The Jammu and Kashmir’s Ladakh region on Monday got the first ever university as State Administrative Council led by Governor Satya Pal Malik approved the Jammu and Kashmir University of Ladakh Bill, 2018. Pointing out that it will be a cluster university, an official release issued here said that it will get Rs 65 crore from Government of India from next academic session as initial grant. The university will fulfill a long standing demand of the people of Ladakh, it added.
The already functioning three degree colleges of Kargil district will be affiliated to the Cluster University of Ladakh with Degree College Leh constituting the lead college, it said. All the new colleges to be set up in future in Ladakh region are envisaged to be constituents of or affiliated with the Cluster University of Ladakh. There are five Degree Colleges functioning in Ladakh region, one each at Leh and Nobra in Leh district and one each at Kargil, Zanskar and Drass in Kargil district. All the five colleges are presently affiliated with the University of Kashmir.
Ladakh region with a population of 2.75 lakh as per 2011 census has a student population of 40 per cent. As per the rough estimates, around 90 per cent of students from Ladakh have enrolled in different Universities across the country for studies and the remaining 10 per cent study in Ladakh.
The public representatives and students of Ladakh region have been persistently demanding for setting up a University in Ladakh region so that local students could have easy access to higher educational opportunities in their own area for which they otherwise have to migrate to other parts of the state or country thereby causing immense economic, social, psychological and other hardships to them besides draining the local talent from the region.
The establishment of Cluster University in Ladakh will provide equitable opportunity to the students of Ladakh region to pursue various undergraduate, post-graduate and diploma courses in different streams and subjects through regular mode without any displacement from their region, release said, adding that it will reduce the responsibility of other Universities in the state or country and enable Colleges of Ladakh region to enhance their capacities to become dynamic, demand driven and quality conscious.
With its unique topography and difficult terrain, in addition to introduction of fundamental courses, a University in Ladakh will offer specialized subjects in the domain of Mountain Studies, Environmental Studies, Climate Change Studies, Glacier and Water Studies, Geology, Sustainability and other fields of sciences, which can add value and meaning to the higher studies programme for the regional students.