Pranab hopeful of reviving Vikramshila University

President visited ruins of the centre of Buddhist learning

Updated - April 03, 2017 10:59 pm IST

Published - April 03, 2017 10:56 pm IST - Bhagalpur

Pranab Mukherjee at the Vikramshila University Monuments and Museum on Monday.

Pranab Mukherjee at the Vikramshila University Monuments and Museum on Monday.

President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday visited the excavated ruins of Vikramshila University here in Bihar and said he would talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the revival of the ancient seat of Buddhist learning.

Mr. Mukherjee also said the excavated site of Vikramshila should not only be a museum but be developed like Nalanda, asserting that India needed such universities.

“The seats of higher education Vikramshila guided the nation and encouraged research...I will talk to the Prime Minister for its revival,” the President said while addressing a public gathering at the university.

Role in research

He noted that ancient seats of learning like Nalanda, Takshshila and Vikramshila used to play a pivotal role in research. Mr. Mukherjee said he had been keen to visit such seats of learning since his college days and was overwhelmed to see people’s love and passion for their revival.

Stressing the need to augment higher education infrastructure in the country, the President said these seats should provide enough scholastic stimulation to students. “This is possible only with top class institutions adoring our higher education landscape,” he said.

The President said resurrection of Vikramshila will be an important step in preserving Indian civilisational ethos.

He said ancient Vikramshila reflected an era where a rich culture of learning flourished.

The institution, one of the two important seats of Buddhist teaching in India during the Pala dynasty rule, was established by King Dharmapala as a centre of Buddhist and Tantric learning, he said.

Mr. Modi had announced a Rs 500 crore package for the university in August 2015, while the State government was expected to provide around 500 acres for the institution.

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