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Nalanda University invites bids for campus design
- Varsity issues expression of interest for architects, international jury to select plan

Nalanda University has set the ball rolling to design its buildings in Rajgir, issuing the terms for architects for a preliminary structure.

The varsity on Wednesday issued the expression of interest with details of the terms and conditions based on which architects/architectural firms would take part in the pre-qualification bid. Those selected by the varsity’s committee would be part of a competition through which the master plan and the design of the buildings would be finalised. January 8 is the last date for submitting the proposals.

The four-member committee headed by Nalanda University vice-chancellor Gopa Sabharwal would study the bids between January 15 and 18. “The list of firms which can take part in the design competition would be released on January 22,” Sabharwal told The Telegraph over phone from New Delhi on Wednesday.

The varsity’s committee includes former additional director-general of CPWD R.K. Kakar, Kulbhushan Jain of Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology, Ahmedabad, and Delhi-based architect Sumit Ghosh.

The selected firms would have to submit the master plan for the campus and the design of the varsity’s buildings that would be constructed in the first phase. “The final design and the master plan would be selected by an international jury,” Sabharwal said. Although she refused to name the international jury members, the process is expected to be complete by April, a couple of months from finalising the pre-qualification bids.

In the first phase, residential facilities would be set up for faculty members and students who would be associated with Historical Studies and Ecology and Environment Studies — the two schools with which academic activities at the international varsity would begin. The campus, around 10km from the ruins of the ancient Nalanda University site and about 90km south-east of Patna, would also have a teaching block and a library. They would be constructed in the first phase for the 2014-15 session.

The university is coming up on a 446-acre plot provided by the state government. The exact construction cost for the first phase would be known only after finalising the design. According to preliminary estimates, around Rs 500 crore would be required.

Sabharwal, who is shuttling between New Delhi and Rajgir, said apart from setting up its own infrastructure and appointing faculty members, the varsity is also refurbishing the office building and premises provided to it at Rajgir. She said consultation on appointing faculty members for the schools was going on at several levels and the goal was to have the requisite number in place by July next year so that they can get a year’s time to give final shape to the curriculum to be followed in the two schools. The university’s governing board, in its previous meeting in July at Patna, had sanctioned posts of 13 faculty members for each of the two schools.