AHMEDABAD/PATNA: Although Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar do not see eye to eye on development, it seems that ideas to make Bihar better frequently emerge from Gujarat. A Gujarat-based consultancy firm, Vastu Shilpa consultants - mentored by architect B V Doshi - has been asked to design the prestigious Nalanda International University in Patna.
Not too long ago, the Ahmedabad-based Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (Cept) University was selected to prepare a city development plan for Patna. As for the Nalanda project the consultant was selected by a jury in New Delhi, said the university's vice chancellor, Gopa Sabharwal.
"Vastu Shilpa Consultants was one of the eight shortlisted and it impressed the jury," Sabharwal told the media, adding that the work would start at the earliest. A total of 79 proposals, drawn through a competition launched by the university, were received for the job. The jury included architects like Liu Thai Ker of Singapore, Li Xiaodong of China, Osamu Ishiyama of Japan, and Neelkanth Chhaya of Cept University. The jury had visited the site of the proposed university in Nalanda district last week.
The new university campus will come up on 446 acre area in Rajgir, 10 km from the site of the ancient university in Nalanda, about 100km southeast of Patna. The university will be fully residential, like the ancient Nalanda University. It will offer courses in science, philosophy and spiritualism along with social sciences. The project took shape in 2006 at the initiative of A P J Abdul Kalam, who was the President then. The ancient university at Nalanda existed until AD 1197 and attracted students and scholars from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Indonesia, Persia and Turkey.