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Speech by External Affairs Minister at inauguration of...
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Hon’ble Chief Minister of Bihar
Leader of Opposition of the Bihar Legislative Council
Members of Parliament and Members of the Legislative Assembly
Ambassadors and High Commissioners of EAS member States
Vice-Chancellor, faculty and students of Nalanda University

  • Today is a historic day for Nalanda University. It is a day when a vision has become a reality. It is a day when all roads are leading to Nalanda. For us, Nalanda University is the link between the past and the present and the bridge to our future. Nalanda has been integral to our Look East Policy and its inauguration today is a testimony to our cooperation.
  • I wish to convey my gratitude to our partners in EAS who stood with us to realize the dream of Nalanda as an international institution of excellence, bridging the wider region. I wish to thank the Nalanda Mentor Group for its vision and the Governing Body for shepherding the process to this stage. I wish to thank the Government of Bihar for its steadfast support to the cause of the Nalanda University and the revival of this ancient centre of learning in its new form. Finally, I wish to extend my heartiest congratulations to the distinguished faculty and students of this new institution. A bright future awaits us.
  • The glory of Nalanda University is deeply etched in our history. There are records of its achievements and contributions not only in the writings of our scholars, philosophers, scientists and monks but also in the memoirs of several travelers, including, those from afar. Along with other Universities of ancient India such as Taxila and Vikramshila, Nalanda played a singularly important role in promoting excellence, innovation and progress for our society. Nalanda was a centre of excellence devoted to the study of philosophy and Buddhism and was also a centre for the advancement of science and technology. The endeavour of Nalanda was to promote an understanding of knowledge in all its dimensions and to connect this with the society that it existed in. Understandably, it was a magnet, attracting scholars from all around, from the West to the East. Nalanda contributed deeply to connectivity between India and the broader region. Nalanda was the bridge and Nalanda was the fountain. The new Nalanda University will seek to revive that tradition.
  • The Nalanda pioneers today join the same hallowed tradition followed in the past. They follow in the footsteps of over 2,000 teachers and over 10,000 students, who came from across the world, to the abode of the old Nalanda to seek, to discover and to create. The pioneers and the generations that will follow, will strive towards reviving the spirit of Nalanda, towards building an ethos for a peaceful, progressive and harmonious society, towards a resurgence of a nation reveling in its diversity and beauty.
  • The greatness of our past is well known but not fully understood. The growth and development of our economy and of society over the last few decades has awakened new interest in our heritage and our civilization. It has also awakened interest in institutions, monuments and practices of the past. We seek to understand the past to build our future, in the full knowledge of our role in an interconnected world. The new Nalanda University is part of this endeavour. I am grateful to the Nalanda Mentor Group for providing a template for the establishment of this institution and to the East Asia Summit for having adopted it as a common objective of member States.
  • I am certain that the new Nalanda University that will come up in the vicinity of the old University will be a state of the art institution. I am pleased that the architectural design for this project is rooted in our traditions and has a green approach. I am happy that work has commenced on the ground towards the construction of the new buildings and we shall soon have the new premises for our students and teachers. The University will focus on providing an environment that not only rekindles the spirit of enquiry and research that prevailed in the old Nalanda but also connects us to partners in the region and beyond. This university will be a centre of excellence with a contemporary relevance devoted to cutting edge research that is networked to leading institutions.
  • I had reported the commencement of classes to the EAS Ministerial Meeting held in Nay Pyi Taw last month. India is fully committed to the project. The Government of India has allocated Rs. 2,727 crores for the establishment of the university, apart from the 455 acres of land that has been provided so generously by the Government of Bihar. In recognition of the needs of an international institution of excellence, the Government of India has also facilitated the process to encourage outstanding faculty members and students to this institution. We have also provided scholarships to students from CLMV countries. I want to convey to other countries, who are not members of EAS, but who share the historical foot print of the Nalanda University or have an interest in the spirit of Nalanda, that we welcome your participation in the new institution.
  • I am pleased that with the commencement of classes earlier this month and with the formal inauguration of the Nalanda University, we have entered a new phase. We recognize that our work has only begun. We are still operating out of temporary premises with a small group of students and faculty and have made a beginning with only two of the envisaged seven Schools. I call upon the management of the University to work in full earnest to realize the goals that have been established for this institution. I am certain Nalanda University will formulate an academic curriculum and create an environment that attracts the best faculty and students from across the world. I am also certain that Nalanda University will develop connections with the intellectual community as well as different sections of society to promote excellence and innovation, just as the old Nalanda University did.
  • Today, as we inaugurate this great institution, I am reminded of the torch bearers of the great tradition of Nalanda embodied in Nagarjuna, Dharmapala, Padmasambhava, Atisa Dipankara, Aryabhatta and many others who through their commitment, passion and research had contributed to its greatness over the centuries. We are at the threshold of remaking history. Nalanda University seeks to establish a link between knowledge and society through education, research, innovation and excellence. We have a great responsibility as well as a great opportunity.
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