Nalanda University has launched a new school of studies, seeking to increase the intake of students, the Rajya Sabha was informed today. Minister of State in the Ministry of External Affairs Gen (retd) V K Singh in reply to a question, said in order to increase the intake of students, the university has launched a new School of Studies -- School of Buddhist Studies, Philosophy and Comparative Religion -- during 2016-17. "The University is also planning to launch a School of Linguistic Studies during the forthcoming academic year 2017-18 and a School of Public Health in 2018-19," he said. The Minister also informed that the total number of students in Nalanda University during academic year 2014-15 was 12, in 2015-16 was about 62 and during the current academic year 2016-17 around 130. "The University is planning to further increase the intake of students during 2017-18 for which it is on the look out for suitable boarding and lodging facilities in Rajgir, Bihar," Singh said. The construction of permanent campus of the university has already started and it is expected that phase-I of it will be completed by 2019 or early 2020, he added. The university has also requested the architecture consultants to fast-track the construction project with the use of pre-fabricated structures wherever feasible. "In spite of capacity constraints in terms of non-availability of suitable facilities in Rajgir, the Nalanda University is looking to further increase the intake of students in coming years," he said. In its first meeting on February 10 this year, the varsity's newly-constituted Governing Board was unanimous in its view that since its inception, its growth, in terms of students enrolled as well as faculty, was "grossly inadequate" and that it was necessary to draw up a plan for rapid growth.
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