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Government moots reviving 2000 year old university in Kashmir

Haroon Mirani

Srinagar, April 20, 2007 (Kashmir Newz Desk) :

Governor of Indian administered Kashmir Lt. General (Retd) S K Sinha has mooted a plan to revive the 2000 year old Shardha Buddhist University in the Summer capital Srinagar.

Shardauniversity
Ruins of Shardha University in Pakistan administered Kashmir Courtesy: Imran Khurshid

Talking with the students during a scholarship distribution ceremony in winter capital Jammu, Sinha said that Kashmir has been the epitome of education and learning for thousands of years.

“Nobody can forget the famous Shardha University, which was the back bone of Kashmir intelligentsia thousands of years ago” said Sinha.

Sinha said that he envisions setting up of Shardha University in Srinagar with a sizable reservation for Kashmiri Hindu students.

He asked the Kashmiri Hindus commonly called as Pandits to come forward for realizing the dream of Shardha University.

Shardha University was rated one among the best and top universities of South Asia up to second century AD and students from all over the region used to flock to this famed university.

It was situated on the banks of river Kishenganga (Neelum) now in Pakistan administered Kashmir. The ruins of this vast university can still be seen on either side of the Line of Control, the de facto border dividing the Indian and Pakistani Kashmir.

Besides imparting education in Sanskrit and Sharda, the university played an important role in the propagation of Sharda script. The script was much in use in Kashmir, North Indian states and even in Central Asia. Almost all the ancient Sanskrit literature of Kashmir is written in this script.

The university also became an important centre for the propagation of Budhism in the region.

Ironically today Kashmir faces acute shortage of colleges and university seats. Recently for the advertised availability of 700 seats Kashmir University got astonishing 28,000 forms. In colleges also the student roll far exceeds the actual seat capacity, thus deteriorating the overall educational quality.

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