PM Modi inaugurates Nalanda University - The India Saga



PM Modi inaugurates Nalanda University

On 19 June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new campus of Nalanda University in Rajgir, Bihar. The event was…

PM Modi inaugurates Nalanda University

On 19 June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new campus of Nalanda University in Rajgir, Bihar. The event was graced with the attendance of External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, Bihar Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University, Arvind Panagariya. A dignified roster of foreign delegates from a total of 17 countries were also present to commence the prestigious academic institution.

The state-of-the-art campus of Nalanda University is worth Rs 1700 crore. Campus of the Nalanda comprises two academic blocks, each with 40 classrooms. This new site of learning is the embodiment of the Government’s agenda of erecting world-class educational infrastructure to attract students nationally and internationally. It also houses auditoriums, each with a seating capacity of 300. Accompanied by a student hostel with a capacity of around 550 people. It also features several additional amenities, such as an international centre, a faculty club, and a sports complex, among others.

The new campus is planned with the manifesto of offering a diverse range of academic programs to initiate international collaboration. “Nalanda” is an eminent symbol of ancient India’s culture and wisdom. The new university attempts to imitate the ancient model’s feature of being rendered as a global site for learning. S Jaishankar, the External Affairs Minister to whom we are indebted for providing a framework for this institution. One of the key tenets of this university include striving to become an academic institution for higher learning in Asia.

Old Nalanda

PM Modi had also paid a visit to the ruins of the ancient Nalanda University in Bihar to pay homage to its enduring legacy. The new university will revive the academic prowess of its namesake predecessor. It is an ode to the glorious past of India as well as an ambitious attempt to inspire the next generation of students. “Nalanda” evokes the notion of historic and cultural legacy of India. It reverberates the rich educational and knowledgeable foundations which were laid by the country, which to this date, remain unprecedented.

The original Nalanda University is one of the oldest residential Universities in India. It was established in the 6th century and thrived all the way through the 13th century. The academic outputs of this revolutionary educational epicentre spanned across 700 years. It was a host to people from all across the world including scholars and monks. In order to enrol in the university, people had to pass a strenuous entrance exam. While the world celebrates Western civilization as the pioneers of academic institutions, the Nalanda is a testament to the unparalleled vision and intellectual capabilities of India.

When a Chinese traveller named Hsuen Tsang visited Nalanda, he was amazed by the enormous collection of books in the library. Additionally, he was fascinated by the gatekeeper of the library, for he possessed extensive knowledge on a myriad of subjects. And in the 13th century, the ancient university was completely demolished by a looter and invader named Bakhtiyar Khilji. To this day, the lasting resonance of its grandiose still persists in the form of a myth. It is believed that the library of Nalanda was breath-takingly colossal, that it continued to burn for six months. The remains of this ancient site of learning were declared a UN Heritage site in 2016.