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Prime Minister Inaugurates New Nalanda University Campus in Rajgir, Bihar

The campus features two academic blocks with 40 classrooms seating a total of 1,890 students, two administrative blocks, two auditoriums seating over 300, student hostels for 550 students, and 197 academic residential units
prime minister inaugurates new nalanda university campus in rajgir  bihar

New Delhi, June 19, 2024: Prime Minister Narendra Modi wearing his traditional spotless white Kurta donned with grey coloured Modi Jacket, inaugurated the new campus of Nalanda University, an international institution near the ancient ruins of Nalanda in Rajgir, Bihar. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also visited the ancient ruins located less than 20 km from the campus ahead of inaugurating the campus.


Prime Minister also planted a tree near the inaugural site where Bihar governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar were also present along with the Prime Minister. This is the Prime Minister's first visit to Bihar, Nitish Kumar’s home turf after taking over as Prime Minister. Nitish’s political party is most important in the present NDA government,


The town of Rajgir, home to the new Nalanda University campus, is located over 100 km from Patna, the capital of Bihar. This new campus is just 12 km away from the ancient ruins of Nalanda. The establishment of Nalanda University was initiated by the Parliament of India through the Nalanda University Act, 2010. This act was a result of the agreements made during the 2nd East Asia Summit (EAS) in the Philippines in 2007 and the 4th EAS in Thailand in 2009, aiming to create a global centre for intellectual, philosophical, historical, and spiritual studies. The site is also announced as a UN heritage site.


Just ahead of the inauguration, Prithe me Minister in a message on X said, “It is a very special day for our education sector. At around 10.30 Am today, the new campus of Nalanda University would be inaugurated at Rajgir. Nalanda has a strong connection with our glorious part. The university will surely go a long way in catering to the educational needs of the youth.”


The ancient university, one of the first great universities in recorded history flourished for 800 years before it was burnt down by invaders in the 12th century and there is a story that goes that Nalanda burnt for more than a month destroying approximately nine million books and manuscripts. Efforts are concentrated on preserving the cultural and architectural ethos of Nalanda Mahavihara, the renowned university from the 5th to 12th centuries AD, revered as one of the greatest centres of learning in ancient India.


The inauguration event was attended by the External Affairs Minister and 17 ambassadors from participating countries. Although the decision to establish the university was made in 2010, significant progress was made under Prime Minister Modi's leadership in 2014, reinforcing the vision of reviving the historical prominence of the ancient Nalanda University, which was originally established in the 5th century and attracted students worldwide before being destroyed in the 12th century.


Nalanda University began its operations in 2014 with 14 students at a temporary location, and construction of the new campus commenced in 2017. The university now includes participation from 17 other nations: Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam, all of which have signed MoUs in support of the institution.


The university offers 137 scholarships to international students, funded by the ASEAN-India Fund, BIMSTEC scholarships, and the Bhutan Scholarship by the Ministry of External Affairs. The university provides postgraduate and doctoral research courses, as well as short-term certificate courses.

The international students come from diverse countries, including Argentina, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Liberia, Myanmar, Mozambique, Nepal, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Thailand, Türkiye, Uganda, USA, Vietnam, and Zimbabwe.

Nalanda University comprises six schools:

School of Buddhist Studies, Philosophy & Comparative Religions
School of Historical Studies
School of Ecology and Environmental Studies
School of Sustainable Development and Management
School of Languages and Literature
School of International Relations and Peace Studies (upcoming)
Additionally, the university has four centres:

Centre for Bay of Bengal Studies
Centre for Indo-Persian Studies
Centre for Conflict Resolution and Peace Studies
Common Archival Resource Centre
The campus features two academic blocks with 40 classrooms seating a total of 1,890 students, two administrative blocks, two auditoriums seating over 300, student hostels for 550 students, and 197 academic residential units. Other facilities include a guest house, an international centre, a central dining hall for 1,000 individuals, an amphitheatre for 2,000 people, a 250-capacity Yoga centre, a sports complex, a medical centre, a commercial centre, and a faculty club.

Nalanda University is a 'Net Zero' green campus, equipped with a 6.5 MW DC on-grid solar plant, a 500 KLD water treatment plant, a 400 KLD wastewater recycling plant, and 100 acres of water bodies. A 1.2 MW AC biogas-based waste-to-energy plant is nearing completion. A library with a capacity of 300,000 books, serving up to 3,000 users, is scheduled for completion by September 2024.