'University Of Future': Captivating Features And All You Need To Know About Nalanda University

'University Of Future': Captivating Features And All You Need To Know About Nalanda University

On June 19, Prime Minister Modi inaugurated the new campus of Nalanda University, situated in the Nalanda District of Bihar, at the Sushma Swaraj Auditorium. This marked an important turning point in the university's history.

Manasi KambleUpdated: Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 03:39 PM IST
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Nalanda University campus | Nalanda University

Patna: On June 19, Prime Minister Modi, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar inaugurated the new Nalanda University "Net Zero" campus at the Sushma Swaraj Auditorium on the university's grounds. This event marked a significant turning point in the university's development.

The last four years have seen the development of Nalanda University's new campus, which is situated in Rajgir, a town more than 100 kilometers from Patna. The distance to the Nalanda Mahavihara ruins is only 12 kilometers.

Inauguration Attendees

Wednesday's inauguration is scheduled to be attended by ASEAN members, ambassadors from 17 participating countries, and S Jaishankar, the minister of external affairs.

ASEAN members from 17 nations at the inauguration of the Nalanda University

ASEAN members from 17 nations at the inauguration of the Nalanda University | X

The 17 countries—Australia, Laos, Bangladesh, Mauritius, Bhutan, Myanmar, Brunei, New Zealand, Cambodia, Portugal, China, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam—have signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) supporting the university.

Re-Building The History

In the fifth century, the first Nalanda University was established. It developed into a knowledge center for students visiting from around the globe. Before being destroyed by invaders in the twelfth century, the ancient university flourished for eight centuries.

The eleventh President of India, A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, proposed in 2006 to the Joint Session of the Bihar Vidhan Mandal to revive Nalanda University under the Nalanda University Act. In 2007, the Legislative Assembly of Bihar passed a bill to establish a new university.

When the university started operations in 2014 with 14 students in a temporary space, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party administration gave it a big boost. The central government began construction on the structure in 2017 with the intention of creating a university that would uphold the legacy of the prestigious Nalanda University.

On June 19, Prime Minister Modi, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar inaugurated the new Nalanada University

On June 19, Prime Minister Modi, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar inaugurated the new Nalanada University | X

The Net Zero Campus

The Nalanda Campus is known as a "Net Zero" campus due to its architecture, which was created with consideration for both the vision of living in harmony with nature and the architectural style of the historic Nalanda University. With 100 acres of water bodies, a solar plant, a drinking and domestic water treatment plant, a water recycling plant for reusing wastewater, and numerous other environmentally friendly amenities, it is self-sufficient.

6.5-MW DC on-grid solar plant are all located on the campus

6.5-MW DC on-grid solar plant are all located on the campus | Nalanda University

The campus also consists of a 500-KLD drinking and residential water treatment plant, a 400-KLD water recycling plant for reusing wastewater, and a 6.5-MW DC on-grid solar plant, all located on the campus. The last phase of building a 1.2 MW AC waste-to-energy plant based on biogas is currently under way.

(L-R) Nalanda Mahavihara ruins and present Nalanda University campus

(L-R) Nalanda Mahavihara ruins and present Nalanda University campus | FPJ

Campus Infrastructure

The 455-acre campus features academic and administrative buildings, teacher and student residence halls, labs, and libraries. Visitors, staff, and students must walk or ride bicycles throughout the university, as it is a no-parking area.

With enrollment in six schools, including Historical Studies, Ecology and Environmental Studies, Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religion, Languages and Literature/Humanities, Management Studies, and International Relations, the university can accommodate roughly 7,500 instructors and students.

(L-R) Nalanda Mahavihara ruins and present Nalanda University campus

(L-R) Nalanda Mahavihara ruins and present Nalanda University campus | FPJ

Unique Features

In order to "match the architectural and geographical setting the ancient Nalanda University would have provided," officials at the university claim that the new campus, created by Vastu Shilpa Consultants, purposefully only uses 8% of the total area for building construction.

The university comprises student shopping arcades, "bottle-shaped" bazaars, and open spaces for study.

Visitors, students, and faculty must walk or ride bicycles throughout the campus, which is off-limits to cars.

Although the official project cost was not disclosed by the officials, as of August 2016, contributions from Thailand and Laos totaled $1 million, China and Australia contributed $1 million apiece, and India contributed Rs 684.74 crore.

Nalanda University

Nalanda University | Nalanda University website

University Architecture

The Administrative Block, or Wing-1 building, which houses the VC's office along with other offices, is home to a replica of the famous exposed brick architecture that is a defining feature of the Nalanda ruins.

The University's main wall is composed of two parallel walls with a heat-trapping cavity in the middle. The university also intends to heat the water in the restrooms by harnessing the heat from air conditioners.

Nalanda University Teaching Block

Nalanda University Teaching Block | X

All schools and centers of study will be housed in the academic spine, which consists of open spaces that mimic the student cells at Nalanda Mahavihara. It is possible that students will utilize these rooms for studying.

The Kamal Sagar (lotus pond) will be in the middle of the campus, and on one side of it will be a horizontal chain of arcades, or "bottle-shaped bazaars," where students can purchase anything from food to stationery.

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