President Pranab Mukherjee will be the chief guest at the first convocation ceremony of Nalanda University, scheduled to be held on August 27 at Rajgir. While conferring degrees to 12 students of the first batch and delivering the convocation address, President Mukherjee would also lay the foundation stone for the first phase of construction in the sprawling 455-acre campus located at the Rajgir foothills in Nalanda.
The university is currently running from a makeshift campus at the premises of a health care and research unit near the Rajgir bus stand, about 2.5 km from the original campus. The new campus will be “net zero one”, that is, it will not add to emissions of greenhouse gases for its energy requirements.
The Bihar government has also provided its state-of-the art Convention Centre at Rajgir for the academic needs of the University.
After much delay, the university commenced its academic session in September 2014, with 12 students for two courses offered by the School of Historical Studies and the School of Ecology and Environment Studies. However, from this year, it has launched one more programme under the School of Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religions, and the number of students will be nearly 100 from this year, said Nalanda University Vice-Chancellor Ms Gopa Sabharwal.
Ms. Sabharwal has said that the convocation ceremony would be a truly “international” event in terms of its character and scale.