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Silent steps for steady future

- Preparations start at Nalanda University

The development work at Nalanda University’s main campus has taken off without much hullabaloo.

Around 2.5km away from the hustle and bustle of construction at the varsity’s makeshift campus near Rajgir bus stand, sites have been earmarked for different buildings — the hostels, classrooms, administrative building and library. Ropes have been laid along the perimeter of each structure.

Roads along the boundary wall of the sprawling 455 acres of the campus have been earmarked. Pathways leading to hostels and quarters of faculty members have also been identified.

Stones have been laid on the campus earmarking the plinth height of the proposed buildings.

Colonel M.K. Prasad, the varsity engineer of the upcoming Nalanda University, said: “The work at the main varsity site is progressing steadily. A foreign delegation visited the site recently. The construction work will gather steam after we get the soil testing report and decide on the technology we shall use for the construction purpose.

Classrooms for four schools — historical studies; ecology and environment studies; linguistics and literature; Buddhist studies, philosophy and comparative religions; economics and management; international relations and peace studies; and information science and technology — would come up on the sprawling eco-friendly campus besides a state-of-the-art library right in front of a huge water body.

The classes of historical studies, and ecology and environment studies would commence from September 1. The linguistics and literature course would start next year. Buddhist studies, philosophy and comparative religions and international relations and peace studies would be launched in 2016-17. The rest of the courses would take off in 2017-18.

Prasad said the main campus of the varsity would be ready for shifting in 2017-18. “The construction work will take around three years. Tenders will be floated for the construction work after we receive the soil test report and top construction firms would be assigned the task.”

According to plans, trees would adore every building on the Nalanda University campus to give it a green look. The water body and the trees on the campus would give it a serene look besides absorbing heat. Prasad said plants would dot the perimeter road along the boundary of the campus. “Initially, there was no plan to plant trees along the road. But we decided to do so recently to give the campus a cool ambience.” The plantation bed on the either side of the perimeter road would be around 5m wide. There would be underground drainage system below the plants.

The campus of the new age Nalanda University, around 10km from the Nalanda ruins, is expected to develop into an international centre of academic excellence.

All members of the varsity’s governing body, including vice-chancellor Gopa Sabharwal and Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, called on external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on Monday to deliberate on the debut of the varsity’s two courses — historical studies and ecology and environment studies — on September 1.