Sushma to inaugurate Nalanda varsity

The ancient Nalanda University, which had attracted students from the world over, will be formally inaugurated on Friday in its modern 'avatar' by external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj. Classes have already begun at the under-construction residential international university, located around 12 km away from the ruins of the ancient university, on September 1 by way of a soft launch and without any ceremony.

According to the programme schedule, Swaraj and other dignitaries will plant trees at the site after which the inaugural function would be held. The centre sanctioned Rs 2,700 crore for the university, the idea of which was proposed by former President APJ Abdul Kalam while addressing a joint session of Bihar Assembly and Legislative Council in 2006.

The university will have seven schools for postgraduate and doctorate students by its scheduled completion in 2020. Only two of them, the School of Ecology and Environmental Studies, and the School of Historical studies - are currently functioning with 15 students and 11 teachers. The ancient university began during the Gupta period in 6th century AD and came to an end after being destroyed in 1193 AD by the invading army of Turkish ruler Qutbuddin Aibak led by his general Bakhtiyar Khilji. The NU came into existence by a special Act passed by the Parliament - The Nalanda University Act.
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