Nalanda Mentor Group holds review meeting in Bodh Gaya

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New Delhi, Feb.24 (ANI): The Nalanda Mentor Group (NMG) met in Bodh Gaya on February 19 and 20, 2009.

To date, four meetings of the NMG have been held: July 2007 in Singapore; December 2007 in Tokyo; May 2008 in New York, and August 2008 in New Delhi.

The NMG has examined and recommended the framework and structure of international cooperation and partnership governing the establishment of Nalanda University (NU) that would facilitate continued international support and engagement and help initiate funding arrangements.

It has also made recommendations on the choice of an appropriate academician as the Inaugural Rector to be appointed for NU.

A team of experts will work with the Inaugural Rector and advise on academic and administrative aspects of NU. There would be an International Board of Trustees and also an Executive Council.

At last week's meeting, members of NMG met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and had extensive interaction with local government, during which discussions were held on development of infrastructure and the proposed master plan of the region.

They emphasized the importance of ensuring effective coordination among all the concerned authorities so that a comprehensive development of the region takes place as NU starts operating.

The NMG also visited the proposed NU site.

The NMG also decided to add the School of Information Sciences and Technology to the already proposed schools that would form part of the forthcoming university.

The NMG discussed and favoured the idea of having affiliations with academic institutions of distinction in other countries such as Chulalongkorn University of Thailand and The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore.

The Report of the NMG will be presented to the Fifth EAS Summit.

It was also clarified that reference to the NU in the EAS Chair's Statement should enable Government of India to initiate suitable steps for the drafting of an international agreement by member countries of EAS, identifying the roles and responsibilities, including funding mechanism, on the establishment of NU.

The Government of India would then undertake the internal process of passing a Bill through Parliament to recognize the international status of NU.

An agreement between Government of India, the Government of Bihar and NU will also be signed which would clarify roles in administration of NU, including the grant of appropriate privileges for the efficient functioning of the University.

The NMG expressed hopes that the proposed NU will be established at the proposed site in Nalanda in the near future following strict time frame for various activities, including legal and administrative procedures. (ANI)

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