Nalanda International University seeks reports of past excavations

NEW DELHI: Nalanda International University wants Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to bring out all the published and unpublished reports about earlier excavations. It has also requested ASI to carry out exploration in the 500 acres of land that has been allotted to the varsity by the Bihar government.

On Wednesday, the mentor group of Nalanda International University — led by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen — met Jawahar Sircar, secretary, ministry of culture, and Gautam Sengupta, director-general, ASI.

Gopa Sabharwal, vice-chancellor, Nalanda University, said, “Professor Sen said what we know about the excavation is a small part of the overall story of Nalanda. If more information is given it will give direction to new Nalanda university.”

Sircar told TOI, “There is lot of published data on Nalanda excavation that is out of print. Also, a number of reports on Nalanda excavation has not been published. We have taken it upon ourselves to bring all of it into public domain. It will create a synergy between the old and new Nalanda.”

Sen also requested Sircar that a survey should be done for archaeological remains in the land allotted for the new university. “We do not want to be accused of vandalism. We want ASI to carry out a survey.”

Sircar said there are three ways in which it can be done — through imagery, by professional archaeologists or by carrying out exploration like digging trenches. It was decided during the total station survey that two archaeologists would be part of the team. “There is a lot of population living on top of very valuable artifacts. It is better that ASI is associated with the survey,” Sabharwal said.

ASI will also do a satellite mapping of the old and new campus that is separated by nearly 10 km. “We want to see how a synergy can be established between the old and new campus.”

Read more: Nalanda Intl Varsity seeks reports of past excavations – The Times of India