The Lok Sabha on Thursday adopted the Nalanda University Bill, 2010, which has already been approved by the Rajya Sabha, to set up a Rs.1,005-crore international university at Nalanda in Bihar, where a varsity for Buddhist learning existed over 800 years ago.
Replying to the debate, Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur said the Ministry had taken upon itself to establishing the university because it was an international effort by the East Asian Summit comprising 15 countries. The Union government would provide land for the university, which would be established through voluntary funding from the East Asian Summit members.
Singapore had announced funding of $ 4 million - $5 million for the Nalanda university's library through private donations .
Ms. Kaur said the Bill provided only a framework and structure for the university and that further constitution of the institution and its rules and regulations would be done later. In the beginning, the university would have six schools for different studies, but the Board of governors had envisaged opening another school for information technology.
According to the Bill, the university aimed at contributing to the promotion of regional peace and vision by bringing together the future leaders of East Asia who by relating to their past could enhance their understanding of each other's perspectives and share that understanding globally.
The Nalanda Mentor Group, chaired by Professor Amartya Sen, will draft the statutes for the university. It will have schools of Buddhist Studies; Philosophy and Comparative Religions; Historical Studies; International Relations and Peace Studies; Business Management in relation to Public Policy and Development Studies; Languages and Literature; and Ecology and Environmental Studies. Till such time the varsity becomes sustainable on its own, it will function as a public-private partnership. The Bihar government has acquired 500 acres of land in Rajgir, near the original Nalanda University site.