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Singapore to donate library to Nalanda university

Nalanda International UniversitySingapore has decided to donate a library to the upcoming Nalanda International University in Bihar.

Singapore will design, build and donate a state-of-the-art library, estimated to cost $5-7 million to the university, former foreign minister of Singapore George Yeo told reporters ahead of a Nalanda Monitoring Committee meeting in Rajgir in Nalanda district, about 100 km from here.

Yeo, who heads the international advisory panel for raising funds for the university, said the board led by Nobel laureate economist Amartya Sen that met in Patna Monday approved Singapore’s proposal.

“People of Singapore are upbeat and keen on making their contribution to the university project,” he said.

Many countries, including Singapore, China, Thailand and Japan, have showed keen interest in helping the university.

The university is set to begin academic activities from the 2013-14 session from rented premises with two subjects — historical studies and environment and ecological studies. The university will come up on 446 acres in Rajgir, 10 km from the site of the ancient Nalanda University.

It will be fully residential, like the ancient one, and offer courses in science, philosophy and spiritualism along with social sciences. The project took shape in 2006 at the initiative of then president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

The ancient university was home to over 10,000 students and nearly 2,000 teachers. It existed till 1197 and attracted students and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia (now Iran) and Turkey.

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