New Delhi: As the
historic Nalanda University is set to be rebuilt, Vice Chancellor
Gopa Sabharwal said Monday that a global design competition for
the building's architecture will be announced in three to four
Talking to reporters in Delhi at a press conference, the newly
appointed vice chancellor said that the new university will be
built on an area of 446 acres, 10 km from the site of the ancient
university of Nalanda in Bihar.
"The university will be built in Rajgir, which is 10 km from the
site of the historic Nalanda university. A global designing
competition will be announced in coming three or four months for
finalising the architecture," Sabharwal said.
The Nalanda University Bill was passed by the parliament during
the monsoon session in August 2010 and a notification for its
creation was issued in November.
While the work for creation of infrastructure has already begun,
the construction of the building and other details will start once
the designs are finalised.
"The design must get ready by next year. We will try to built it
as soon as possible but it is difficult to give a time frame," she
The university, which will be an international state-of-the-art
institution, will have post graduate courses in six disciplines.
The course include Buddhist studies, philosophy and comparative
religions, historical studies, international relations and peace
studies, business management in relation to public policy and
development studies, languages and literature and ecology and
Talking about the courses, Nalanda mentor group chairman and nobel
laureate Amartya Sen said that the courses like Buddhist
philosophy and religious studies aimed at connecting the modern
university to its historic past when Nalanda was the centre of
learning that attracted students from all over the world.
"Courses like Buddhist studies, comparative religion, literature
and history will connect it to its past. I hope some day we can
also include astronomy in the courses as it was taught in the
ancient Nalanda university," Sen said.
Asked about the absence of science related courses, Sen said that
creation of infrastructure was one of the main reasons for this.
"You cannot teach science without a lab, so infrastructure was one
of the main reasons why we have stressed on humanities. In the
course of time, science courses will get included," he said.
While the government of India has created an endowment fund for
the creation of the university, the project has also attracted
contributions from many other countries including Singapore,
Australia and China.
"We got $7 million from Singapore, $1 million from China,
Australia is funding a chair, while Laos has given $50,000,"
Speaking on the occasion, Foreign Minister of Singapore George Yeo
said that the aim was to create a university to facilitate
exchange of ideas.
"It will be a place where human beings gather and each contribute
to development of others," Yeo said.