A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between countries like India, China, Thailand, Australia and Laos for the construction of the Nalanda University, but only India has contributed towards it in the last three years, the Ministry of External Affairs has informed a parliamentary committee.
“The last installment of contribution by India was released in July 2019,” said a recently presented report of the parliamentary committee on the ministry’s Demands for Grants. “There has been no contribution from any other country since August 2016,” it said.
In the report titled Nalanda University, the Ministry of External Affairs told the Nalanda University, Nalanda University construction, MEA, Ministry of External Affairs, Education News, Indian Express, Indian Express-News that Singapore had promised to contribute 50 lakh to 1 crore USD for the construction of the university’s library but no payment has been received so far.
The report stated that the scope of contribution from other countries towards the operational and capital costs of the university is limited as no funds have been received from them during the last three years.
Prior to August 2016, India contributed Rs 684.74 crore for the construction of the university, China and Australia granted 1 million USD each, Thailand gave 1,32,000 USD and Laos contributed 50,000 USD, it stated.
The committee said an allocation of Rs 200 crore was made in the budget 2018-19 for the Nalanda University, which was reduced to Rs 190 crore at the revised stage. The allocation for the university in the 2019-20 budget was Rs 220 crore.
The committee was informed that the actual construction work of the university started in May 2017 and is expected to be completed by 2021-22, the report stated. Any estimate of cost escalation in completing the project has not been made by the Ministry, it stated.
“Nalanda University is an excellent institution for intellectual, philosophical and historical studies and the delay in the project completion is highly condemnable,” the committee said. It said the ministry should explore the possibilities of receiving contributions from other participating countries.