Nalanda University Current Affairs
President Pranab Mukherjee has appointed Dr Vijay Bhatkar, architect of India’s first supercomputer the Param series, as the chancellor of Nalanda University.
He will have term of three years from the date of his appointment as provided under Section 11(3) of the Nalanda University Act. He shall succeed George Yeo, former Foreign Minister of Singapore, who resigned after the Board of the University was reconstituted.
About Dr Vijay Bhatkar
- Dr. Bhatkar is one of the acclaimed scientists and IT leaders of India. He is best known as the architect of India’s first supercomputer Param series.
- He is also known as the founder executive director of C-DAC, India’s national initiative in supercomputing. He is also credited with the creation of several national institutions.
- He also was member of the scientific advisory committee to the cabinet of Union Government and as also of the governing council of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
- Bhatkar studied at the Indian Institute of Technology (Delhi) and the Maharaja Sayaji Rao University. He has been honoured with Padma Shri, Maharashtra Bhushan, Padma Bhushan (2015) awards for his contribution to field of science and technology.
About Nalanda University
- Nalanda University revived version of ancient Nalanda University located at Rajgir in Nalanda District in Bihar.
- It is a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution. Its idea was mooted by former President APJ Abdul Kalam in 2006.
- It was established through Nalanda University Act, 2010. It functions under Ministry of External Affairs.
- It is mandated to be engaged in the pursuit of intellectual, philosophical, historical and spiritual studies
Note: The ancient Nalanda University was established in 427 AD during the reign of Gupta king Sakraditya. It was one of India’s earliest university. At its peak, it had attracted scholars and students from near and far with some travelling all the way from Tibet, China, Korea, and Central Asia
The ruins of ancient Nalanda Mahavihara (also known as old Nalanda University) of Bihar has been included in the List of UNESCO’s World Heritage Site.
Nalanda Mahavihara ruins comprise the archaeological remains of monastic-cum-scholastic from the 5th century BC to the 13th century AD.
It located near Patna, state capital of Bihar and is 26th cultural site of India to get prestigious world heritage status.
- Nalanda Mahavihara was founded by Kumargupta I of the Gupta dynasty in 5th century CE. It was the earliest planned university of the Indian subcontinent.
- It was patronized by various rulers including King Harshavardhana of Kannauj (7th century CE) and the Pala rulers (8th to 12th century CE) as well as various scholars.
- Nalanda was considered as a rare combination of outstanding achievements in institution-building, site-planning, art and architecture.
- It had attracted scholars from the Indian subcontinent and beyond and received patronage of local rulers and foreign kings for period of 800 years.
- Students were admitted in this university after rigorous evaluation only. It imparted knowledge related to Buddhism, contemporary texts and philosophies, logic, grammar, science, and medicine.
- Presently, it is preserved in number of remains of stupas (temple-like structure), shrines and viharas (residential-cum-scholastic structure) and important art works in stucco, stone and metal.
Note: Nalanda University is the second World Heritage site in Bihar after Bodhgaya’s Mahabodhi temple to be accorded UNESCO’s World Heritage Site tag. This status will help in conservation and protection of the site in better way and also increase funds from the UNESCO.