While India is looking forward to reviving its Nalanda University campus in Bihar, the country’s neighbor China has surprised the world by building its own version of the esteemed Nalanda University.
Bihar’s Nalanda campus was planned for a revival and reconstruction almost a decade ago, however, there have been no developments so far.
China’s education ministry declared this secret development only when the country formally announced the enrollment for the Nalanda University or Nanhai Buddhist College in Hainan province. The admissions process began in May and the first batch of 220 students will commence from September 2017.
It is believed that since China was part of the global team, which first promoted the idea of reconstructing Nalanda University in the ancient Indian city in 2006, the plans were kept secret.
In India, in 2007, the Manmohan Singh government appointed a team including Nobel laureate Amartya Sen, to work out a plan to revive the ancient institution. However, the process has remained in the pipeline since then without any developments due to the approach of the team members.
The Chinese Nalanda version is a sea-facing structure located on the scenic Nanshan Mountains spread across 618.8 acres. The Chinese have rechristened the university’s coastline as “Brahma Pure Land”, a concept borrowed from ‘Yoga Vashistha’ and Mahayana Buddhism. The Chinese Nalanda will offer courses in three languages, Pali, Tibetan and Chinese, in six departments — Buddhism, Tibetan Buddhism, and the Buddhist Architectural Design and Research Institute.