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Minister of State for External Affairs General V K Singh Saturday said India was “committed” to bear the full cost of setting up an independent campus of the South Asian University (SAU) in the capital. He was speaking at the university’s first convocation ceremony. SAU is jointly-funded and maintained by all eight South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (SAARC) countries.
The convocation was also addressed by Kamal Thapa, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs minister of Nepal. Established in 2010, SAU is currently functioning from Akbar Bhawan in Chanakyapuri. A permanent campus is being constructed on a 100-acre plot in Maidan Garhi, next to IGNOU.
“I would like to reaffirm that the government, on its part, will do everything needed for the proper functioning and further development of the university. India is committed to bear 100 per cent of the capital cost towards its establishment,” said Singh.
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“The government has identified and allocated an area of about 100 acres. Construction is in full swing. I’m sure that when the campus comes up, it will get more disciplines and be a model campus for all universities,” he added.
Terming students as the “leaders of tomorrow”, Singh asked them to keep their friendships alive. “It is your vision, your capability to network with each other that will make a difference to South Asia. We have common challenges in the region — education, food security and poverty. If you can be of help through your collective wisdom, the region will prosper,” he added.