Friday, August 31, 2007

Bihar Govt. acquires land for Nalanda university

The Bihar government has completed land acquisition for setting up the ambitious Nalanda International University modelled on the famed ancient seat of Buddhist learning there, an official said Thursday.

"The total acquired land was 448.0957 acres. It was handed over to the state government," Nalanda district magistrate Anand Kishor said.

Kishor told IANS that land acquisition for the proposed university was completed in five months. "We will soon construct a boundary wall around the acquired land," he said.

Last week, the state government had appointed former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam as the first Visitor of the proposed university. The state cabinet took the decision under the University of Nalanda Act, 2007.

Kalam is likely to visit the state in September to help the university draw up its rules and regulations. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar had offered the post to Kalam last month.

The idea of the university was first mooted in the late 1990s, but it was Kalam's initiative in 2006 that gave shape to the project.

The University of Nalanda Act, 2007, says the Visitor will play a key role in the constitution of the governing body, which will be the supreme body of the university. The Visitor will have the power to inspect the varsity and appoint one or more persons to review its work and progress.

The first meeting of the Nalanda Mentor Group, headed by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, to oversee the opening of the university, was held in Singapore in July.

The state government has sanctioned Rs.10 million for setting up a board and establishment of an office of the university in New Delhi, which will carry out the liaison work of the proposed university.

The university will be built at a cost of Rs.6.3 billion.

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