Nalanda University to start functioning from September 1, 2014

By Vidhya Shree

Nalanda University to start September 1, 2014

The plan of revival of Nalanda University as a centre of learning was started in 2007, and it is all set to take off from September 1st, this year.

To start with, the university will open with two post-graduate schools - School of Ecology and School of Historical Studies - with a in-take of 20 students in each of the schools and about 20 faculty members. All of them will be a part of the residential set up.

Applications have come from across the world to be a part of the faculty, from people of Indian origin but foreign nationals, said CEO of Nalanda University, Anjana Sharma. "Since we believe in interdisciplinary studies, there will be no department barriers in the schools," explained Sharma, adding that the the first batch of faculty will be called the founding faculty.

The governing committee is high-powered and is led by Nobel laureate and economist Amartya Sen, which also includes reputed academics from across the world. A meet is scheduled here on July 19 and 20, 2014, to draw up the final plans for the opening of the university. At the two-day meet of the governing body, the names of the faculty members will also be finalised.

The master plan of architecture for the new university, has been inspired from the ancient 5th century style but will be built as a modern structure, added Sharma. The architects for the new university were shortlisted to 8 applicants from the 79 international entries. B. V. Doshi, a master architect was finally selected to rebuild the new centre of learning at Rajgir. The campus is about 10 km away from the ancient site of the seat of learning and is spread over 450 acres.

The new university will include five neighbouring villages in the master plan, so as to integrate with the local livelihood, adds Sharma. She also stated that, the campus will be a Net Zero green campus and there were two sets of jury to choose the design and the ecological technicalities. Activities of agriculture will also be incorporated into the programmes of the university, which is an idea borrowed from the school of learning of Rabindranath Tagore from his Sriniketan project adjoining to Shantiniketan.

The plans are to go for quality as far as students and faculty are concerned and to rush on numbers. The university is about to take off on a temporary gated campus, that is also being built for the students and the international resident faculty, with security concerns in mind. After the meet of the governing body in July, most of the working faculty of the university will move to Rajgir and function from there.

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