:: Aims & objectives ::
Administrative Setup ::
|The Nalanda Open University is the only University in
the State of Bihar meant for imparting learning exclusively
through the system of distance education. The University
was established in March, 1987 by an ordinance, promulgated
by the Government of Bihar. Later, Nalanda Open University
Act, 1995 was passes by the Bihar Legislature, replacing
the Ordinance, and the University came under the authority
and jurisdiction of the new Act automatically. The University
is named after the famous Nalanda University of Ancient
At present, the University is functioning from its camp office at Biscomaun
Bhawan, 2nd,3rd,4th and
12th Floors, Patna 800 001. The University
has established at its camp office at Patna a well equipped
and fully automated modern office in an area of approximately
60,000 sq. feet, which houses an examination centre for
about 1000 students, a state of the art Library with about
50,000 titles and a computer laboratory of about 300 IBM
Pentium-4 computers, apart from administrative offices and
other infra-structures. The University is recognised by
the Distance Education Council (DEC), University Grants
Commission, and Ministry of HRD, Government of India for
imparting education through distance mode.
|Aims & objectives:
educational opportunities to those who are unable
to take up formal education and are still desirous
to upgrade their educational qualifications and
acquire knowledge in various fields of learning
through the print medium (correspondence course),
contact programmes, study centres and mass media.
flexibility in matters of eligibility for enrolment
for higher education, age of entry, choice of course,
methods of learning, conduct of examination and
operation of programmes.
degree and diploma courses and to make provision
for research for advancement and dissimination of
special facilities to groups like, elderly people,
in-service personnel, housewives, people living
in remote areas, socially disadvantaged people of
the society and all others who wish to upgrade their
skill and acquire higher academic qualification
through distance education.
emphasis on vocational, as well as, conventional
courses, leading to award of degrees and certificates.
awareness for self-sufficiency and equip people
with knowledge and higher qualification to enable
them to become suitable for new job opportunities.
course for rural, agricultural, industrial and commercial
needs of people and design learning material for
improving socio-economic condition of the masses.
awareness in women, children and down-trodden of
their social rights, duties and legal status in
|Towards the Southeast of Patna, the Capital City
of Bihar State in India, is a village called the 'Bada Gaon', in
the vicinity of which, are the world famous ruins of Nalanda University.
Founded in the 5th Century A.D., Nalanda is known as the ancient seat of
learning. 2,000 Teachers and 10,000 Students from all over the Buddhist
world lived and studied at Nalanda, the first Residential International
University of the World. A walk in the ruins of the university,
takes you to an era, that saw India leading in imparting knowledge,
to the world - the era when India was a coveted place for studies.
The University flourished during the 5th and 12th century.
Although Nalanda is one of the places distinguished as having
been blessed by the presence of the Buddha, it later became particularly
renowned as the site of the great monastic university of the same
name , which was to become the crown jewel of the development of
Buddhism in India. The name may derive from one of Shakyamuni's
former births , when hewas a king whose capital was here. Nalanda
was one of his epithets meaning "insatiable in giving."
This place saw the rise and fall of many empires and emperors
who contributed in the development of Nalanda University. Many monasteries
and temples were built by them. Kingarshwardhana gifted a 25m high
copper statue of Buddha and Kumargupta endowed a college of fine
arts ere. Nagarjuna- a Mahayana philosopher, Dinnaga- founder of
the school of Logic and Dharmpala- the Brahmin scholar, taught here.
The famous Chinese traveller and scholar,Hieun-Tsang stayed here
and has given a detailed description of the situations prevailing
at that time. Careful excavation of the place has revealed many
stupas, monasteries,hostels,stair cases,meditation halls, lecture
halls and many other structures which speak of the splendour and
grandeur this place enjoyed,when the place was a centre of serious
A large number of ancient Buddhist establishments, stupas, chaityas,
temples and monastery sites have been excavated and they show that
this was one of the most important Buddhist centres of worship and
culture.Regarding the historicity of Nalanda, we read in Jaina texts
that Mahavira Vardhamana spent as many as fourteen rainy seasons
Pali Buddhist Literature , too, has ample references to Nalanda,
which used to be visited by Lord Buddha. During the days of Mahavira
and Buddha,Nalanda was apparently a very prosperous temple city,
a great place of pilgrimage and the site of a celebrated university.
It is said that King Asoka gave offerings to the Chaitya of Sariputra
at Nalanda and erected a temple there.Taranath mentions this and
also that Nagarjuna, the famous Mahayana philosopher of the second
century A.D., studied at Nalanda. Nagarjuna later became the high-priest
The Gupta kings patronised these monasteries, built in old Kushan
architectural style, in a row of cells around a courtyard. Ashoka
and Harshavardhana were some of its most celebrated patrons who
built temples and monasteries here. Recent excavations have unearthed
elaborate structures here. Hiuen Tsang had left ecstatic accounts
of both the ambiance and architectureof this unique university of
ancient times. Modern historians have tentatively dated the founding
of a monastery at Nalanda as being in the fifth century.However,
this may not be accurate. For example,the standard biographiesof
the teacher Nagarjuna, believed by most historians to have been
born around 150 AD, are quite specific about his having received
ordination at Nalanda monastery when he was seven years old. Further,
his teacher Rahulabhadra is said to have lived there for some time
before that. We may infer that there were a monastery or monasteries
at Nalanda long before the foundation of the later Great Mahavihara.
At the time Hsuan Chwang stayed at Nalanda and studied with the
abbot Shilabhadra, it was already a flourishing centre of learning.
In many ways it seems to have been like a modern university. There
was a rigorous oral entry examination conducted by erudite gatekeepers,
and many students were turned away.To study or to have studied at
Nalanda was a matter of great prestige. However, no degree was granted
nor was a specific period of study required. The monks' time, measured
by a water clock, was divided between study and religious rites
and practice.There were schools of study in which students received
explanations by discourse, and there were also schools of debate,
where the mediocre were often humbled, and the conspicuously talented
distinguished. Accordingly, the elected abbot was generally the
most learned man of the time.
The libraries were vast and widely renowned, although there is
a legend of a malicious fire in which many of the texts were destroyed
and irrevocably lost.
During the Gupta age, the practice and study of the mahayana,
especially the madhyamaka, flourished. However, from 750 AD, in
the Pala age, there was an increase in the study and propagation
of the tantric teachings.This is evidenced by the famous pandit
Abhayakaragupta, a renowned tantric practitioner who was simultaneously
abbot of the Mahabodhi, Nalanda and Vikramashila monasteries. Also
Naropa, later so important to the tantric lineages of the Tibetan
traditions, was abbot of Nalanda in the years 1049-57.
Much of the tradition of Nalanda had been carried into Tibet
by the time of the Muslim invasions of the twelfth century. While
the monasteries of Odantapuri and Vikramashila were then destroyed,
the buildings at Nalanda do not seem to have suffered extensive
damage at that time, although most of the monks fled before the
desecrating armies. In 1235 the Tibetan pilgrim Chag Lotsawa found
a 90 year old teacher, Rahula Shribhadra, with a class of seventy
students. Rahula Shribhadra managed to survive through the support
of a local brahmin and did not leave until he had completed educating
his last Tibetan student.