Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given his approval for the plan to establish the first central university in Ladakh. The university would have a centre on Buddhist Studies and would offer courses in liberal arts and sciences. The move comes days before the first anniversary of the creation of the Union Territory of Ladakh.
The approval was given at a meeting on Monday that was held to review the steps taken by the government over the last one year in the newly-established union territories of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. Measures that the government would take in the upcoming months to improve the lives of the people were also discussed in the meeting attended by Home Minister Amit Shah, External Minister S Jaishankar, NSA Ajit Doval and other top officials.
The education ministry is likely to move a formal proposal to set up the central university soon. The Centre for Buddhist Studies at the central university would largely cater to Gelug and Kagyu sects of the Tibetan Buddhist population. A central legislation would be enacted, that would then move for clearance from the Union Cabinet and then approved at the Parliament.
The central university would also benefit students from Lahaul and Spiti districts who would be able to travel once the Rohtang La tunnel opens this year. This tunnel would ensure year round access to Leh via Jispa-Sarchu-Upshi route.
PM Modi had earlier indicated establishing a central university that would benefit more than 10,000 Ladakhi students who are otherwise forced to travel hundreds of kilometers from home for higher education.
It must be mentioned that Ladakh already has a university - University of Ladakh - but that is more like a cluster of different existing colleges.