It is official -- outgoing President A P J Abdul Kalam will be offered the post of Visitor in the proposed international university in Nalanda by the Bihar government.
Sources in Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's office told rediff.com on Wednesday that the state government will formally offer the post of Visitor in international university in Nalanda in the last week of July..
The idea of the university was first mooted in the late 1990s, but it was Kalam's initiative in early 2006 that gave shape to the project at the ancient site of Buddhist learning. It was his dream project.
If Kalam accepts the Bihar government offer, the process of appointing the vice chancellor and framing of regulations will start in consultation with him, the sources said.
According to the University of Nalanda Act 2007, the Visitor will play a key role in the constitution of the governing body of the university. The Visitor will have the powers to inspect the varsity and appoint one or more persons to review the work and progress of the university.
Last month, Nitish announced that his government would offer the post to the outgoing President, as he had expressed his eagerness to teach in the university.
Meanwhile, the first meeting of the Nalanda Mentor Group headed by Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen to oversee the opening of the university will be held in Singapore on July 13 and 14, Bihar State Planning Deputy Chairman N K Singh said.
The proposal for foreign investments and syllabus of the proposed university will also be discussed during the meeting, which will attended by Singapore Foreign Minister George Yeo, representatives of the governments of China and Japan, Lord Meghnad Desai of England and Sugata Bose, grand nephew of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose.
After the Singapore meeting, three more meetings will held in China, Japan and Bihar. Singapore and Japan are keen on funding the Nalanda university.
Officials said the state government had begun acquiring 500 acres of land for the university. The proposed university will be fully residential as in ancient times.
In the first phase of the project, seven schools with 46 foreign faculty members and over 400 Indian academics will be established. The university will impart courses in science, philosophy and spiritualism along with other subjects. A renowned international scholar will be its chancellor.