Govt approves presentation of Nalanda University Bill in Parliament

The ball has been set rolling for the proposed Nalanda University with the Government on Thursday giving its nod for the presentation of a bill in this regard in the Monsoon Session of Parliament. The Union Cabinet gave its approval for the presentation of the Nalanda University Bill 2010 in the Parliament

Session likely to start on July 26. The university will be set up in the vicinity of the ancient Nalanda University in Bihar at an approximate cost of Rs 1005 crore.
The Ministry of External Affairs has prepared the Bill following a consensus reached at the East Asia Summit held in Thailand in October 2009.

The proposed university will have schools like Buddhist studies, philosophy and comparative literature, historical studies and ecology and environmental studies among others.

According to the Bill, the University shall function as a public-private partnership and funds shall be provided by the Government of the member states.

India as the host country will make significant contribution in the initial stage, with the Planning Commission already having allocated Rs 50 crore as endowment fund in the form of a special grant.

The Nalanda Mentor Group constituted by the Centre in June, 2007, shall exercise powers as the interim governing board of the University for a period of one year or till the members of the governing board have been nominated.

The Bill also says that Visitor of the University shall be the President of India or any other person who may be appointed by the President.

The Bihar Government has already acquired about 500 acres of land in Rajgir that is in the vicinity of the original university while another 500 acres is scheduled to be acquired.

Information and Broadcasting Minister Ambika Soni, briefing the media after the Cabinet meeting, said the establishment of the university would facilitate the revival of Nalanda as a centre of excellence in East Asia and South Asia, reflecting in some measures the role played by the University in ancient times.

The University would associate with 200 odd villages in the local area that are connection with the ancient university. The project is poised to give a boost to the Buddhist circuit and also benefit the tourism industry.

The University will also offer studies in international relations and peace studies and business management in relation to public policy and development studies, besides studies on language and literature.