Up to $10 million could be raised by Singaporeans for Cultural University in India


New Delhi : Minister for Foreign Affairs George Yeo said that Singaporeans, especially those in the Buddhist community, are likely to raise S$5-10 million towards the Nalanda University.

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Sited in Bihar near where an ancient university flourished centuries ago, Nalanda University, seen as a symbol of global cooperation in education will be a centre for Buddhist studies, philosophy and comparative literature, historical studies and ecology and environmental studies.

Mr Yeo who is a member of the Nalanda Mentor Group (NMG) said he’s had talks with some leaders of Singapore’s Buddhist community.

The sixth meeting of the Nalanda Mentor Group was also told by Mr Yeo that there’s in-principle support from Singapore’s Buddhist leaders to help raise funds for the construction of the Nalanda University Library, once plans for the new university were drawn up and approved.

Mr Yeo gave the update at the meeting chaired by Professor Amartya Sen to discus the implementation framework and operations for the Nalanda University, including appointments to steer the University and project.

The government of Bihar in eastern India, has set aside some 500 acres of land for the university campus and has drawn up plans for a new international airport, roads, other infrastructure and ancillary services in support of the university.

During his visit to New Delhi, Mr Yeo also met his counterpart, India’s Minister of External Affairs, S.M Krishna, and discussed a wide-range of issues including ties between India and Singapore and between India and ASEAN, as well as regional security interests.

There were also meetings scheduled with India’s Minister of Home Affairs, P.Chidambaram, and Minister of Road Transport and Highways, Mr Kamal Nath, both of whom Mr Yeo has known for many years.