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  • 24 Jul, 2024

PM Modi Inaugurates New Nalanda University Campus in Bihar

PM Modi Inaugurates New Nalanda University Campus in Bihar

On June 19, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new campus of Nalanda University, an international institution near the ancient Nalanda ruins in Rajgir, Bihar. Emphasizing Nalanda's significance as a symbol of India's academic and cultural heritage, Modi remarked, "Nalanda is the proclamation of this truth that books may burn in the flames of fire, but the flames of fire cannot destroy knowledge. Nalanda is an identity, respect, and pride."  

Modi expressed delight over the presence of international representatives at the inauguration, noting that the new campus signifies Bihar's development progress. Established by the Nalanda University Act of 2010, the university was conceived as an "international institution for the pursuit of intellectual, philosophical, historical, and spiritual studies," following decisions from the East Asia Summits in 2007 and 2009. The university began functioning in 2014 from a temporary location with 14 students, and construction of the new campus commenced in 2017.  

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and 17 ambassadors attended the event, alongside Bihar Governor Rajendra Arlekar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and Deputy CMs Samrat Choudhary and Vijay Sinha. Before the inauguration, Modi visited the ancient Nalanda ruins and planted a Bodhi tree sapling brought from Bodh Gaya.  

In his speech, Modi stated, "The renaissance of Nalanda University near its ancient ruins will introduce India’s potential to the world. Nalanda is not just a renaissance of India’s past; the heritage of many countries and Asia is linked to it. In days to come, Nalanda University will once again become a major centre for our cultural exchange."  

Although the decision to establish Nalanda University was made in 2010, significant progress occurred in 2014 under Modi’s leadership, emphasizing the institution as a global learning center reminiscent of its ancient prestige. The original Nalanda University, founded in the 5th century, thrived for 800 years before being destroyed by invaders in the 12th century.  

Modi highlighted India's long-standing model of sustainability and envisioned the country as a global hub for education and knowledge. He expressed his desire for India to have the world’s most comprehensive skill system and advanced research-oriented higher education. Encouraging students to be curious, courageous, and kind, Modi voiced confidence in the youth's future leadership and affirmed the Central government's support for Nalanda University.  

This international university, supported by 17 other nations including Australia, Bangladesh, China, and Singapore, offers 137 scholarships for international students funded by ASEAN-India Fund, BIMSTEC, and the Bhutan Scholarship by MEA. Nalanda University provides postgraduate and doctoral research courses as well as short-term certificate programs.