New Nalanda would teach Buddhism and global warming

by ASHWANI TALWAR, Newind Press, December 18 2007

NEW DELHI, India -- In keeping with the times, students at the new Nalanda University would study subjects like global warming and business management.

That can be figured after the second meeting this week-end of the Nalanda Mentor Group - a panel headed by Nobel laureate Amartya Sen – which is helping revive the famed university which drew the brightest students from across Asia and beyond. It could house upto 10,000 students.

At one time, Chinese monk-scholar Xuanzang (Hsuan Tsang, for those familiar with the old way of spelling him) was among them.

The new Nalanda too is being developed as an international institute. It is being revived through a collaboration of India and countries with a sizeable Buddhist presence. Heads of government discussed it at the East Asia Summit in Singapore last month, attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

By next year’s summit, they hope the framework of the international university would be ready. And later, they plan to sign an inter-governmental agreement with everyone chipping in with the money.

At its peak, the University – set up near present-day Patna in the fifth century AD and laid to ruin by Bakhtiyar Khilji in the 12th – might have focused on religion and philosophy but it covered a wide range of contemporary knowledge. So would, it is hoped, the revived institute.

At the week-end meeting in Tokyo, the Mentor Group proposed that the Nalanda University in its new avatar would have six schools: Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religions; Historical Studies, International Relations & Peace Studies; Business Management and Development Studies; Languages and Literature; and Ecology and Environmental Studies.

The Mentor Group - which first met in Singapore in July and will next discuss the Nalanda revival in China – agreed that it would be “a secular academic institution.”

According to the External Affairs Ministry, it resolved that the university should “draw on an understanding of the past while remaining contemporary and emphasizing its relevance to the future.”

The Buddhist Channel - Donate to Support Our Work

An Appeal

In deep gratitude for your support! We are half way to meeting our target (US$ 10,400 of US$ 18,000 already achieved)!

The Buddhist Channel is a dedicated group of "mindful communication practitioners" striving to make a positive impact on the Buddhist community. We deeply believe in the power of mindful journalism and are reaching out to you with a heartfelt request for your support. Your donation, no matter the size, can make a tangible difference in the lives of countless Buddhist monastics, local communities and other dedicated engaged workers. With your help, we make their stories known, and thereby opening up avenues for them to obtain sustainable support for their work.

Please indicate whether your support will be a donation or a loan. We will get back to you via email. We thank you in advance for providing us financial relieve. May the Buddha Dharma ever be your guide and protector.

Note: To date, we have received the following:

US$ 900 from Esa Myllykoski (donation)
US$ 9,500 from Lance Edwards/Kau Soo Kin (loan)

We express our deep gratitude for the support and generosity.

If you have any enquiries, please write to: