One of the oldest universities of the world, Nalanda University is an ancient Indian university. It was the first Indian residential university. It is located at Bihar and is about 88 kilometers away from Patna. This university has a great history attached to it as it was ransacked by Bakhtiyar Khilji who destroyed the pronounced eminence of Nalanda. With inordinate hard work and great zeal of ex-president Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Nalanda University was back on its foot on November 25, 2015 and after 800 years has celebrated its first convocation on 27 August 2016.
President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday laid the foundation stone of the permanent campus of Nalanda University at Pilkhi village in Rajgir, Bihar. He also conferred the chancellors gold medal to two students at the first convocation of the university. The President handed over Post graduate degrees to 12 students of the first batch. Presently, 155 students are studying in the university.
Governor Ramnath Kovind and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar were also present on the occasion. The University is being supported by all the Members of the East Asia Summit and Intergovernmental Memorandums of University to that effect have been signed by 17 countries. The president at convocation emphasized that universities must be the bastions of free speech and expression. It must be the arena where diverse and conflicting schools of thought contend. There should be no room for intolerance, prejudice and hatred within the spaces of this institution. He quoted that “Nalanda was a melting pot of civilizations and modern India should remain the same. We should not close our windows and yet we should not be blown off by winds from outside. We should let the winds flow freely from all over the world and get enriched by them. We should embrace free discussion and debate leaving behind narrow mindsets and thoughts”.
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