Nalanda to finally get a building of its own

The incumbent Central government is keen on resuscitating the faltering project that has been an important pillar of its “Act East Policy."

NEW DELHI: The otherwise jinxed project of Nalanda University seems to be gathering some steam as the tender for the construction of the varsity’s building has been recently awarded, over six years after it was established through the 2010 Act of the Indian Parliament.

So far, the university, established under an ambitious project to restore the ancient glory of the Nalanda University in Rajgir; has been operating from a refurbished hotel. Sources told the New Indian Express: “The tender for the construction of non-residential buildings for the university spread over 455 acres of land has been awarded to a Hyderabad-based firm.” The land has been provided by the Bihar Government, but lack of building infrastructure has been one of the impediments for the take off of the institution that has been having constant brush with controversies since its inception.

The incumbent Central government is keen on resuscitating the faltering project that has been an important pillar of its “Act East Policy." The government had constituted a new Governing Board for the University, which triggered resignation of its Chancellor George Yeo. The University got Dr Vijay P. Bhatkar, father of India’s first supercomputer and head of the RSS-affiliated scientific body’s chief, as its chancellor.

“With the chancellor in place the process of getting a new vice-chancellor for the university has been set in motion. The Governing Board would now be sending three names of probable candidates to the visitor (the President) for approval,” sources on the Governing Board said. The university has already completed its application process for the post.

It has received a total of 160 applications and Vice Chancellor of EFL University Sunaina Singh, Art Historian and Professor of Buddhist Studies at the International Academy of Indian Culture Nirmala Sharma and Prof Makarand Paranjape of Jawahar Lal University are said to be the front runners. The idea of the University was first mooted in 2009 during the East Asia Summit. It was then set up by a 2010 Act of the Indian Parliament, but has been dogged by continued mismanagement and cannot boast about even a building of its own.

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