Sushma Swaraj inaugurates Nalanda University
Rajgir (Bihar): Ancient Nalanda University, which once attracted students from across the world, was today formally inaugurated in its modern ‘avatar’ by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj here.
Hailing the occasion, Swaraj said as in the past the university would serve as ‘bridge and foundation’ in linking the country with the world through knowledge.
“It is wrong to say that today we are rejuvenating the 427 AD Nalanda University because tradition never dies … Nalanda is not just a university but a tradition.
“Nalanda University is a link between the past, present and future,” she said at the function held at the International Conventional Centre.
Nalanda University was deeply etched in history and like in ancient times would serve as a magnet to attract students from across the globe, Swaraj said, adding during her recent visit to Bangladesh she found people there were interested in it.
Seeing the ‘tremendous response’ to the university it has now been decided that it would not be confined only to east Asian nations but would be opened to students from other countries too, she said and promised all help to it.
The Centre had already alloted Rs 2,727 crore, which would be spent in building a high class campus of the university in 10 years, Swaraj said.
The minister supported Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s request to the Centre for an airport here so that foreign students and dignatories could reach the university, which is situated about 12 km from the ruins of the ancient one and 100 km from Patna, easily.
Manjhi was present at the function along with many foreign dignatories, besides members of his ministry.
The foreign dignatories included Lim Thuan Kuan, Singapore High Commissioner to India and Chalit Manityakur, ambassador of Thailand in India. Diplomats from Australia, Vietnam, Germany, Japan and Laos were also present.
Secretary, East, to the External Affairs Ministry Anil Wadwah and university Vice-chancellor Gopa Sabarwal, faculty member Lord Meghnad Desai, former diplomat N K Singh and a host of intellectuals were also present on the occasion.