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79 in fray for Nalanda varsity design

Nalanda University would declare the names of the architects/architectural firms selected for preparing its design on Tuesday. Seventy-nine entries have come for taking up the ambitious project.

“Indian firms, Indian companies in joint venture with other Indian firms and Indian firms in joint venture with foreign companies having expertise in taking up such projects have sent in papers for being considered to take up the design work,” Nalanda University vice-chancellor Gopa Sabharwal told The Telegraph over phone.

She refused to share the names of the firms that have submitted proposals, though. “All I can say at this juncture is that the selected firms would be provided a detailed dossier explaining the concept of the university and the kind of designs we are looking for. Based on this input, the selected firms would submit detailed report on the design from which final selection would be made,” she said, adding that the timeframe for submitting the detailed report had not yet been finalised.

The selection of firms for the design competition would be done on the basis of recommendations of a four-member team with Sabharwal as its chairperson. The three other members of the committee are former additional director-general of CPWD (Central Public Works Department) R.K. Kakar, Kulbhushan Jain of Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology-Ahmedabad, and Bangalore-based architect K. Jaisim.

Earlier, Delhi-based architect Sumit Ghosh was part of the committee. After he backed out, Jaisim was roped in.

The VC said the committee was busy in paper works to shortlist the firms to be invited to take part in the design competition for the Nalanda University campus which include the master plan and the phase-one construction work.

An international jury would select the final design and the master plan. The university has yet not revealed the names of the experts who would be part of it.

Located around 90km southeast of the city and around 10km from the ruins of the old Nalanda University site, the university is coming up at Rajgir on 446 acres of land provided by the state government.

The varsity authorities have plans to set up residential facilities for faculty members and students who would be associated with two schools — historical studies and ecology and environment studies. They want to construct a teaching block and a library also in the first phase.

According to the plan, the academic activities would start in the Nalanda University from the 2014-15 academic session.

The exact construction cost in the first phase would be known only after finalisation of the design. But according to preliminary estimates, around Rs 500 crore would be required for the first phase of the construction work.