Amartya Sen wants best talent to revive Nalanda



Beijing: Nobel Laureaute Amartya Sen, who heads the governing board of the proposed Nalanda University, wants it to be a world class institution reflecting the best talent from around the globe.

Sen said there was a "huge resistance in having a non-parochial global understanding" as the basis of the new institution coming up with the involvement of several countries including China, Singapore and Japan.

The commitment to learn from institutions across the world is something that must be kept in mind in the effort to recreate the 11th century university, which attracted scholars and educators from across the world, he said at a conference to mark the 100th birth anniversary of the renowned Indologist, professor Ji Xianlin (1911-2009).

The Governing Board of the University also held a meeting in Beijing yesterday to discuss the future of the varsity.

China has already pledged support to the efforts to revive the 11th century centre of learning.

India's ancient school of learning, Nalanda, is being revived under an international initiative by the East Asia Summit with the active involvement of the Ministry of External Affairs.

The Governing Board, led by Sen, was invited to hold a board meeting in China by Premier Wen Jiabao following last year's meeting of the East Asia Summit.

Sen pointed out that none of the Indian universities figured in the top 200 universities determined by a survey this month and said the effort at Nalanda was to create a world class institution brining in the best of talent from all countries.

The varsity was expected to start functioning from 2013 academic session. But Sen earlier this month blamed "over bureaucratic control" and "difficulty" in getting funds for the delay in setting up the varsity.

Speaking on the occasion, George Yeo, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, said the world was now watching the critical relationship between the United States and China.

But the second half of the 21st century will change the situation and relationship between China and India would become a critical factor, he said.

PTI