The Nalanda University in Bihar and its academic staff will soon get privileges and immunities required for efficient functioning and recruit talent from across the world.
The Union Cabinet, at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last evening, approved the proposal of signing of a headquarters agreement between the ministry of external affairs and Nalanda University.
"This agreement would confer on the university and members of its academic staff privileges and immunities considered necessary to provide an overall framework for the efficient functioning and operation of the university, and allow it to obtain talent from across the globe," finance minister P Chidambaram told reporters here.
The agreement would allow the host country to take necessary steps to protect the university premises against any intrusion or damage and facilitate the work of the university, to be headquartered at Nalanda.
The university, its assets, its income and other property shall be exempted from all direct taxes, customs duties and prohibitions and restrictions on imports and exports for articles imported/exported for its official use.
The agreement also exempts the vice-chancellor and academic staff of the university from taxation in respect of their salaries, honoraria, allowances and other emoluments.
It also includes the right to get the appropriate visa, the freedom to maintain movable and immovable property while in the employment of the university in the host country, and the right to import free of customs duties, taxes and other levies.
The university will serve as an international centre of excellence in higher learning and integrate modern, scientific and technological knowledge and skills with basic human values and promote universal friendship, peace and prosperity through the spiritual awakening of the individual and society, an official release said.
At the 4th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Thailand in 2009, leades of member states had supported the establishment of Nalanda University as a non-state, non-profit, secular and self-governing international institution with a continental focus, that would bring together the brightest and most dedicated students from all countries of Asia.