Nalanda was one of the world's first residential universities which drew scholars from all over the world for nearly 800 years starting from the 5th century. In its heyday it accommodated over 10,000 students and 2,000 teachers. The university was considered an architectural masterpiece, and was marked by a lofty wall and one gate.
But nearly 800 years after its founding, Nalanda was destroyed burned by Turkish Muslim invaders under Bakhtiyar Khilji in 1197 A.D. The Persian historian Minhaz, in his chronicle the Tabaquat-I-Nasiri, reported that thousands of monks were burned alive and thousands beheaded, the burning of the library continued for several months and smoke from the burning manuscripts hung for days like a dark pall over the low hills..
Now, it seems that we would be able to see the revival of this great centre of education as a International University. Dr. Abdul Kalam mooted the idea to revive this university while addressing the both houses of Bihar Assembly. Japan and Singapore have shown interest in investing about Rs.4.5 billion ($100 million) in the university. Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama has offered to donate Buddhist artifacts to the proposed university.
Amartya Sen isn't averse to the idea of taking a break from Harvard and lecturing at Nalanda International University in the heart of Bihar. The PM Manmohan Singh is expected to take along a resolution on the university to the 4th East Asia Summit in Bangkok and once adopted, Parliament would enact the concept as a law. It is expected that the university will start taking shape by February 2009 and teaching in some form should begin in 2010
Great Move, However, Lets keep our fingers crosses in these secular times