name was figured as the contemporary modern day saint who took inspiration and became the guiding light on Lord Buddha's preaching. It has also got to be well understood as the establishment principle that Nalanda does not stand hostage to any religion and any binding organisation. - Viren Naik - Mar. 31, 2007

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