Nalanda Mentor Group to appoint Kalam as visitor to planned varsit

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New York, May 5 (UNI) The Nalanda Mentor Group, which will be instrumental in establishing a proposed university at the ancient site situated in present-day Bihar, has welcomed a proposal of the state government to make former president A P J Abdul Kalam as a 'visitor' to the university.

In the third meeting of the group held over the weekend in New York, professor Amartya Sen, chairman of the group, stressed that the visitor should be a person of international eminence who should be able to enhance the concept of the Nalanda University. The Nobel laureate and others in the group hailed the proposed appointment of Kalam and praised the Bihar government for its move.

The meeting was attended by participants from India, China, Japan and Singapore. Two previous meetings of the group had been held in Singapore (in July 2007) and in Tokyo (in December 2007).

The next meeting will be held in August in New Delhi.

The Nalanda University is proposed to be set up as a non-state, non-profit self-governing institution with the participation of the East Asia Summit nations. The university is a collaborative effort of 16 nations.

Professor Sen in his opening remarks to the just-concluded meeting of the group said legal, institutional, substantive and academic frameworks needed to be formulated for establishing the new university.

He also stressed the importance of the appointment of the Rector and Registrar, who would be stationed at the proposed site for the university to ensure its timely establishment and emphasised the need for the university to have flexibility to appoint academicians to decide their emoluments, policy of admissions and fee structure.

The university is expected to have the following departments: Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religions; Historical Studies; International Relations and Peace Studies; Business Management and Development Studies; Languages and Literature; and Ecology and Environmental Studies.

According to Professor Sen, the university is likely to be established next year and by the time classes in the disciplines cited above begin, it would be another two years.

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