Nalanda varsity gets Yale leg-up | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Nalanda varsity gets Yale leg-up

Yale University, one of the world's most respected varsities, is likely to assist India's ambitious plans to revive Nalanda University, the ancient seat of higher learning in Bihar.

delhi Updated: Sep 21, 2012 23:06 IST
Charu Sudan Kasturi

Yale University, one of the world's most respected varsities, is likely to assist India's ambitious plans to revive Nalanda University, the ancient seat of higher learning in Bihar.

The ministry of external affairs (MEA) is in talks with Yale to rope in the Ivy League university, initially as a mentor for the proposed varsity's first department - a school of environmental studies, government sources have confirmed to HT.

"We may then seek to extend this cooperation," a senior official said.

Though no formal MoU has been signed between India and Yale yet, the American university is ready to assist in the project.

"We are happy to extend our support to this project, about which we are in touch with the Indian government," said George Joseph, assistant secretary for international affairs at Yale, the first university in the world that had a school of environmental sciences.

The new university will officially be called the Nalanda International University. Based on the ideals of the ancient university, the new varsity is being built by India in collaboration with China, Japan and Singapore, countries that have also contributed funding for the project.

One of the most reputed centres of learning at the time, the ancient Nalanda University was built by the Gupta dynasty and is believed to have run between the 5th and 12th centuries. A Buddhist centre, it was ransacked and burnt to the ground in 1193 by Turkish invaders.

"If we want the new university to reach the heights of the old one, we need to tie up with the best universities of today," the government official said.

For Yale, the tie up represents the latest in a series of steps to increase its footprint in India. The university runs annual leadership programmes for Indian MPs.