Prime Minister Narendra Modi has granted in-principle approval to setting-up of the first central university in Ladakh with a centre on Buddhist Studies, at a meeting convened on Monday.
This move comes before the first anniversary of the parliamentary enactment through which Ladakh was made a union territory, states a report by the Hindustan Times. Degrees in all courses like liberal arts and sciences will be offered at the proposed university, except engineering and medical education.
The meeting on Monday had been convened to review the government's actions over the last year in UTs of Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir. Steps the Centre would take to make people's lives better here were also outlined.
The meeting was attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, among other officials.
The Education Ministry may move a formal proposal to set up the central university soon, the report by HT states. The central legislation thus enacted would have to be cleared by the Union Cabinet and approved by the Parliament.
The report stated that a person familiar with the development told HT the step was taken as more than 10,000 Ladakhi students were forced to travel hundreds of kms away to receive higher education.
Ladakh got its first University quite recently, after the state assembly enacted a legislation in December 2018, which was a "cluster university" made by pooling the resources of existing colleges in the UT.
A proposal of the Human Resource Development Ministry states that the Central University is also aimed at students from Lahaul and Spiti districts of Himachal Pradesh. This will be so after Rohtang La tunnel opens this year, which will make available all-year access to Leh via Jispa-Sarchu-Upshi route, the report said.
The Buddhist Centre at the University will cater to Gelug and Kagyu sect of the Tibetan Buddhist population of Ladakh.