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PM Inaugurates New Campus of Nalanda University

PM Inaugurates New Campus of Nalanda University

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NEW DELHI, June 19: The Prime Minister on Wednesday inaugurated the new campus of Nalanda University, an international University, close to the site of the ancient ruins of Nalanda in Rajgir, Bihar.

Asserting that Nalanda is a symbol of India’s academic heritage and vibrant cultural exchange, Mr Modi said, “Nalanda is the proclamation of this truth that books may burn in the flames of fire, but the flames of fire cannot destroy knowledge. Nalanda is an identity, respect, and pride.”

He expressed his happiness over the presence of representatives of many countries on the day of the inauguration. He pointed out that the new campus of Nalanda University also proves that Bihar is on the path of development.

The Parliament of India established the Nalanda University through the Nalanda University Act, 2010. The Act formed the basis for implementing the decisions arrived at the second East Asia Summit (EAS) (Philippines, 2007) for the establishment of the university as an “international institution for pursuit of intellectual, philosophical, historical and spiritual studies” and at the forth East Asia Summit (Thailand, 2009). It started functioning in 2014 from a makeshift location with 14 students, the construction work started in 2017.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and 17 Ambassadors from participating countries attended the event. Bihar Governor Rajendra Arlekar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, Deputy CMs Samrat Choudhary and Vijay Sinha were among those present at the event.

Before inaugurating the new campus, PM also visited the ancient ruins of Nalanda and planted a saplling of Bodhi tree in the campus brought from Bodh Gaya. Nalanda University Chancellor Arvind Panagariya and Interim Vice-Chancellor Abhay Kumar Singh were also present on the occasion.

The ruins of ancient Nalanda comprise the archaeological remains of a monastic and scholastic institution. It includes stupas, shrines, viharas (residential and educational buildings) and important artworks in stucco, stone and metal. Nalanda stands out as the most ancient university of the Indian subcontinent.

Shortly after his visit to the ruins, PM Modi inaugurated the new campus of Nalanda University. Mr Modi was briefed about the ancient ruins by Gautami Bhattacharya, Superintending Archaeologist, ASI Patna Circle.

Before his Nalanda visit, the PM wrote in a post on X, “It’s a very special day for our education sector. The new campus of the Nalanda University would be inaugurated at Rajgir. Nalanda has a strong connect with our glorious past. This university will surely go a long way in catering to the educational needs of the youth.”

In his address, Mr Modi said, “The renaissance of Nalanda University near its ancient ruins will introduce India’s potential to the world. Nalanda is not just a renaissance of India’s past, the heritage of many countries and Asia is linked to it. In days to come, Nalanda University will once again become a major centre for our cultural exchange.”

Even though the decision to set up the University was taken in 2010, the real impetus to this institution came in 2014 under the leadership of Mr Modi, when a major push was given to establishing the University as an international centre of learning and scholarship, reminding the world of 21st century the eminence of the ancient Nalanda University.

The ancient Nalanda University was established in the 5th century and attracted students from all over the world. The ancient University flourished for 800 years before it was burnt down by invaders in the 12th century.

Mr Modi said India had lived as a model of sustainability for centuries and in the coming days India should become a centre of education and knowledge for the world. “India should once again be recognised as the most prominent knowledge centre in the world,” he said.

Talking about his visions for India, Mr Modi expressed that his effort is that India should have the world’s most comprehensive skill system and it should have the world’s most advanced research-oriented higher education system.

“Be curious, be courageous but above all be kind. I am confident that our youth will provide leadership to the entire world in the times to come. I am confident that Nalanda will become an important centre for global causes,” he told students. He also stressed that the Central government would always be ready to give all possible help to Nalanda University.

This international university, apart from India, has participation from 17 other nations — Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam. These countries have signed MoUs in support of the University.

It offers 137 scholarships to international students. These include scholarships sponsored/funded by ASEAN-India Fund, BIMSTEC scholarships and Bhutan Scholarship by MEA. It offers Post Graduate and Doctoral research courses and short-term certificate courses.

(Manas Dasgupta)


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