Bhgalpur: President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday said that he will talk to the Prime Minister for revival of ancient Vikramshila University.
“The seats of higher education Vikramshila guided the nation and encouraged research…I will talk to the Prime Minister for its revival,” Mukherjee said while addressing a public gathering at the university.
The President said ancient seats of learning like Nalanda, Takshshila and Vikramshila used to play a pivotal role in research.
He said he has been fascinated since college days to visit such seats and was overwhelmed to see people’s love and passion for its revival here.
“Vikramshila should not be a museum only, it should be developed as a university of highest standard,” he said.
Stressing the need to augment higher education infrastructure in the country, the President said these seats should provide enough scholastic stimulation to students.
“This is possible only with top class institutions adoring our higher education landscape,” he said.
Asserting that India needs such universities, the President said it should be developed like Nalanda.
The President said resurrection of Vikramshila will be an important step in preserving Indian civilisational ethos.
Mukherjee said Vikramshila University should source the best faculty and pursue collaborations with foreign institutions for research and at the same time establish tie-ups with local innovators.
He said monuments and museum of ancient Vikramshila reflected an era where a rich culture of learning flourished.
The institution, one of the two important seats of Buddhist teaching in India during the Pala dynasty rule, was established by King Dharmapala as a centre of Buddhist and Tantric learning, he said.
Located about 50 km east of Bhagalpur and 13 km north-east of Kahalgaon railway station on Bhagalpur-Sahebganj section, the centre was inhabited by Buddhist monks and scholars for research during ancient times.
The university prospered for four centuries before it started to decline at the advent of the 13th century. Vikramshila produced many luminaries.
Atisa Dipankara, one of its illustrious alumni, was the founder of Lamaism in Tibet. Others like Ratna Vara and Jetari also attained considerable fame.
The eminent scholars of the university were invited by foreign countries to spread Buddhist learning, culture and religion.
The President arrived at Kahalgaon by a state government chopper yesterday afternoon and spent the night at the National Thermal Power Corporation’s guest house.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had in August 2015 announced a Rs 500 crore package for the university, while the state government was expected to provide around 500 acres of land for the institution.
The President’s visit is expected help develop Vikramshila as an international tourist spot after its inclusion in the ‘Buddhist Circuit’.