No ‘global’ design contest for Nalanda University


From a Special Correspondent

New Delhi,(BiharTimes): The Nalanda University is forced to rollback on its tall promise of holding ‘global architectural designing competition’.  Its recently announced architectural design competition for the master plan of the campus and buildings and facilities is open only to architects registered in India. The University belated realized the Architects Act, 1972 permits only India citizens to be registered as architects in India. Foreign firms are not allowed to operate in India except through joint ventures (JV).

It is mandatory for practicing architects to be registered with the Council of Architecture (CoA). Firms that are joint ventures (JV) between Indian and foreign architectural concerns are eligible only to compete for Nalanda University if the senior most partner in the JV has registered with CoA on or before November 1, 2007. Furthermore, stringent conditions have been put on JV to compete, in sharp contrast to governing board members, who were freely co-opted for their closeness to Amartya Sen.

Thus the Nalanda University has belatedly realized that despite its international pretension, the laws of India are supreme.  The Expression of Interest (EOI) and Prequalification Document has been uploaded on the official website of the University. These would be available from November 21 to December 27, 2012. Hard copies of the EOI document can also be collected from the office. The last name for submission of EOI is January 8, 2013.


In another important development Nalanda University has opened a new office in New Delhi. The same is located at 2nd Floor, Sangha Rachna, the office of Council for Social Development in posh institutional area of Lodhi Estate. The main office of Nalanda University at Sector VI, Ramakrishna Puram is still functional.


The EOI document further says that academic session would commence from 2014. This deadline has receded several times since the inception of the project since 2007. For the last two years 2013 was being touted as the beginning of the academic session. The Prime Minister in his address at the East Asia Summit at Phnom Pehn, Cambodia on Tuesday put the date 2014-15. He said, “Finally, the Nalanda University project, in which your support has been invaluable, is gaining momentum and we expect the first two schools to commence teaching in the academic year 2014-15”.


Meanwhile the tenure of the governing board, original Nalanda Mentor Group, expires on November 24. It was already given one year extension on November 24, 2011, using an emergency provision of the Nalanda University Act, 2010. The Nalanda University and the Ministry of External Affairs have failed to constitute a new governing board in violation to the provisions of the Act.


The Expression of Interest document





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