India has been a light house of knowledge for over eight centuries in the ancient times infact, it was fondly called “Vishva Guru”. It had many renowned centres for learning including Nalanda, Takshila, Ujaini, Vikrmi etc until they were destroyed by invaders-Nalanda was proclaimed as,
“One of the most important universities in the world was developed not in the medieval west, but right here in India: Nalanda University…was instrumental in producing people who are capable of understanding and articulating what it means to have universal knowledge, knowledge that is applicable across cultures and across times.”
Dr Geoffrey Durham
The Nalanda University attracted scholars and students from near and far, some travelling all the way from Tibet, China, Korea and Central Asia in quest of knowledge. It was a centre of excellence not only for Ancient Indian wisdom, Buddhist studies and philosophy but for Medicine and Mathematics, Astronomy and Logic as well. After teaching thousands of students for centuries, Nalanda ceased to exist just as universities were opening up in Bologna, Paris and Oxford at the beginning of the second millennium century. The shift of centres of knowledge from East to West was symbolic of the eventual transfer of power which followed within half a millennium. There is now a perfect opportunity to recreate the hallowed universalism of Nalanda as a centre of knowledge.
The Indian higher education system has undergone rapid expansion. In less than 20 years, the country has created additional capacity for a mammoth 40 million students. While the scale of this expansion is remarkable in itself, what set it apart from earlier decades of equally aggressive expansion is a deliberate strategy and an organized design of university system. In this learner-centred paradigm of education, students are encouraged to take greater responsibility for their learning outcomes and the university ceases to be the fountainhead of knowledge filling the empty receptacles of students’ minds; instead students actively participate in the discovery of knowledge. This learner-centred approach will help to solve the problem of equity in higher education.
The decision of the Haryana Government under the able, clean and dynamic leadership of Mr Manohar Lal Khattar to open up a University at Gurugram endorses the plan to re-establish the Indian Universities, underscores the commitment to rebuild India and particularly the State of Haryana as a seat of knowledge.
To sum up, the aim of the Gurugram University is to produce among the best-in-class knowledge creators, problem solvers and process managers, who also display deep social, cultural, ecological and national sensitivity, are collaborative leaders and responsible citizens.