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Portugal signs the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Nalanda University

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            On October 9, 2015, at a ceremony in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Portugal became the seventeenth country to sign the Memorandum of Understanding on the Establishment of Nalanda University. The Memorandum was signed from the Portuguese side by Ambassador Ana Martinho, Secretary General, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and from the Indian side by Dr. Jitendra Nath Misra, the Ambassador of India to Portugal.


            Portugal is the first European country to sign the Memorandum, and the fourth outside the East Asia Summit. The seventeen countries to have signed the Memorandum are Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, New Zealand, Singapore, China, South Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Portugal and India.


            Nalanda University came into being with the notification of the Nalanda University Act on November 25, 2010. To further reinforce the university’s international character this inter-governmental Memorandum of Understanding came into force at the 8th East Asia Summit in October, 2013. Located at Rajgir in the Nalanda District of the state of Bihar in India, the university is a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution mandated to be engaged in the pursuit of intellectual, philosophical, historical and spiritual studies. 


            The university embodies the memory of the ancient Nalanda University and is premised on the shared desire of the Member States of the East Asia Summit to re-discover and re-invigorate educational co-operation, by tapping the East Asia Region’s centres of excellence in education, to enhance regional understanding and the mutual appreciation of heritage and history. Teaching at the Schools of Historical Studies and Ecology and Environment Studies began in September, 2014, setting the university on the course of further growth. 


October 9, 2015