On the auspicious occasion of the 80th birthday celebration of His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 6 July 2015, the Hon’ble Chief Minister of Sikkim announced that a Buddhist University would be established in the State.
The responsibility to establish a State’s first Buddhist University was entrusted to the Namgyal Institute of Tibetology (NIT),of which the foundation stone was laid by His Holiness the Dalai Lama on 10 February 1957. The Institute was then inaugurated by late Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of the country on 1st October 1958. This Institute, now well known for Mahayana Buddhist Studies, was established by the late Chogyal PaldenThondup Namgyal as a central repository of Buddhist culture, religious texts and Buddhist art, following the Chinese invasion of Tibet.
An Academic Consultant and an Officer on Special Duty are in place to move the initiative forward. Venerable Geshe N. Samten, Vice Chancellor of the Central University of Tibetan Studies (CUTS), Sarnath (Varanasi), has been appointed as the Academic Consultant.
Affiliation to offer undergraduate/post-graduate courses in Buddhist Studies:
NIT is seeking affiliation with Sikkim Central University (SU) to offer a post-graduate 2 year M.A. degree program in Buddhist Studies from the academic year 2018. Undergraduate B.A./Diploma programs will be offered as and when the adequate infrastructure is in place.
NIT will also be conducting 6 weeks duration intensive shortcourses (undergraduate) starting from January 2018. These courses, to be offered to the general public and local students from other colleges and universities during the winter holidays, will have a mix of credit and non-credit subjects with certificates issued by SU on completion of the courses.
Syllabus prepared for post-graduate and short term courses:
A syllabus committee was constituted to prepare the syllabus for the M.A.and the intensive short courses. The Committee met in October 2016 and finalized the syllabus as well as the texts. The Committee also selected the subjects for the short term courses.