University of Nalanda and the pursuit of science

Photograph of Nalanda, Bihar, taken by Alexander Caddy in 1895 
(Courtsey-British Library)

The ancient Nalanda University was spread over an area having a radius of about 16 km out of which an area of only 1.6 km radius has been excavated so far.Nalanda was violently destroyed in an Afghan attack, led by the ruthless conqueror, Bakhtiyar Khilji, in 1193, shortly after the beginning of Oxford University and shortly before the initiation of Cambridge. Nalanda university, an internationally renowned centre of higher education in India, which was established in the early fifth century, was ending its continuous existence of more than seven hundred years as Oxford and Cambridge were being founded .

Dr. Amartya Sen, who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1998 and was awarded the Bharat Ratna in 1999, is Professor of Economics and Philosophy at Harvard University in the U.S. and chairman of the Interim Governing Board of Nalanda University.He delivered a lecture on 'Nalanda and the pursuit of science' at the 98th Indian Science Congress at CHENNAI on January 4, 2011.This lecture , published in The Hindu is a must read article .

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