Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Nalanda University shall be Icon of Asian Renaissance, Says new VC Sunaina Singh !!

Vice Chancellor Sunaina Singh on Friday said she envisions Nalanda University as an intellectual bridge between India, Asia as well as Asia-Pacific countries. Sunaina Singh, who took over as the Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University on May 15, 2017 said this while interacting with media here in Bihar’s Nalanda district, about 100 km from capital Patna.

She also said that Nalanda would be a symbol of India’s soft power.

“Efforts will be to strive to build Nalanda as an icon of Asian Renaissance. The 21st century belongs to Asia and Nalanda will be an example of this resurgence,” she said.

Talking about future roadmap of Nalanda University she said her focus will be on five major areas: expansion of departments and schools, streamlining administration, improving infrastructure, capacity building and library.

Elaborating further on expansion of schools she said, “We need to build more schools and departments for academic excellence. The School of Linguistics and Literature and the School of International Relations and Peace Studies will be the next Schools that we will focus on. Within the existing Schools we will create new departments”.

For instance in the School of Buddhist studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religions we plan to also introduce Vedic Studies, Indian spiritual tradition and peace studies, she added.

She shared that the University may also start some short-term executive programmes on subjects like Mindfulness and Yoga.
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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Nalanda University signs MOU with Japan’s Kanazawa University !!

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed between Nalanda University and Kanazawa University of Japan on Friday to promote and develop cooperation through the exchange of faculty members, research fellows, students, academic material, publications and information.
“India and Japan are ancient civilizations, bound by close cultural ties, and Nalanda played a crucial role in this civilizational dialogue. Since Nalanda University has the mandate to rediscover the threads of inter-Asian connection, our MoU with Kanazawa University holds immense significance” Nalanda’s Interim Vice Chancellor, Pankaj Mohan, said at the signing of the MOU with Kanazawa University’s Head of the School of Humanities, Mori Masahide.

The two universities will also conduct joint research projects and will organise symposiums together, the university informed. Registrar K Chandramoorthi said that they were pleased to collaborate with “a 50-year-old National University of Japan whose roots can be traced to 1862”.

“Kanazawa University has been designated by the Japanese Ministry of Education as a “Super Global University”, and as Nalanda University shares this vision and goal, the MoU would pave the way for an enduring partnership between the two institutions,” Masahide said. The Japanese university has 16 schools with 11,000 students and offers undergraduate and post graduate courses.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Nalanda and New Varsities Give Impetus to Higher Education in Bihar !

With as many as four new universities in the offing, the total number of universities in Bihar is likely to reach 24, thereby paving the way for enhancement of gross enrolment ratio in higher education.
Bills pertaining to creation of Patliputra University, Purnia University and Bihar Animal Sciences University were passed by the state legislature in August last year and official gazettes for the same were also published subsequently.

Furthermore, the state cabinet recently gave its nod for Munger University. All these new universities are expected to lighten the burden of the existing overcrowded parent universities and ensure smooth conduct of academic activities in colleges and university departments.

Carved out of Magadh University, the largest one in the state, the new Patliputra University with its headquarters in Patna, will have the colleges located in Patna and Nalanda districts. For the time being, the new university is expected to function from the MU's existing branch office at Kankarbagh. The university is likely to start functioning with the appointment of its vice-chancellor.

The Purnia University would be set up at Purnia with the colleges of B N Mandal University, Madhepura, located in four districts - Purnia, Araria, Kishanganj and Katihar. Similarly, Munger University would be established after its bifurcation from Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur University. All the colleges located in Munger, Lakhisarai, Jamui, Shekhpura, Khagaria and Begusarai districts would be brought under the jurisdiction of the new university.

Ever since the state got its first modern university in 1917 in the name of Patna University (PU), it has witnessed a sluggish growth of higher education. PU managed the growth and development of higher education in the state till January 1952 when it was bifurcated into two - PU and B R A Bihar University. Tilka Manjhi Bhagalpur and Ranchi University were created out of Bihar University in 1960. Two more universities - Magadh University and Kameshwar Singh Darbhanga Sanskrit University - were set up in 1961.

Nalanda University Gets a New Vice Chancellor !

With the post lying vacant for the past four months following the end of the tenure of Gopa Sabharwal, President Pranab Mukherjee on Friday announced his decision to appoint Sunaina Singh, the sitting Vice Chancellor (VC) of Hyderabad English and Foreign Language University, as the new VC of Nalanda University in Bihar.
Sabharwal, whose five-year term ended in 2015, was given an extension of one year but that was revoked by President Mukherjee who, instead appointed Pankaj Mohan, a senior professor at the Nalanda University, as the interim Vice Chancellor of the university.

Sunaina Singh was chosen from an initial list of 125 applications. She made the first short list of six candidates and later an even shorter list of three candidates, former Rajya Sabha MP and a member of the Nalanda University governing body, N K Singh said.

Since its revival, Nalanda University has been marred with one controversies or other involving bruised egos of office holders and general administrative failure. Earlier last November, its Chancellor and former Singapore politician George Yeo resigned from his post accusing lack of autonomy in the university.

As if that was not enough, two days ago on March 29, acting Vice Chancellor Pankaj Mohan resigned from his post on 'moral grounds' after a girl student accused her classmate of sexual harassment. The accusation led to a massive protest within the campus forcing the Nalanda SP to intervene to stop students from going on a rampage.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Nitish Kumar Urges Centre to Maintain the Autonomy of Nalanda University !!

Nalanda University’s chancellor George Yeo had recently resigned from his post, because government had dissolved the previous governing board of the university without taking him into confidence. Regarding this, Bihar CM Nitish Kumar has written a 2 page letter to External Affairs Minister Mrs. Sushma Swaraj, stating that the NDA government should not change the motive behind the idea of establishing the new Nalanda. Bihar CM Nitish Kumar was not happy with this step and said that center needs to consult with all the members of distinguished academicians and stakeholders before taking such a decision.

Nitish Kumar said that Centre should keep in mind that how state government has decided to recreate the Nalanda university fame as it was in the ancient times and establish a new Nalanda university in Bihar.

In 2007 Bihar government enacted a state law on Nalanda University and requested the Central government to take control of the university.  “In 2010 when Central Act on Nalanda University was passed, all powers were transferred to central government”,   stated Nitish Kumar.

George yeo stated that central government is interfering and affecting the autonomy of the university.  When the decision of dissolving the previous governing board was taken he was not informed about it.  According to Nitish, such an important decision was taken without informing the chancellor, raising a question on the autonomous behavior of the university.

On 25th November, George yeo submitted his resignation letter to the president Pranab Mukherjee, when NDA government decided to cancel the extension of time tenure of the vice chancellor Gopa Sabharwal.

Nitish, stated in his letter, that provisions concerned with the formulation of the governing body in the Nalanda University Act, 2010, were flawed and the central government wanted to amend the Act. "Therefore, the centre had requested the 'Nalanda Mentor Group' to continue functioning as the 'governing board' till the said Act could be amended. So far, there has been no amendment in the Act and yet a new governing body has been constituted by the centre without due consultation. This has affected the prestige and credibility of the university," Bihar CM said.
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