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HindustanTimes Sun,20 Apr 2014

Global design competition for Nalanda University on

Arun Kumar, Hindustan Times  Patna, December 19, 2012
First Published: 14:07 IST(19/12/2012) | Last Updated: 14:10 IST(19/12/2012)

Nalanda Global University has launched the much-awaited architectural design competition. It is open to both Indian and foreign firms. The design competition is the first important step towards deciding the masterplan of the varsity.

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Nalanda University VC Gopa Sabharwal told HT, that the last day for applying for the design competition is January 8. An expert committee headed by the university advisor, AR Ramanathan, who has had the experience of working for the National Gallery and other big projects, would announce the list on January 22.

“As per the norms of the council of architecture, only those foreign firms can apply, which have a joint venture with an Indian firm,” said Sabharwal, adding that the idea is to have a cutting edge architecture for the university even while keeping its legacy intact.

“The history of Nalanda is central to the design of the university. The competition focuses on the culture of the region, without losing out on any of the modern principles of social and environmental awareness. It has to be an environment-friendly campus. It will produce as much energy as it will consume,” said Sabharwal.

The vice chancellor said, expression of interest (EoI) has been invited from all the eligible architects and architectural firms. “Once the design is finalised, real activity will start on site,” she added.

The next board meeting of the Nalanda University is scheduled in Patna on February 4, next year. The chancellor of the university, Dr Amartya Sen and all other board members will attend the meeting, said the VC.

The next day, the Nalanda monitoring committee, headed by planning commission deputy chairman, Montek Singh Ahluwalia, will meet in Rajgir to review the progress. Before that, a number of dignitaries from Buddhist countries are also expected to be in Patna to attend the international Buddhist conclave.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar has been keen to start at least some course in Nalanda University from 2014. During the last board meeting, Dr Amartya Sen had also exuded optimism, that the first batch of 100 students in two schools - School of Historical Sciences and the School of Environment and Ecology - could start in 2014.

“We are also working hard to make it happen. Hopefully, the construction work will begin in 2013. Before starting the university, even on a limited scale, we will need some infrastructure and accommodation,” she added.

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