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"Revival of global bridge of learning": Jaishankar on inauguration of Nalanda University's new campus

Gaya (Bihar): Describing the inauguration of Nalanda University's new campus on Wednesday as a "revival of the global bridge of learning," External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar said that it can build relationships "even further than in the past."

Jaishankar further noted that Nalanda University is already working both in India and ASEAN member states towards creating an "ASEAN-India University Network."

"We are here to witness the revival of a global bridge of learning that can build relationships even further than in the past. Education, training, and capacity building are the most effective ways of promoting international understanding. This is a particular commitment that we all must have towards the Global South," Jaishankar said in his address at the inaugural event in Gaya.

"I am especially glad to note that Nalanda University is already working both in India and ASEAN member states towards creating an ASEAN-India University Network. The Schools and Centres of this University have also been consciously chosen to highlight the purpose of this University. It is a matter of satisfaction that the student community is drawn from so many nations and regions of the world," the EAM added.Jaishankar stated that the university's destruction "marked a downturn in our history."

"It also served a larger role by connecting our society with those of our near and far neighbours, through land and sea. The exchanges that it fostered enriched our entire continent. The university's destruction marked a downturn in our history and that dark phase continued through the colonial period," Jaishankar noted.

"In that era, we not only saw a decline in our capabilities and confidence but in our connectivity as well with those nations who are now members of the East Asia Summit. In the rebuilding of the Nalanda University, there are multiple messages, both national and international," he said.

He highlighted how the inauguration of Nalanda University's new campus has emerged as a notable occasion for higher learning in India. "It also marks the realization of a longstanding commitment by India to the East Asia Summit grouping. It reflects the seriousness with which we pursue our Act East policy," Jaishankar said.

"But most of all, it underlines Bharat's endeavour to emerge as a Vishwa Bandhu, extending the hands of friendship and cooperation to the international community. By doing so, we contribute to the rejuvenation of civilizational linkages, to the celebration of our shared cultural heritage and to the appreciation of the immense diversity of our existence," he added.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled a plaque at the new campus of Nalanda University in Bihar. Ambassadors from 17 countries also attended the event.

PM Modi also took a tour of the ruins of the ancient Nalanda Mahaviharam.

The visit marks the first visit by the Prime Minister to the State after the Lok Sabha elections.

The ancient Nalanda University, established around 1600 years ago, is considered to be among the first residential universities in the world. The new university campus is created to be a replica of the historic Nalanda University.

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