Prez visits Vikramshila ruins, says will talk to PM for revival of university

Bhagalpur
3 Apr 2017

President Pranab Mukherjee today visited the excavated ruins of Vikramshila University here in Bihar and said he will talk to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the revival of the ancient seat of Buddhist learning.

Mukherjee also said that the excavated site of Vikramshila should not be a museum only but be developed like Nalanda, asserting that India needed such universities. "The seats of higher education Vikramshila guided the nation and encouraged research...I will talk to the prime minister for its revival," Mukherjee said while addressing a public gathering at the university. The President noted that ancient seats of learning like Nalanda, Takshshila and Vikramshila used to play a pivotal role in research.
Mukherjee said he has been fascinated since college days to visit such seats and was overwhelmed to see people's love and passion for its revival. "Vikramshila should not be a museum only, it should be developed as a university of highest standard," he said. Stressing the need to augment higher education infrastructure in the country, the President said these seats should provide enough scholastic stimulation to students. "This is possible only with top class institutions adoring our higher education landscape," he said.

The President said resurrection of Vikramshila will be an important step in preserving Indian civilisational ethos. Mukherjee said Vikramshila University should source the best faculty and pursue collaborations with foreign institutions for research and at the same time establish tie-ups with local innovators. He said monuments and museum of ancient Vikramshila reflected an era where a rich culture of learning flourished. The institution, one of the two important seats of Buddhist teaching in India during the Pala dynasty rule, was established by King Dharmapala as a centre of Buddhist and Tantric learning, the President said.

Prime Minister Modi had in August 2015 announced a Rs 500 crore package for the university, while the state government was expected to provide around 500 acres of land for the institution. The President's visit is expected to help develop Vikramshila as an international tourist spot after its inclusion in the 'Buddhist Circuit'. Located about 50 km east of Bhagalpur and 13 km north-east of Kahalgaon railway station on Bhagalpur-Sahebganj section, the centre was inhabited by Buddhist monks and scholars for research during ancient times.