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    President Mukherjee attends first convocation of Nalanda University

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    President Pranab Mukherjee on Saturday attended the maiden convocation ceremony of Nalanda University and launched the ground-breaking ceremony for construction of the sprawling university campus here, an official said.

    President Mukherjee awarded degrees to 12 students of the first batch of the
    university. “President awarded gold medals to two students and degrees to 10
    students at the first convocation ceremony of Nalanda University,” an official said.

    Bihar CM Nitish Kumar and Chancellor of the university George Yeo and
    former Chancellor Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen were also present at the ceremony.

    Besides, representatives of eight countries participated in the ceremony.

    The university is coming up in Rajgir, 12 km from where the ancient Nalanda University stood till the 12th century, when it was razed by an invading Turkish army.

    According to officials, the students awarded degrees by the President had
    joined the two inaugural schools — The School of Ecology and Environment Studies
    and the School of Historical Studies – in the two-year Masters Programme.

    The university will be admitting a new batch of students in August and will also
    start the new school — the School of Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative
    Religions.

    Located in the Buddhist pilgrim town of Rajgir in Nalanda district, the university
    currently has two functional divisions: the School of Historical Studies and the
    School of Environment and Ecological Studies.

    It started its first academic session in September 2014 in a makeshift campus.

    The fully-residential university is set to be completed by 2020. It will eventually have seven schools for postgraduate and doctoral students, offering courses in science, philosophy and spirituality and social sciences.

    Rajgir attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. It is the second most visited tourist place in the Buddhist circuit in Bihar after Bodh Gaya, considered as the birthplace of Buddhism. Rajgir (then Rajagriha) was the first capital of the Magadha kingdom and one of the favourite places of the Buddha.

    The university is an initiative of the Indian government and 18 East Asian countries.

     

     

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