Nalanda University was established in November 2010. It came into being by an act (Nalanda University Act 2010) of the Indian Parliament, a testimony to the important status that Nalanda University occupies in the Indian intellectual landscape. Nalanda is a standalone international university unlike any other established in the country. Located in the town of Rajgir, in the State of Bihar, Nalanda University is mandated to be “international institution for the pursuit of intellectual, philosophical, historical and spiritual studies” (Act). This university contains within it a memory of the ancient Nalanda University and is premised on the shared intent of Member States of the East Asia Summit countries to rediscover and strengthen “educational co-operation by tapping the East Asia Regions centres of excellence in education… [and] to improve understanding and the appreciation of one another’s heritage and history”.
Nalanda University has been designated as an “institution of national importance” (Act). The particular emphasis of this university, which sets it apart from all other existent universities in the region, is its foundational philosophy. The philosophy seeks to recover the lost connections and partnerships that existed in the region of Asia. Asian cultures have many such links that go deep into the past and are reflected in many common cultural features. The rediscovery of inter-Asian linkages in recent times has led to a resurgence in discovering and building upon a shared history. Nalanda University is envisaged as an icon of this new Asian renaissance: a creative space that will be for future generations a center of Inter civilizational dialogue.