Well-known computer scientist Dr Vijay Bhatkar, who has been appointed as the Chancellor of Nalanda University, on Sunday said he wants to transform it into a liberal varsity.
President Pranab Mukherjee, in his capacity as the Visitor of Nalanda University, appointed Dr Vijay Bhatkar as the Chancellor of Nalanda University with effect from January 25, 2017. Dr Bhatkar will hold the office for a term of three years from the date of his appointment.
“I came to know about the development yesterday and I am happy that I have been chosen to lead one of the oldest varsities, which was once the centre for knowledge seekers from across the world,” he said.
Quoting former President late APJ Abdul Kalam, he said India would be called a truly developed nation if universities like Nalanda and Takshashila would be built.
“In those times, true knowledge seekers from many countries, including China, Tibet, Mongolia, Japan and Korea, used to visit Nalanda and Takshashila varsities. If we create such universities and countries like USA, UK come to India to seek knowledge, then India will be called a developed country in a true sense,” said Bhatkar, the man behind India’s first super computer, quoting Kalam.
Seventy-year-old Bhatkar said he was quite aware of the challenges and past controversies related to Nalanda University, but added that he would like to resurrect the vision and move ahead.
“My goal would be to identify the impossibilities and challenges and work towards overcoming them. I would not like to blame anyone...We have been blaming British and Macaulay for the education system, but now we have to see what we can contribute,” said the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan awardee.
Calling India the most ancient civilisation, Bhatkar added, “It was the first knowledge-based civilisation...where knowledge was regarded as supreme. We should be proud of that. I would like to resurrect that knowledge-driven vision while reviving the oldest institution.”
“Philosophy is one subject, which is not seen on Indian campuses, whereas, the same subject is being taught as the most fundamental subject in advanced universities in other countries.
“We can relate philosophy to science and we can call philosophy of science and raise questions like what sciences like to do and these are the questions I would like to look at,” he said.
He added that after taking the charge, his first job would be to see the current state of development.
“What progress the varsity has made so far, on that basis, I would like to re-define the vision by deliberating on whether we can emerge as the kind of university, which was formed with its original purpose.
“I would like to make it a liberal university while working on creating a beautiful synthesis of science and spirituality as they are not two disciplines, but one thing,” he said.