Nalanda University will begin classes at its new campus at Rajgir

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Nalanda University to be inaugurated today

Patna, Sept 1: The ancient Nalanda University (NU), which attracted students from the world over, will rise again tomorrow, as classes will begin at its newly established campus at Rajgir.

The event will also mark the fruition of the idea proposed by former President APJ Abdul Kalam while addressing a joint session of Bihar Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council way back in 2006.

"We will have a low-key launch with classes for the School of Ecology and Environmental Studies and the School of Historical Studies beginning at 9 AM. Right now there are 15 students and 11 faculty members at the campus," NU Vice-Chancellor Gopa Sabharwal told PTI.

Sabharwal said there were two reasons for starting on a small note as she wanted the students and teachers to settle down, and that Union External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj would be visiting on September 14.

"We have decided to have a big function when Swaraj visits NU on September 14. By that time things will settle down and the media glare will also decrease to some extent," Sabharwal added. The University today completed the three-day orientation programme of the students.

"More than a thousand students from various countries across the globe had applied for the seven schools on different subjects that will function at the university, of which only 15, including one each from Japan and Bhutan, were selected," said the VC.

At the time when Kalam mooted NU, Singapore government had also proposed revival of the university having international character, but suitable to the modern times. Former Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar also showed a keen interest in it and the work on the concept began soon after.

The NU came into existence by the Nalanda University Act passed by Parliament. Economist Amartya Sen is the Chairman of the Governing Body of the university, while renowned teachers from various countries are its members. Former Singapore foreign minister George Yeo and Ministry of External Affairs Secretary Anil Wadhwa are also part of the governing body.

PTI

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