PM Modi inaugurates new campus of 1600-year-old Nalanda University, hails its significance for education sector


    Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the new campus of Nalanda University in Rajgir, Bihar, today (June 19). This significant event marks the revival of an ancient seat of learning that once stood as a beacon of knowledge and scholarship. It is a milestone in India’s educational landscape, 1600 years after the original university was destroyed.

    The ruins of Nalanda were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016, and they stand as a testament to the university’s storied past. Prime Minister Modi visited these ruins before the inauguration, paying homage to Nalanda’s legacy.

    The inauguration ceremony was attended by several prominent figures, including External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, Bihar Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, and Nalanda University Chancellor Arvind Panagariya. Dignitaries from 17 countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Mauritius, Myanmar, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam, were also present, highlighting the university’s international significance.

    The new campus, designed as a ‘Net Zero’ Green Campus, spans a sprawling area with state-of-the-art facilities. It features two academic blocks, each with 40 classrooms and a total seating capacity of approximately 1900 students. Additionally, the campus boasts two auditoriums with a seating capacity of 300 each, a student hostel accommodating around 550 individuals, an international centre, an amphitheatre of up to 2000 people, a faculty club, and a comprehensive sports complex.

    Earlier, Prime Minister Modi expressed his delight at the inauguration, emphasising Nalanda University’s deep historical roots and role in India’s illustrious past. “It’s a very special day for our education sector. At around 10:30 AM today, the new campus of Nalanda University will be inaugurated at Rajgir. Nalanda has a strong connection with our glorious past. This university will surely go a long way in catering to the educational needs of the youth,” he stated on social media platform X.

    The original Nalanda University established approximately 1600 years ago, was one of the world’s first residential universities. It became a renowned centre for learning, attracting scholars from all over Asia before it was destroyed by an arson attack led by Bakhtiyar Khalji. Historical accounts suggest the library burned for three months, obliterating around nine million books and manuscripts.

    The new Nalanda University is envisioned as a collaborative effort between India and East Asia Summit (EAS) countries, aimed at fostering educational ties and preserving historical connections. The campus is self-sufficient, equipped with solar plants, domestic and drinking water treatment facilities, a water recycling plant for reusing wastewater, and 100 acres of water bodies, among other environment-friendly features.

    As the university embarks on this new chapter, it promises to uphold its tradition of excellence in education and continue to be a vital hub for learning and innovation, resonating with the ancient spirit of Nalanda.