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Nalanda Redux

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Nalanda, the ancient centre of Buddhist learning, will soon meets its 21st century reincarnation. There is going to be a global design competition for the building of the ambitious Nalanda University, according to its newly-appointed first vice-chancellor, Gopa Sabharwal. To be built over 446 acres, 10 km from the original site at Rajgir, Bihar, the design will be finalised by next year. The ambitious inter-government project is expected to be ready for its first batch of students by 2013 and will offer courses in Buddhist studies, philosophy and comparative religions, historical studies, languages and literature, and ecology and environmental studies, among other things.