Nalanda University
Nalanda University Logo.gif
Nalanda University emblem
VisitorPresident of India
Nodal bodyMinistry of External Affairs (India)[1]
TypeCentral university, public university, international university
Established2010 (13 years ago) (2010), first academic session 2014
ChancellorVijay P. Bhatkar[2]
Vice-ChancellorSunaina Singh[3]
Academic staff
45 (2022)
Students406 (2022)
Location, ,
25°01′06″N 85°22′38″E / 25.01828°N 85.37715°E / 25.01828; 85.37715Coordinates: 25°01′06″N 85°22′38″E / 25.01828°N 85.37715°E / 25.01828; 85.37715

Nalanda University is a public central located in Nalanda district's Rajgir in the state of Bihar, India. It is designated as an Institute of National Importance (INI) and excellence. The international university supported by 18 member countries[4] was established by an Act of the Indian Parliament in 2010. The decision to set up the university was endorsed at the second and fourth East Asia Summits. The President of India serves as Visitor to the university.


Nalanda University was established to emulate the ancient university of Nalanda, which functioned between the 5th and 13th centuries. The idea to resurrect Nalanda University was endorsed in 2007 at the 2nd East Asia Summit by the sixteen member countries.[5] In 2009, during the 4th East Asia summit, ASEAN member states including Australia, China, Korea, Singapore and Japan promised further support.[6] The State Government of Bihar handed over land acquired from local people, to the university for its new campus.[7][8][9][10][11] Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar also met External Affairs Minister SM Krishna to receive reassurance that the Central Government would allocate sufficient funds to the project.[12]

The architectural design was chosen on the basis of a global competition.[13][14] The jury consisting of architects including Liu Thai Ker chose Pritzker Prize laureate BV Doshi's firm, Vastu Shilpa Consultants as the winner of the design competition.[15] The firm dbHMS provides the triple net zero energy, water and waste strategic plan.[16] Original concepts associated with the project included "advancing the concept of an Asian community...and rediscovering old relationships."[17] and "acting as a bridge for students in different parts of Southeast Asia".[18]

The university has been envisioned as an international institution of national importance[19] and excellence.[20] It began its first academic session on 1 September 2014 with 15 students in the School of Historical Studies and the School of Ecology and Environmental studies. A hotel operated by Bihar State Tourism Development Corporation in Rajgir provided initial hostel accommodation.[21][22] Initially set up with temporary facilities in Rajgir, a modern campus spanning over 160 hectares (400 acres) is under construction with over 80 percent having been completed by 2021.[18][23] The university started functioning from its 455-acres new campus from January 2020.[24] At least 200 villages surrounding the university will be attached to the university, reminiscent of the old Nalanda.[25]

Nalanda University Act

On 28 March 2006 the eleventh President of India A. P. J. Abdul Kalam proposed the idea while addressing the Joint Session of the Bihar Vidhan Mandal for the revival of Nalanda University.[26] In 2007 the Bihar Legislative Assembly passed a bill for the creation of a new university.[25]

The Nalanda University Bill, 2010[27] was passed on 21 August 2010 in Rajya Sabha and 26 August 2010 in Lok Sabha.[28] The bill received Presidential assent on 21 September 2010 thereby becoming an Act.[29] The university came into existence on 25 November 2010, when the Act was implemented.


The university's visitor is the President of India. The chancellor and chairperson of the governing board is Vijay Bhatkar. The vice-chancellor is Sunaina Singh. The governing board comprises the chancellor, vice-chancellor, representative from member countries, a secretary, two representatives from the Government of Bihar, a representative from the Ministry of Human Resource Development, and three persons in the category of "Renowned Academician or Educationist", Arvind Sharma, Lokesh Chandra and Arvind Panagariya.[30]

The first chancellor of the university was Amartya Sen, followed by former Singapore Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo. They left citing concerns about autonomy and political interference in academic matters.[31][32][33][34] Vijay Pandurang Bhatkar has been appointed the new chancellor on 25 January 2017 by President Pranab Mukherjee, in his capacity as Visitor to Nalanda University.[35] In 2017, Interim Vice-Chancellor Pankaj Mohan handed over charge to Professor Sunaina Singh as permanent vice-chancellor.[36][37]

Schools and centres

Nalanda is exclusively a graduate school, currently offering master's courses, and doctor of philosophy programmes.

Nalanda University has five functional Schools at present:

The following schools are planned to start later, in a phased manner:

Three centres — Centre for Bay of Bengal,[39] Centre for Conflict Resolution and Peace Building, and Common Archival Resource Centre— will be operational soon.[23]

The School of Languages and Literature/Humanities commenced its operations with one year Post-Graduate Diploma Programmes in Pali, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Korean and English in 2018. Master's and doctoral programmes commenced in 2021.[40] It is planned to gradually expand to include other programmes in Indian and foreign languages.

See also


  1. ^ Upadhyay, Ashok (22 March 2021). "Crores spent but no glory for Nalanda University | RTI story". India Today. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  2. ^ Tripathi, Piyush (28 January 207). "Man behind India's first supercomputer 'Param' to head Nalanda University". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 13 June 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  3. ^ "Prof Sunaina Singh appointed Vice Chancellor of Nalanda University". Nalanda University. Archived from the original on 20 September 2017. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  4. ^ "History and Revival". Nalanda University. Retrieved 2 September 2022.
  5. ^ "Joint Press Statement of the 4th East Asia Summit on the Revival of Nalanda University, Cha-am Hua Hin, Thailand, 25 October 2009". 25 October 2009. Retrieved 30 March 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Bikramaditya, Bibhuti (27 March 2007). "Nalanda International University: A Great Initiative". Patna Daily. Archived from the original on 9 July 2008. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
  7. ^ Puri, Anjali (3 March 2015). "Nalanda University: The view from close up". Business Standard India. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  8. ^ Nadim, Farrukh (8 September 2013). "International university in Nalanda my dream: CM". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  9. ^ Sinha, Ashish (14 August 2008). "Nalanda University set to reopen in '10, Amartya on faculty?". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 23 December 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2008.
  10. ^ Jha, Ashok K. (28 May 2007). "Nalanda International University: A commendable initiative". Merinews. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  11. ^ Velloor, Ravi (21 May 2011). "George Yeo assures Indian state of Nalanda commitment". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 5 May 2012. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  12. ^ "CM seeks funds for Nalanda university". The Times of India. 19 May 2011. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 20 May 2013.
  13. ^ "Global competition for Nalanda university design". 9 July 2011. Archived from the original on 22 August 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  14. ^ "Global design competition for Nalanda university". Archived from the original on 26 February 2011. Retrieved 13 July 2011.
  15. ^ "Winner of Design Competition" (PDF). Nalanda University. 6 May 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 12 June 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  16. ^ "Young entrepreneurs shaping sustainable growth in India". ACE Update Magazine. 4 March 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  17. ^ Rajghatta, Chidanand (11 May 2008). "Nalanda to move from ruins to riches - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  18. ^ a b Sharma, Kritika (26 March 2022). "400-acre campus painted with nostalgia, an Asian melting pot — how Nalanda 2.0 is taking shape". ThePrint. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  19. ^ "Financial Support to Nalanda University". Press Information Bureau, Government of India. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  20. ^ "Nalanda University will be an international institution:PM". The Economic Times. Agencies. 24 October 2009. Retrieved 31 March 2022.
  21. ^ "Nalanda International University begins its first Session". Bihar Prabha. Indo-Asian News Service. Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 1 September 2014.
  22. ^ Chatterjee, Chandan; Kumar, Roshan (1 September 2014). "Nalanda 2.0, 800 years on". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  23. ^ a b Rumi, Faryal (15 February 2020). "'Nalanda University campus to be fully operational by December next year'". The Times of India. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  24. ^ Tripathi, Piyush (16 November 2019). "Nalanda University set to move to new campus". The Times of India. Retrieved 31 July 2021.
  25. ^ a b "Plans to restore Nalanda's past glory". Hindustan Times. IANS. 27 March 2007. Retrieved 30 March 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  26. ^ "Address to the Joint Session of the Bihar Legislature, Patna: Missions for Bihar's Prosperity". Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam: Former President of India. National Informatics Centre. 28 March 2006. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  27. ^ "Bill No. XLIX of 2011: The Nalanda University Bill, 2010". Archived (PDF) from the original on 15 September 2011. Retrieved 4 November 2011.
  28. ^ "The Nalanda University Bill, 2010". PRS Legislative Research. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  29. ^ "Nalanda University Act, 2010" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 11 October 2011. Retrieved 25 November 2011.
  30. ^ "Governance at Nalanda University". Archived from the original on 18 August 2017. Retrieved 18 August 2017.
  31. ^ "Modi govt does not want me to continue as Nalanda University chancellor: Amartya Sen". The Times of India. Press Trust of India. 20 February 2015. Archived from the original on 20 February 2015.
  32. ^ "Dr. Amartya Sen's letter to Board members of Nalanda University". The Hindu. 19 February 2015. Archived from the original on 20 February 2015. Retrieved 7 August 2015.
  33. ^ Ganapathy, Nirmala (25 November 2016). "Singapore's former foreign minister George Yeo resigns as chancellor of India's Nalanda University". The Straits Times. Archived from the original on 25 November 2016. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  34. ^ "Nalanda University's 'autonomy hit', chancellor George Yeo quits". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 26 November 2016. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  35. ^ "Founder of Indian supercomputing Dr Bhatkar appointed new VC Nalanda University". The Indian Express. IANS. 28 January 2017. Archived from the original on 28 January 2017. Retrieved 30 January 2017.((cite web)): CS1 maint: others (link)
  36. ^ "Prof. Pankaj Mohan Handed Charge to Sunaina Singh". Nalanda. Nalanda University Official website. 15 May 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  37. ^ "New Nalanda University vc takes charge". The Telegraph India. 16 May 2017. Retrieved 19 November 2021.
  38. ^ "The Seven schools of Nalanda University". Archived from the original on 31 January 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
  39. ^ "Translation of Prime Minister's Statement at BIMSTEC Plenary Session (August 30, 2018)". Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  40. ^ "School of Languages and Literature - Nalanda University". 31 July 2021. Archived from the original on 31 July 2021. Retrieved 31 July 2021.

Further reading