Nalanda University’s design in final stage

Patna, May 4 (IANS) The much awaited Master Plan for the Nalanda International University at the ancient seat of learning in Bihar is in its final stage, the vice chancellor said Saturday.

“A high-power jury is set to finalise the architectural design in New Delhi May 6,” vice chancellor Gopa Sabharwal said.

The jury includes architects Liu Thai Ker of Singapore, Li Xiaodong of China, Osamu Ishiyama of Japan and Neelkanth Chhaya of India.

She said the jury that visited the site of the proposed university in Nalanda district Friday will assess the proposals of eight architectural firms before making a final selection.

According to her, 79 proposals were received to finalise the design for the university. “Eight companies were shortlisted after a comprehensive scrutiny,” she said.

Janata Dal-United MP N.K. Singh, a member of the Nalanda Mentor Group headed by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, said it was decided to select the best design as it will reflect a grand architecture.

“The main aim is to revive the glory of the ancient university, and the ancient university was an architectural marvel,” he said.

The university is set to come up on 446 acres in Rajgir, 10 km from the site of the ancient university in Nalanda, about 100 km southeast of Patna.

The university will be fully residential, like the ancient Nalanda university. It will offer courses in science, philosophy and spiritualism along with social sciences.

The project took shape in 2006 at the initiative of then president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

The ancient university at Nalanda was home to over 10,000 students and nearly 2,000 teachers. It existed until 1197 and attracted students and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey.

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