The government on Friday gave its nod to bring some amendments to the Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013, as suggested by a Parliamentary Panel to further streamline the governance structure of the proposed university in Bihar.

The Parliamentary Standing Committee on External Affairs had suggested several amendments such as making the governing board a seven-member body instead of five, one each nominated by seven participating and non-participating countries of the East Asia Summit.

The committee had also suggested inclusion of words such as “non-state, non-profit, self-governing international institution having academic freedom for attainment of these objectives.” It had suggested among others that the Vice Chancellor shall also perform the role of member secretary of the governing board.

“The Cabinet gave its approval for amendments to the Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013, suggested by Parliament’s Standing Committee on External Affairs and accepted by the government,” said a government statement. The Amendment Bill, 2013, designed to further streamline the governance structure of the University and provide it the financial support required for the establishment of a world class institution of high learning, was introduced in the Rajya Sabha in August 2013.

The Parliament’s Standing Committee on External Affairs scrutinised the Bill and presented its Report to both the Houses on December 17, 2013. According to the statement, non-participating countries of the East Asia Summit will be allowed to collaborate in developing the university as an international centre of excellence. The President will be the Visitor of the university and there would be retrospective application of the university’s statutes, ordinances and regulations. The Centre has already approved an expenditure of Rs.2727.10 crore for the period 2010-11 to 2021-22 to meet the university’s budgetary requirements during its establishment phase.

A number of participating countries, such as China, Thailand, Laos, Singapore, Australia, and Japan have either made or offered voluntary contributions.

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