Keen to fast-track the Nalanda University project that he initiated as external affairs minister,President Pranab Mukherjee,in his capacity as visitor of the institution,this week reviewed its progress and urged those in charge to acclerate it so that the historic international centre of learning being set up at Rajgir in Bihar is re-estabished at the earliest.
While apprising the President of developments,officials of the external affairs ministry as well as university vice-chancellor Dr Gopa Sabharwal on Wednesday made a powerpoint presentation and told him that four significant areas amendments to the Nalanda University Act 2010,financial regulations and international and headquarter agreements given that the standalone institute is a venture involving many countries still needed to addressed but they would begin classes from next year.
The School of Ecology and Environment Studies and the School of Historical Studies would be the first to take off next year,the President was told,with special focus on agricultural studies.
In the old days,Nalanda University was conceptualised as a learning centre where nearby villages had to provide food for the monks who studied there. This is being reversed now as the university will take up studies that will provide support and help to the nearby villages in their development. Hence,the problems faced by farmers locally and ways to address them would also be an area of study, an official said.
Mukherjee has repeatedly referred to the historical learning centre in his tours to universities in various states.
The President was also briefed about plans regarding the new campus,which is being built by Ahmedabad-based architecture firm Vastu Shilpa Consultants. The university will be constructed at a site located 12 km from the original monument zone of Nalanda and will be spread over 455 acres. When completed,it will accomodate 2,500 students and 500 teachers.
Mukherjee was told that the university will be constructed in a such a manner that there will be zero carbon emission.
The architecture is being done in a manner that an integrated ecosystem will be created to channelise flow of air,water and energy in an almost natural way,minimising use of airconditioners.