Nalanda University to come into being today

The much-hyped Nalanda University will come into being from September 1 with 11 teachers and 15 students. The teaching will commence from a makeshift campus, just 12 km away from the ruins of ancient Nalanda University, which was destroyed by Muhammad Bin Bakhtiyar Khilji, a general of Mohammad Ghori, in the 12th century.

Classes will start from Monday in Ecology & Environmental Studies besides Historical Studies.

“We are in the process of accepting more students and our faculty members, too, will be joining us once their previous engagements are over,” said the Vice-Chancellor of Nalanda University, Gopa Sabharwal.

Nobel laureate Amartya Sen is the Chancellor of the university which saw the light of the day after the UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh passed the “Nalanda University Act” in November 2010.

Inspired by the erstwhile Nalanda Mahavihara, where the university offered a choice of many subjects — philosophy, astronomy, literature, logic, Buddhism and Hinduism — the modern Nalanda University has been funded by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and other ASEAN (Association for South-East Asian Nations) countries. 

The tuition fee for the PG courses has been pegged at Rs 3 lakh per annum, plus an administrative charge of Rs 75,000, besides fee for boarding and lodging.

The NU administration has made a temporary arrangement to lodge its students in a state government hotel, where it has hired 40 rooms and three suites for holding classes. “One floor of the hotel is for the boys, while another one is for girls. The university will run a mess at the hotel for its students as well as faculty members,” said the VC.

Though Amartya Sen will not be present on the historic day when the classes will commence on Monday, it is believed that he, along with Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, will visit the campus after a fortnight. 

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