| Rajgir International Convention Centre, where Nalanda University classes are likely to start. Telegraph picture |
The countdown having started, Nalanda University is keen to ensure that classes go on without a hitch and is pitching for the Rajgir International Convention Centre as an alternative venue for lectures.
The first batch is scheduled to commence classes from September 1.
The option of the convention centre has been mooted to ensure students can concentrate on studies without any disturbance right from day one. An official said the finishing touches being given to the classrooms on the first floor of the makeshift campus could divert the attention of students. Therefore, the proposal to conduct the classes at the convention centre was floated.
Besides the convention centre, the university has the option of conducting classes on the makeshift campus and at Hotel Tathagat Vihar, which would also serve as a student hostel.
Earlier, the authorities had planned to conduct most of the classes at the temporary campus near the Rajgir bus stand. A few were to be organised at the hotel also.
Nalanda University vice-chancellor Gopa Sabharwal said: “The university has at present three venues on its radar for conducting classes — makeshift campus, Hotel Tathagat Vihar and Rajgir International Convention Centre. The classes would commence on September 1.”
Sabharwal said the convention centre, adjacent to the makeshift hostel at Hotel Tathagat Vihar, is a good option to start off with. “Its big halls are fit for conducting seminars. They can seat a large number of people,” she said.
Till Monday evening, the district administration denied receiving any official communication from the varsity for using the convention centre. Nalanda district magistrate Kartikey D. Budhdhabhatti said he had no knowledge about the university's plan to use it. “The convention centre has not been allotted to anyone till now,” he said.
However, Nalanda University’s dean, academics, Anjana Sharma said the varsity had approached the sub-divisional magistrate for hiring the convention centre.
The international university would start functioning this year with two schools — School of Historical Studies and School of Ecology & Environmental Studies. There are 20 seats in each school.
A varsity source said around 22 students had taken admission to the two schools so far. The admission process was still on, he added. Around 12 faculty members are likely to join the university in the first year.
Sharma said the orientation programme of the first-batch of students would be conducted on August 29. After a gap of two days, the classes would kick-off.
Barely a week in hand, finishing touches are being given to the classrooms and lecture halls on the makeshift campus and the hostel rooms of the varsity at Hotel Tathagat Vihar. The temporary seat of learning on the premises of a primary health centre and field research centre near the Rajgir bus stand is almost equidistant from the designated university campus, the makeshift hostel at Hotel Tathagat Vihar and Rajgir International Convention Centre — around 2.5km.
The source said the varsity authorities decided to opt for the convention centre to conduct the classes initially because of slight delay in giving finishing touches to the classroom and lecture halls on the varsity’s makeshift campus.
A senior university official attributed the delay in the renovation work of the makeshift campus to the model code effect because of the general election. The official, on condition of anonymity, said: “No new tenders could be floated when the model code of conduct was in effect. Hardly any work was done in that period.”¯
The model code of conduct for the recently held general election had come into effect on March 5 this year and remained applicable till May 16 when results were declared.