More and more east Asian countries are showing keen interest in the establishment of Nalanda International University in Bihar and coming forward with financial support. Former president APJ Abdul Kalam, who has been appointed visitor of the proposed university, is coming to Bihar on February 8 to take stock of the progress and attend the meeting of its board of governors.
Addressing a gathering at the annual meeting of NIT, Patna, Alumni Association here on Sunday, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said the mentor group of the proposed university has already met twice and taken some vital decisions. Two more meetings of this group headed by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen are likely to be held in China and Nalanda to work out the academic details. Edcil, a reputed consultant of the government of India, has already prepared a detailed project report of this university.
Nitish said a suggestion has been made from some foreign quarters to name the university as Nalanda Peace University. He said the state government has already made necessary preparations for setting up this international university with a view to reviving the once world famous Nalanda University.
Referring to the demand for 300 acres of land for the development of the NIT campus, the chief minister said that it was very difficult to procure so much land in an over-populated state like Bihar. However, the government was committed to providing at least 100 acres of land on the suburbs of Patna for the expansion of NIT. The present campus occupied by NIT may be given to some other institution. He called upon the alumni to come forward with some proposal for opening a centre of excellence at the site.
He further pointed out that the government has already initiated steps for setting up an IIT (for which 500 acres of land has been acquired near Bihta), a management institute of IIM standard (to be named as Chandragupta Institute of Management) and a professional university named after Aryabhatta. In fact, no institute has been set up in the state during the last 25 to 30 years; rather the existing institutions have been allowed to languish, he regretted.
Set up with much fanfare 15 years back, Maulana Mazharul Haq Arabic and Persian University has remained virtually on paper as no academic activity has been taken up till date. Now the government is contemplating to link the university with Khuda Bakhsh Oriental Public Library and some other reputed institutions of west Asian countries to make it more vibrant. He also appreciated the NIT decision to set up a centre of disaster management.