Nalanda University set to open September 1

By Ians

Rajgir, July 21: Part of a premier state-owned hotel will temporarily serve as a hostel for students of the revived Nalanda University, an international centre of learning coming up in Bihar, in eastern India, that will open its doors Sept 1.


More than 1,000 students from 40 countries have sought admission in Nalanda University. Applications have come from the US, Russia, England, Spain, Germany, Japan, Myanmar, Austria and Sri Lanka, as also from West Asian and Southeast Asian countries among others.

Forty students or Nalanda Fellows have be admitted to the School of Historical Sciences and School of Environment and Ecology with which the university will initially start functioning at the Buddhist pilgrim town of Rajgir, about 100 km from state capital Patna, where the sprawling university is set to come up.

"About 40 students from different countries enrolled in two schools of Nalanda university will be provided hostel accommodation in Hotel Tathagat," which is owned by the Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation (BSTDC), a university official told from Rajgir.

"The hotel, which is spread over three acre land near a hot springs site, has lush green surroundings. Part of it will function as a hostel for two to five years," the official added. The university will pay over Rs.1 crore ($166,000) per annum to the BSTDC for the facility. "It will be comfortable for students because classes would be held at the nearby convention hall of the state government," the official added.

Six faculty members have been appointed for each of the two schools. They are from New Zealand, England, the US and Singapore, among others. The university will be fully residential, like the ancient Nalanda university. It will offer courses in science, philosophy and spirituality as well as social sciences.

The university, an initiative of the Indian government and the 18 East Asia Summit (EAS) countries, is coming up at Rajgir around 12 km from the ruins of its ancient namesake that was flocked by thousands of scholars and thinkers from across the world till the 12th century.

An around eight-kilometre boundary wall marks the 446-acre campus where the modern centre of excellence is to come up. The residential university, due to be completed by 2020, is to have seven schools - all for postgraduate and doctorate students.


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