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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2007, 2:27 AM
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Vedanta, Nalanda Universities: founding/resurrection of Asia's Biggest/Oldest Unis.

This thread aims to discuss Indian large-campus university development, in particular the very interesting Vedanta and Nalanda University projects. However, this thread is not just limited in scope to these particular projects.

Also of note is the Odyssey Science City, Anantapur, which isn't strictly an educational project, so won't be mentioned here. But it has a thread of its own.

-Jai
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Old Posted Feb 20, 2007, 2:28 AM
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Vedanta University
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Overview of Vedanta University

The Vedanta University, Puri-Konark Orissa, is an incredibly ambitious project planned to be India's first and only world class, multidisciplinary university. It will be a not-for-profit university that aims to compete with universities the caliber of Harvard or Oxford. The goal is several-fold: to develop India's future generations of Leaders, Nobel Laureates, Olympic Champions, Community Leaders, Entrepreneurs, and CEO; to spawn a world-class township; and to create immediate economic benefit to the region.

The university will house several inter-disciplinary centers of excellence and will support approximately 100,000 undergraduate, masters and doctoral students enrolled in 95 disciplines, and employ a 10,000 internationally renowned faculty members , making it Asia's largest university, and one of the largest universities in the world. It will also have a state-of-the-art Olympics Sports Complex, fully equipped to train India's future olympians.

The project aims to attract a student body of the best minds from around the world, making it international in character. It aims to be a world leader of research with cross-disciplinary Centres of Excellence, R&D with private-public partnership to ensure greater application of innovation, and will combat eurocentric academic monopoly with insights on globally relevant topics from an Asia-centric perspective. Eventually, the university foundation hopes that Vedanta University would stem the annual exodus of Indian students seeking higher education abroad, out of which about 80,000 head for the USA alone.

Vedanta University is the brainchild of Indian businessman Anil Agarwal. Needing a total outlay of 150 billion rupees (approximately US $3.2 billion) to set up the university, the foundation has been endowed $1 billion contributed from Mr. Agarwal's personal funds, the largest single person contribution ever made towards the endowment for any educational institution worldwide. The University has recieved full, enthusiastic support from the State, National governments and Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India himself. Currently,


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The Vedanta University Campus

The sprawling Vedanta University campus will follow a Mandala layout, centered around a large body of water. Its idyllic surroundings will include a picturesque lake in its immediate vicinity and rolling hills at a distance. The gentle, flowing waters of the Nuanai river meeting the crashing waves of the Casuarina tree-lined beach at Balighai would complete the scenic backdrop. The well-known ruins of the Sun Temple at Konark would be a few minutes away.

Vedanta University will be developed in several phases until its planned completion in 2025. However, the university is expected to start admitting its first batch of around 3,500 students as early as 2009, into its engineering, liberal arts, and basic science programs. Most academic schools, including those of law and performing arts, as well as a few centers of excellence would be in place by 2016.


^ The Train Station Plaza, the point of arrival for many visitors to Vedanta University


^ The University Green, the main campus prominade. Tall shade trees and fountains provide relief from the summer heat.


^ Great stretches of lawn offer views of state-of-the-art facilities.


^ Example of an academic building


^ Example of an academic building. The landscape and the architecture employ the best elements of Indian design traditions and the latest building technology.


^ The university green leads to the campus quadrangle gateways.


^ The students residences are expressed in lively architecture.




^ At the heart is a large grass courtyard for leisure and recreation.


^ The learning spaces are just next door, grouped around academic courtyards.


^ Classrooms lecture halls, offices and laboratories enjoy shaded courts with fountains


^ The Vedanta Stadium, venue of multi-sport, national competitions is the signature building of the Olympic Class Sports Complex.

The campus layout will be designed by Ayers Saint Gross, a Baltimore based architectural firm. Ayers Saint Gross has 90 years of experience developing some of the best university campuses in the USA such as Duke, Carnegie-Mellon and Johns Hopkins.

Additionally, Mumbai architect Hafeez Contractor, would be hired to impart an Indian touch to the various department and office building architectures.


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The Vedanta University Township



The Government of Orissa has identified 10,000 acres of land for the campus on a seafront location on Puri-Konark marine drive between Nuanai and Balighai, only an hour away from Orissa's state capital, Bhubaneswar, and minutes from the world famous Sun Temple at Konarak.

With close to 500,000 people living in its premesis, it aims to be an educational hub that will trigger development and provide employment, directly and indirectly, hundreds of thousands of people in the region, thus giving rise to a thriving township.

The township will include primary and secondary schools, apartment complexes and private residences, theaters, cinema, parks and recreation areas, restaurants and shopping complexes. The township will also have allocated land for a research & development park. This park would serve as an incubator for other research laboratories, centers of excellence, and research oriented private companies as Vedanta University spin-offs. It will serve to channel venture capital funds into research and education. The entire area is expected to eventually evolve into a large research-cum-education complex, similar to the economic hub around Stanford with a combined market capitalization of $300 billion.

The Orissa Sate government will provide all necessary support infrastructure for this undertaking. The campus will have connectivity via a swanky new international airport being constructed near Bhubaneswar, connected by means of a four lane expressway under construction. Furthermore, railway stations will be located in the campus and township.


Cheers,
Jai

For latest news:
Official Site
Vedanta University Blog
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2007, 2:31 AM
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Nalanda University
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The formal plans for Nalanda University haven't been released yet. When it does, I will edit this introductary post accordingly. Till then, here are some articles that give an overview of the project.
An awesome article detailing not only the Maitreya Buddha project, but also the re-establishment of the ancient Nalanda University in Bihar.

Buddhism really is coming back to its motherland, thanks in great part to the Tibetan refugees who have made India their home!

Buddhist bonanza
Quote:
Rabindra Seth
www.expresshospitality.com
16-31 January 2007

Two great projects - the world's tallest Buddha at Kushinagar in UP and the revival of Nalanda University in Bihar - are now on the drawing board and are likely to be taken up in 2007. This may give India a tourist draw card as alluring as the Taj Mahal.


The Buddha statue project is the brainchild of Maitreya - an international organisation. Its name is derived from Sanskrit, meaning universal love. The aim, the sponsors say, is not just to build a unique statue but "to benefit as many people as possible for as long as possible". The 152 metre (500 feet) high Buddha in the centre of 750 acres of landscaped environs is designed to last at least a 1,000 years.

Under the throne of the statue will be buildings, housing temples, exhibitions halls, a museum, library, audio-visual theatre and hospitality services. All around will be beautiful parks with meditation pavilions, fountains, tranquil pools and a collection of sacred art, plus a hospital of international standards and educational facilities. (Maitreya is already providing free education to 500 students at Bodhgaya)

Land for the project has been donated by the UP government which, at last count, had already acquired 40 per cent and the process is on for acquiring the rest. Maitreya and the state government have entered into an agreement to create a Special Development Area extending to 7.5 kilometres around the project where healthcare and educational programmes will be implemented.

Maitreya had originally planned the project at Bodhgaya, but the inordinate delays in decision-making in Bihar compelled it to shift it to Kushinagar. A spokesperson for the organisation told this writer that work on the project will hopefully start in 2007 when the acquired land is handed over.

The Nalanda University initiative was taken by the external affairs ministry as part of a move to re-kindle India's ancient links with east and south Asian countries, by reviving Nalanda as a centre for Buddhist learning. On its part the ministry of tourism and culture consulted the Nava Nalanda Mahavihara, an autonomous body under it. Later, at meetings at the PMO, four key components were identified for a the Nalanda project - setting up an international centre of learning, developing the area around Nalanda, re-development of Bodhgaya and developing the entire area of Nalanda as a cultural corridor or as a centre of cultural tourism. A consultant from the UN World Tourism Organisation was also invited who recommended that a master plan be prepared.



^ An artist's impression of the Buddha statue at Kushinagar. One of the four holiest Buddhist sites, Kushinagar near Gorakhpur in UP is where the Lord attained Mahaparinirvana. The other three are at Lumbini on the Nepalese side of the Indian border where he was born, Bodhgaya in Bihar where he attained enlightenment, and Sarnath near Varanasi where he delivered his first sermon.


Will tourism follow trade?

An international seminar on Nalanda-Buddhist cultural links was held in Singapore in November this year. It was jointly organised by the East Asian Institute, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences and the Institute of South Asian Studies in National University of Singapore. Sanjay Kothari, the new additional director general at the tourism ministry who represented India says, "the participants agreed that it was important to support the establishment of Nalanda University as well as the restoration of key Buddhist holy sites." They suggested, Kothari adds, "That the re-establishment of Nalanda University could be facilitated by linking up various centres of academic excellence and theological institutes in the region." Discussions on the practical aspects of the project will however, continue.


^ We should not forget that it is not only the faithful who wish to visit Buddhist holy sites. There are countless others the world over who are fascinated by Buddha's message of peace. Not all the millions who flock to Bethlehem are Christians.

As was to be expected, the revival of Nalanda University has been welcomed by academics and others, although the tourism fraternity has been slow in its response. Fortuitously, FICCI has organised an international conference on positioning India as a hub for Buddhist tourism in the capital on January 25 slated to be inaugurated by minister for tourism and culture, Ambika Soni. In a message, she says she is confident that the conference will encourage public-private partnership in infrastructure creation, improve connectivity and help in discussion of marketing strategies.

Hopefully, FICCI will arrange a session or two on the Maitreya and Nalanda projects to encourage the travel industry to get associated with them at an early stage. One would also expect marketing experts to refer to the opportunities that can be availed of with the re-opening of the trade route along the ancient Silk Road, linking Tibet with Sikkim through the 14,400-foot Nathu La. The pass was opened in July last year and neither the Sikkim government nor the tourism ministry at the center has said a word whether ‘tourism follows trade’ is on their agenda.

We should not forget that it is not only the faithful who wish to visit Buddhist holy sites. There are countless others the world over who are fascinated by Buddha's message of peace. Not all the millions who flock to Bethlehem are Christians.

(The writer is a freelance journalist. He can be reached at rabseth@yahoo.com)
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Really Old School

Quote:
Op-Ed Contributor
By JEFFREY E. GARTEN
Published: December 9, 2006

AT a summit meeting of leaders next week in the Philippines, senior officials from India, Singapore, Japan and perhaps other countries are scheduled to discuss the revival of an ancient university in India called Nalanda. It is a topic unlikely to receive much mention in the Western press. But no one should underestimate the potential benefits of this project to Asia, or the influence it could have on Asia’s role in the world, or the revolutionary impact it could make on global higher education.

Americans are used to thinking about the rising powers of Asia — China, India, South Korea and even some of the smaller countries — primarily as formidable economic competitors. In the case of Beijing, we also recognize the potential for superpower political and military status. But there are at least two questions that are key to Asia’s future that we do not generally ask.

First, for all the talk about the rise of Asia in the “knowledge age” that we live in, are these countries ultimately constrained in their potential to be great nations by their lack of top-flight systems of higher education?

And second, is the Asian region any more than a series of nation-states obsessed with guarding their sovereignty — and do they have the ability to interact peacefully and constructively, much as the European Union is trying to do, to pool their individual strengths for the betterment of their region and the world beyond it?

The possibility of rebuilding Nalanda University goes to the heart of both those issues. Founded in 427 in northeastern India, not far from what is today the southern border of Nepal, and surviving until 1197, Nalanda was one of the first great universities in recorded history. It was devoted to Buddhist studies, but it also trained students in fine arts, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, politics and the art of war.

The university was an architectural and environmental masterpiece. It had eight separate compounds, 10 temples, meditation halls, classrooms, lakes and parks. It had a nine-story library where monks meticulously copied books and documents so that individual scholars could have their own collections. It had dormitories for students, perhaps a first for an educational institution, housing 10,000 students in the university’s heyday and providing accommodations for 2,000 professors. Nalanda was also the most global university of its time, attracting pupils and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey.

The university died a slow death about the time that some of the great European universities, including those in Oxford, England, and Bologna, Italy, were just getting started, and more than half a millennium before Harvard or Yale were established. Its demise was a result of waning enthusiasm for Buddhism in India, declining financial support from successive Indian monarchs and corruption among university officials. The final straw was the burning of the buildings by Muslim invaders from what is now Afghanistan.

But Nalanda represents much of what Asia could use today — a great global university that reaches deep into the region’s underlying cultural heritage, restores many of the peaceful links among peoples and cultures that once existed, and gives Asia the kind of soft power of influence and attraction that it doesn’t have now. The West has a long tradition of rediscovering its ancient Greek and Roman roots, and is much stronger for that. Asia could and should do the same, using the Nalanda project as a springboard but creating a modern, future-oriented context for a new university.

At the Asian summit meeting next week, a consortium led by Singapore and including India, Japan and others will discuss raising the $500 million needed to build a new university in the vicinity of the old site and perhaps another $500 million to develop the roads and other infrastructure to make the institution work. The problem is that the key Asian officials are not thinking big enough. There is more talk about making Nalanda a cultural site or a center for philosophy than a first-rate modern university. The financial figures being thrown around are a fraction of the endowments of Harvard, Yale or Columbia today. A bolder vision is in order.

The rebuilt university should strive to be a great intellectual center, as the original Nalanda once was. This will be exceedingly difficult to achieve; even today, Asia’s best universities have a long way to go to be in the top tier. In a recent ranking of universities worldwide, Newsweek included only one Asian institution, the University of Tokyo, in the world’s top 25. In a similar tally by The Times of London, there are only three non-Western universities in the top 25.

The original Nalanda might have been the first to conduct rigorous entrance exams. The old university had world-class professors who did groundbreaking work in mathematical theorems and astronomy. It produced pre-eminent interpreters and translators of religious scriptures in many languages.

The new Nalanda should try to recapture the global connectedness of the old one. All of today’s great institutions of higher learning are straining to become more international in terms of their student body, their professors, their research and their course content. But Asian universities are way behind. A new Nalanda, starting as it will from scratch, could set a benchmark for mixing nationalities and cultures, for injecting energy and direction into global subjects and for developing true international leaders.

In the old days, Nalanda was a Buddhist university, but it was remarkably open to many interpretations of that religion. Today it could perform a vital role consistent with its original ethos — to be an institution devoted to religious reconciliation on a global scale.

Today, Nalanda’s opportunity is to exploit what is lacking in so many institutions of higher education. That includes great medical schools that focus on delivering health care to the poor, law schools that emphasize international law, business schools that focus on the billions of people who live on two dollars a day but who have the potential to become tomorrow’s middle class, and schools that focus intensely on global environmental issues. Can Asia pull this off? Financially, it should be easy. China’s foreign exchange reserves just broke all global records and reached $1 trillion. And Japan’s mountain of cash isn’t that far behind.

But the bigger issue is imagination and willpower. It is not clear that the Asian nations are prepared to unite behind anything concrete except trade agreements, either for their benefit or the world’s. It appears doubtful that with all their economic prowess, and their large armies, they understand that real power also comes from great ideas and from people who generate them, and that truly great universities are some of their strongest potential assets. I would like to be proved wrong in these judgments. How Asia approaches the resurrection of Nalanda will be a good test.


Jeffrey E. Garten, former dean of the Yale School of Management, is a professor of international trade and finance there.
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Updates since the article was written:


Nalanda university to be studied from space
Quote:
Scientists from the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) have been asked to help explore ruins in and around the ancient Nalanda University in Bihar.

P.K. Mishra, the superintending archaeologist of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Patna circle, said the radar mapping would help to explore the ruins for further excavation.

'A team of scientists from ISRO will visit Nalanda in February for the radar mapping work. We could plan the excavation after the results of the radar mapping,' Mishra said...
~~~~

Amartya Sen's help sought for Nalanda varsity
Quote:
Bihar has decided to take help from Nobel laureate Amartya Sen for setting up an international university in Nalanda, a 2,000-year-old seat of learning. "The government will take the help and advice of Sen," Chief Minister Nitish Kumar said.

...Nitish Kumar also said that his government would place a bill in the assembly to set up the proposed university. "The government is ready with the draft," he said.

Japan has shown interest in investing Rs.4.5 billion for the varsity at Nalanda, where ruins of a 2,000-year-old university still stand.
~~~~

Nalanda University will be revived: Nitish Kumar
Quote:
Patna: January 13, 2007

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, while attending a function organized to mark the 140th birth anniversary of Sir Ganesh Dutt at Bhartiya Nritya Kala Mandir in Patna on Saturday, said a new wind was blowing in Bihar where education would once again reach a height that the state once enjoyed during the Buddhist and Mauryan eras.

"People have found a new hope and expectations are running very high for a better academic environment in Bihar," Kumar said.

"The ancient seat of learning Nalanda University will be revived and will be turned into an international hub of knowledge that would restore the pride of all Biharis who, for such a long period, had been living in an academic dark age," the Chief Minister said amidst roar of applause. ...
~~~~

A developed Bihar
Quote:
President APJ Abdul Kalam on Friday desired that Bihar should once again become the best-administered state as it had once been and suggested that the political system, irrespective of its party affiliation, should work for the development of the state. ...

The President also did not forget to refer to his dream project, the revival of ancient Nalanda University. "I have visited the ruins of Nalanda University," he said and hoped it would once again become the capital of knowledge to spread the knowledge to entire world.
~~~~


Cheers,
Jai
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Last edited by Jai; Feb 20, 2007 at 2:46 AM.
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  #4  
Old Posted Mar 24, 2007, 10:36 PM
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Plans being formalised for international university at Nalanda

Great news!

A couple days after the Indian Government denied plans to revive Nalanda University (or more precisely, denied plans that excavated remains of ancient Nalanda would serve as the future university), the Bihar state government affirmed plans!:

Plans being formalised for international university at Nalanda
Quote:
Malaysia Sun
Sunday 18th March, 2007
(IANS)

The long-awaited dream of setting up an international university at Nalanda, the famous Buddhist centre of learning in Bihar, is about to come true.

The detailed project report (DPR) is ready, land acquisition is going on and a bill on the university will be tabled in the ongoing budget session of the Bihar assembly.

The proposed university will be fully residential like the ancient Nalanda seat of learning. In the first phase it will have seven different schools with 46 foreign faculty members and over 400 Indian academics, states the final DPR, which was submitted to Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in February.

The university will impart courses in science, philosophy and spiritualism along with other subjects. An internationally known scholar will be the chancellor of the university.


Bihar Human Resources Development Commissioner M. Jha said the idea of the university was first mooted in the late 1990s but it was President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam's initiative in early 2006 that gave shape to the project.

The excavated remains at Nalanda are protected as a site of national importance. The university, a 5th century architectural marvel, was home to over 10,000 students and nearly 2,000 teachers.

Nalanda is the Sanskrit name for 'giver of knowledge'. Nalanda University, which existed until 1197 AD, attracted students and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey, besides being a pedestal of higher education in India.

Though it was devoted to Buddhist studies, it also trained students in subjects like fine arts, medicine, mathematics, astronomy, politics and the art of war.

The DPR states that in its first phase the university will offer only post-graduate, research, doctoral and post-doctoral degrees. However, the DPR is also in favour of offering undergraduate courses in specific areas.

Some 1,137 students from both India and abroad will be enrolled in the first year. By the fifth year the number will go up to 4,530. In the second phase, the enrolment of students will increase to 5,812.

The university on a sprawling 500 acre campus will have a 1:10 faculty-student ratio. The 46 international faculty members will receive an estimated $36,000 per annum as salaries.

The Bihar government plans to take the advice of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen for setting up the university.


Japan and Singapore have shown interest in investing about Rs.4.5 billion (about $100 million) for the varsity.

The state cabinet approved the University of Nalanda Bill, 2007, Friday. The bill will be introduced in the state assembly next week. The draft of the bill stated that the international university would strive to create a world free of war, terror and violence.

Educational Consultants of India, a consulting company under the union ministry of human resource development, has prepared the DPR of the International Nalanda University. 'The government has received a DPR of the university and will hand it over to the Overseas Development Agency (ODA) of Japan for developing it,' officials told IANS.

Jha said the chief minister was taking keen interest in completing the project.

-----==--=--==-----

Furthermore, Vedanta University's webpage has undergone a small update, including a small photo of the proposed site:



-----==--=--==-----

-Jai
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  #5  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2007, 2:57 PM
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Vedanta University Webpage Updated


The Vedanta University webpage has been updated with a lot of new content!
http://www.vedanta.edu.in






Campus
Quote:
Vedanta University will be built from scratch on 8,000 acres near the Puri-Konark marine drive between Nuanai and Balighai. The University will be connected by a dedicated railway station and an expressway directly to the new Bhubaneshwar International Airport.

Actual image of location, with phase one plan overlay:



The campus will be developed in a phased manner to nurture a vibrant university township with a population of more than 500,000. The master plan is being developed by a specialized firm and global leader in campus planning, US-based Ayers Saint Gross. The development of the University and township will engage local and international architects in creating unparalleled infrastructure. The township will give rise to schools, recreational facilities, residential areas, commercial activities, parks, cultural institutions, and a research park. The interaction between the University, the research park and business incubator will lead to an interdependent and economically generative research and education complex.

The campus will also include a developed central water body, Olympic caliber sports facilities, and support infrastructure to nurture a growing community around the University complex.
Location
Quote:

Vedanta University will have a total area of 8,000 acres near the Puri-Konark marine drive between Nuanai and Balighai. The University will be connected by a dedicated railway station and an expressway directly to the new Bhubaneshwar International Airport, and is located in close proximity to the temples of lord Jagannath. The location is several kilometers inland, separated from the ocean by protected forest reserves.
Mastuer Plan Phase One
Quote:

The campus will be developed in a phased manner to nurture a vibrant university township with a growing population of more than 500,000. The Vedanta University master plan is being developed by a specialized firm and global leader in campus planning, US-based Ayers Saint Gross. ASG has several decades of experience focused solely on higher education facilities, including some of the world's most respected campuses. The development of the University and township will engage local and international architects in creating world-class infrastructure. The township will give rise to schools, recreational facilities, residential areas, commercial activities, parks, cultural institutions, and a research park. The interaction between the University, the research park and a business incubator will lead to an interdependent and economically generative research and education complex.

Cheers,
Jai
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  #6  
Old Posted Apr 11, 2007, 3:09 PM
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Nalanda International University: A Great Initiative

Nalanda International University: A Great Initiative
Quote:
y Bibhuti Bikramaditya
Daejeon, S Korea

March. 27, 2007
Readers Write

At last, Bihar government presented a Bill for the revival of Nalanda International University at Nalanda. We all should appreciate and give congratulations to the present government with a thumping desk to start the process of the revival of this International University which was known for the ancient seat of learning till 1197 AD. This university attracted 10,000 students and 2,000 scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey, besides being a pedestal of higher education in India and produced great scientists in the past, Aryabhatt was one of them who came to Bihar at the age of 13 from Kerala (some people says he was born nearby Patna) and become Vice chancellor of the University. Though it was devoted to Buddhist studies, the varsity also trained students in subjects like fine arts, medicine and mathematics.

In the post independent era, talks were going on for the revival of this university and the demand was started in early 1990s but it took serious turn when our the President of India, Dr. Abul Kalam suggested to revive this university while addressing the both houses of Bihar Assembly. This gave impetus to this process and become an eye opener for Bihar government. Hats off to our beloved President of India. He deserves appreciation for this great initiative.

As per the reports, Japan and Singapore have shown interest in investing about Rs.4.5 billion ($100 million) in the university. Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has offered to donate Buddhist artifacts to the proposed university.


A high-level international team of consultants is going to be formed for the establishment of the International University. In the initial phase, Nobel laureate Prof Amartya Sen and British Economist Professor in London School of Economics & member of the House of Lords, Lord Meghnad Desai have agreed to be part of an international group of consultants. The state government is also in the process of roping experts from Singapore and Japan and other countries for the revival of this unique university.

The report states that in its first phase, the university will offer only post-graduate, research, doctoral and post-doctoral degrees. However, the report - prepared by the Educational Consultants of India, a consulting company under the union ministry of human resource development - is also in favor of offering undergraduate courses in specific areas.

The university will impart courses in science, philosophy and spiritualism along with other subjects. An internationally known scholar will be the chancellor of the university and 1,137 students from both India and abroad will be enrolled in the first year. By the fifth year, the number will go up to 4,530 and in the second phase, student enrolment will increase to 5,812.

The university, spread over a 500 acres, will have a 1:10 faculty-student ratio. The 46 international faculty members will receive an estimated $36,000 per annum as salaries.

The University of Nalanda Bill, 2007, states that the international university would strive to create a world free of war, terror and violence.

According to Chief Minister Sri Nitish Kumar, "This (bill), which is not only for Bihar or even India, will act as a facilitator for what will emerge as a centre for renaissance of the east. He strongly feels that the university will become a reference point for international relations and a centre for peace and resolution of disputes.

We do hope this University will be the center of excellence, will gather students from all over the world in all areas of life sciences and physical sciences including arts, culture and spiritualism which is the backbone of India.
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200 villages around Nalanda varsity to be developed
Quote:
March 28, 2007

Patna: Two hundred villages around a proposed international varsity at Nalanda will be developed in Bihar.

A day after the Bihar assembly unanimously approved the University of Nalanda Bill for setting up an international university, the villages around the proposed site are hopeful that the university will establish linkages with them that will result in their economic development.


Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, in an assembly speech earlier, said the government planned to develop 200 villages around the Nalanda University - the famous Buddhist centre of learning - like in the days of yore.

"At least 200 villages used to be attached to the ancient Nalanda University. We plan the same for the proposed university, to create a near-original ambience and to benefit the local population," he said.

The chief minister had requested the Patna-based K.P. Jaiswal Institute to start identifying villages that used to be attached to the ancient university. All the basic amenities, including, schools, roads, safe drinking water and electricity, will be provided in these villages and job opportunities will also be created for the villagers.

...

"This (bill), which is not only for Bihar or even India, will act as a facilitator for what will emerge as a centre for renaissance of the east. I strongly feel that the university will become a reference point for international relations and a centre for peace and resolution of disputes," he said.

[...]

The excavated remains at Nalanda are protected as a site of national importance. The university, a fifth century architectural marvel, was home to over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers.

Nalanda is the Sanskrit name for "giver of knowledge". The Nalanda University, which existed until 1,197 AD, attracted students and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey, besides being a pedestal of higher education in India.

Though it was devoted to Buddhist studies, the varsity also trained students in subjects like fine arts, medicine and mathematics. (IANS)
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Old Posted Apr 26, 2007, 3:56 AM
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Nalanda University tipped to be World Heritage site
Quote:
IANS[Friday, April 20, 2007 15:06]
PATNA : The architectural remains of the ancient Nalanda University are all set to become the second World Heritage site in Bihar after the Mahabodhi temple in Bodh Gaya.

P.K. Mishra, a superintending archaeologist with the Patna Circle of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Thursday said India has approached Unesco (UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) to turn Nalanda university, 100 km from here, into a World Heritage site.

The fifth century architectural marvel, which was home to over 10,000 students and nearly 2,000 teachers, are protected as a site of national importance.

"The ASI and the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage (INTACH) have taken the Nalanda case to Unesco for World Heritage status for its preservation," Mishra said.


The Mahabodhi temple at Bodh Gaya, 110 km from here, where Buddha attained enlightenment 2,550 years ago, was declared a world heritage site by Unesco in 2003.

The university of Nalanda - Sanskrit for 'giver of knowledge' - existed until 1197 AD, and attracted students and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey, besides being a pedestal of higher education in India.

Though it was devoted to Buddhist studies, the ancient varsity also trained students in subjects like fine arts, medicine and mathematics.
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Vedanta to establish 1000-bed hospital in Orissa
Quote:
KalingaTimes Correspondent

Bhubaneswar: In an attempt aimed at containing people's opposition to its proposed world class university project near Puri, Anil Agarwal Foundation has announced to set up a 1000-bed hospital in the first phase of the ambitious project.

The Foundation has already started the process for acquiring 8,000 acres of land alongside the Puri-Konark marine drive for the proposed Vedanta University that will be a world class, multi-disciplinary university with students from across India and around the world.

The Foundation, promoted by Anil Agarwal, Chairman of Vedanta Resources Plc, has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Orissa Government in July last year to establish the university with a total investment of Rs 15,000 crore.

Agarwal, who met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here on Monday, said that the proposal to set up a super-specialty hospital had been given by Patnaik himself.

The hospital, which will be a part of the Vedanta University, will have research and treatment facilities for cancer, heart diseases and diabetic.

As regards the delay in land acquisition for the varsity project, Agarwal expressed hope that the process would be completed as per the government procedures.

Agarwal and Patnaik also discussed about the commissioning of the alumina refinery being promoted by Vedanta Alumina at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district and the progress on its alumina smelter and captive power plant in Jharsuguda district.

The Sterlite Iron and Steel Company, another company owned by the Vedanta Group, had also signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a steel plant in Keonjhar district. However, there has not been much progress on the project so far.
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Old Posted May 19, 2007, 8:58 PM
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India, Japan set up mentors group to revive Nalanda varsity
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New Delhi, May 15: Taking a significant step toward cementing cultural ties, India and Japan yesterday set up a "mentors group" to revive the glorious past of Nalanda University, the centre of Buddhist learning.

The mentors group will comprise leading academicians from the international fora who will work towards restoring its standing as an institute of excellence.

"We know Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had said that he wanted Nalanda University to become an institution of excellence," Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Navtej Sarna told reporters while briefing on a meeting between Japan's Vice Foreign Minister Shotaro Yachi and Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon yesterday.

The two sides also agreed to promote people-to-people contact in terms of students' exchange between the two countries.

In a joint statement issued during Singh's Japan visit in December last year, the two sides had agreed to "explore the idea of re-development of Nalanda as a major centre of learning with the establishment of an international university on the basis of regional cooperation."

The two sides recalled "the important role of Nalanda in the ancient period as a leading international university" contributing to Buddhist and secular studies.

Japan, primarily a Buddhist nation, is a major investor in development of infrastructure at Buddhist sites in India - which include Ajanta and Elora caves and Nalanda University - with more than 3.7 million dollars at stake.
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Old Posted May 19, 2007, 9:06 PM
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Some initial rendreings of the first phase of Vedanta University Campus, from ASG Architects:
Quote:
Ayers/Saint/Gross has been selected as the Lead Campus Master Planner and Architect for Vedanta University, envisioned to be a world-class, multi-discipline university in India. This project will entail the design and development of a state-of-the art education and research institute that will rank among the highest caliber schools internationally - at the level of Harvard, Stanford and Oxford.

This new University will be built around several colleges and ‘Centers of Excellence’ for cross-disciplinary research. The colleges will include Graduate, Post-Graduate, and Doctoral programs in various disciplines. It is aimed to have a globally diversified, high-quality student body, comprising an equal mix of Indian and international students – serving over 100,000 students in the long-term. The campus will house state-of-the-art facilities including a global resource library, research and development parks, student and faculty residences, and an Olympic caliber sports complex. The vision also includes the development of a University township that will evolve with the University and drive local development in the region as an education and research satellite city.
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Old Posted Jun 15, 2007, 3:23 AM
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Japan keen to fund Nalanda varsity
Quote:
13 June 2007 (IANS)

PATNA —Japan's Consulate General to India Noro Motoyasu said on Monday that his country would provide funds for the setting up an international university in Nalanda to strengthen its cultural bond with Bihar.

“The people of Japan were keen for close cultural relation with Bihar as it was the land of Buddha and Buddhism,” he said. Japan had earlier shown eagerness to invest Rs4.5 billion in setting up a university in Nalanda. Nobel laureate Amartya Sen will head a panel that will oversee the establishment of the international university in "Nalanda and its first meeting will be held in Singapore in July. The proposed university will be fully residential, like the ancient seat of learning at Nalanda. In the first phase of the project, seven schools with 46 foreign faculty members and over 400 Indian academics would be established.
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Old Posted Jun 19, 2007, 2:35 AM
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Crumbling Nalanda will shine again
Quote:
Ancient seat of learning was shut over 800 years ago. Rs 1,000-crore plan will give it a fresh lease of life

TOI Epaper, 17 Jun 07

Amitava Sanyal
New Delhi



NALANDA, ONE of the world's oldest universities, is being revived by the Bihar government. The state has acquired the land required for the Rs 1,000-crore project and the university could have functioning schools as early as next year, over 800 years after a marauding invader, Bakhtiar Khilji, destroyed it.

Though it taught science, mathematics and logic, ancient Nalanda's pre-eminence in Buddhist studies has got the governments of Japan, China and Singapore interested in the project. "The university would not belong to Bihar, it would belong to the world," Dr Madan Jha, Bihar's principal secretary (education), told HT.

Among the seven schools planned in the five-year first phase - it will have 4,530 students and 453 faculty members at the end of it - would be those that offer integrated post-graduate and research programmes in informatics, developmental studies and applied sciences.

President APJ Abdul Kalam played guardian angel when, 16 months ago, he listed Nalanda's reconstruction as one of Bihar's 10 priorities. Since then, apart from buying the 500 acres required, the Nitish Kumar government has enacted the legislation necessary for setting up the university .

According to the project report by Educational Consultants India, the international character of the university would part ly flow from the 46 faculty members hired from abroad (there would be 582 faculty members at the end of the 10-year project). The plan for the university buildings, too, would be open to international bidding.

The way ahead is to be decided by a ‘mentor group' chaired by Professor Amartya Sen, the Nobel laureate. The first meeting of the group - which would include Harvard historian Sugata Bose, Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeoh and scholars from Japan and China - is scheduled in Singapore in July. It would later meet in Tokyo, Beijing and India before submitting its recommendations by the year-end.
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