UAE foreign minister meets with his British counterpart    Over 150 nations join WHO-led global plan for COVID vaccines    Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Receives Phone Call From His Yemeni Counterpart    Saudi Stock Exchange Main Index down on Closing, at 8291.35 Points    Saudi Arabia to use best technologies in sterilizing planes and airports    Museum of Happiness opens its doors to visitors    AlUla Date Festival to be held next month    U.S. CDC says coronavirus could spread through air    Abu Dhabi, Israel, forge film ties following peace accord    Health Ministry: Coronavirus Recoveries Exceed 311,000, Active, Critical Cases Continue to Decrease, in Saudi Arabia    Bahrain Bourse Falls    AlUla Date Festival to Launch Next Month    Saudi Royal Navy receives new batch of French-made interceptor vessels    New COVID-19 cases in UAE stay steady    My goal is to lift the national football cup: Maram    KSrelief Signs Joint Agreement with UNICEF for Yemen    Taj Mahal reopens amid sharp rise in COVID-19 cases    Air show, fireworks planned for 90th Saudi National Day    TGA: Companies in illicit contract with foreign trucks    UNA to Organize Workshop on Future of Digital Media Post Coronavirus Pandemic    Amman Stock Market Rises    Minister: English language in Class 1 from next year    455 Jeddah shops shut for violating corona protocols    FDA shuts unlicensed warehouse in Jeddah    SAGO Completes Procedures for 6th Barley Tender in 2020    Saudi Press: Iranian Missile Program Threatens Regional and Global Security    Has COVID-19 made us embrace the future?    UAE Team Emirates' Pogacar wins the Tour De France    Ministry of Culture to set up Red Sea Museum at Bab Al-Bunt in Jeddah    Bahrain Bourse Rises    New expat body to help women, kids tackle pandemic trauma    Every work has its fruits, so choose wisely    Pogacar poised to win Tour De France after historic time-trial ride UAE Team Emirates starlet set to become youngest Tour de France winner of the 21st century    National Day festivities to include fashion show    Wydad appeal over CAF 2019 Champions' final dismissed by CAS    Saudi Youths Transfer Saudi Arabia's Culture via Animation Production    Saudi Scholarship Program to Promote Football Talents, abroad, Co-sign Accord with Spanish Real Sociedad    French Open to allow 11,500 fans per day between the three show courts    Saudi Films' Festival virtual Events Continued    Saudi Taekwondo Team Win 3-Medal, in Arab 1st virtually Held Championships    Saudi Films' Festival Events Continue, amid Wide-Scale Cultural Participation    Mediation center contributes to 22% decrease in divorces    Saudi woman seeks to restrain wealthy hubby from remarrying    India's top minister Amit Shah tests positive for coronavirus    Eid Al-Adha Prayer Performed at the Grand Holy Mosque    Pilgrims Perform Dhuhr and Asr Prayers in Arafat Holy Site    Senior Scholars Council Issues Decision No. 246 Regarding Attendance of Friday Prayer and Prayers at Mosques in a Case of Spread of Epidemic or Fear of its Spread    Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Addresses Citizens and Muslims on Eid Al-Fitr    







Thank you for reporting!
This image will be automatically disabled when it gets reported by several people.





Central university, smart cities to transform India's Ladakh
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 31 - 07 - 2020

The Union Territory of Ladakh is all set to transform for the better with the innovative and diligent implementation of the programs adopted by the new Union Territory. The successful implementation would bring about a sea change in the lives of old and young, men and women across Ladakh.
Ever since the erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir state was reorganized as two Union Territories, one that of Jammu and Kashmir and another of Ladakh, on Aug. 5 2019, the respective local authorities have pursued a series of new schemes.
The Indian government has cleared the decks for the first Central University in Ladakh, which will also host a Center on Buddhist Studies, the Hindustan Times paper reported, while efforts are also on for Leh and Kargil to be developed as smart cities in the UT.
India's Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs would go beyond the list of 100 smart cities in different states to include two more in Ladakh, Economic Times newspaper reported,
While a formal decision is yet to be taken, Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reported to be in favor of a separate Ladakh university, for about 10,000 students from Ladakh have been forced to enroll in educational institutions outside the UT.
Barring engineering and medical education, the proposed university will offer degrees in all courses including liberal arts and basic sciences, Hindustan Times said.
According to the HRD ministry's proposal, the Ladakh Central University will also cater to students from Lahaul and Spiti districts of Himachal Pradesh once the Rohtang La tunnel opens this year and ensures round the year access to Leh via the Jispa-Sarchu-Upshi route.
The university will have a Center for Buddhist Studies to cater to the largely Gelug (to which the 14th Dalai Lama belongs) and Kagyu sect of the Tibetan Buddhist population of Ladakh.
The government of India is also considering other initiatives to enhance education by investing in various other infrastructures and also in upskilling the locals to develop Ladakh and its population.
To boost traditional medical knowledge of Ladakh and for producing qualified doctors (Amchis), the National Research Institute for Sowa Rigpa has been sanctioned with a budget of Rs.30.80 crore as capital and Rs.16.45 crore as a recurring budget.
In addition, the GB Pant National Institute of Himalayan Environment has set up a campus in Ladakh. This is expected to substantially help in scientific decision making by the UT administration. Catering to professional skills, a medical college has been sanctioned for Ladakh, and an Engineering college is to be set up at Kargil.
The National Skill Training Institute (NSTI) extension center has been established in Leh by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, while the Food Craft Institute, Leh, shall be upgraded to the Institute of Hotel Management Ladakh.
Amid this planned educational drive, it is no wonder that Ladakh is being eyed by New Delhi to be in the list of smart cities. The Indian government is planning to include two more in Ladakh, Economic Times reported.
Working on a proposal of the Ministry of Home Affairs to improve infrastructure and employment opportunities in Ladakh, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs has formed a five-member central team under Smart Cities director Rahul Kapoor to handhold the Union Territory in formulating detailed projects reports for both the cities.
The ministry started work on this after a letter from home secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla proposing that Leh and Kargil be developed as smart cities.
A team of urban development officers has been formed to identify key areas of intervention in both Leh and Kargil that could be developed under the Smart City Mission, Economic Times wrote.
After the setting up of the Lieutenant Governor's office and a new secretariat, the Public Financial Management System (PFMS) was adopted on April 1, 2020, replacing the existing treasury system. A Planning Board with the relevant stakeholders and experts was also set up, as the UT administration swung into action.
With that, steps were initiated to prepare a vision document for Ladakh titled 'Ladakh 2050'. To realize this vision, the Indian government has allocated the highest ever budget of Rs.5,154 crores and during 2020-21 a budget of Rs.5,958 crores.
While the focus is on improving infrastructure, the drive to connect people with authorities through e-initiatives is also going on unimpeded. The "Ladakh connect" and "Ladakh COVID-19" Information and resource web applications were launched for registering the residents of Ladakh staying outside Ladakh to ensure constant addressing of their grievances and offering a timely response during the COVID lockdown.
Funds amounting to Rs2.5 crore to Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Leh and Rs.3.5 crore to Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Kargil were placed at their disposal for the evacuation of stranded people during the coronavirus lockdown period.
The UT administration also successfully launched VAHAN and SARATHI online applications for vehicle registration and driving license under e-transport projects. A system of e-stamp (nonjudicial stamp duty) and e-court fees (judicial stamp duty) have been launched replacing the age-old paper stamp system. Besides, registration powers have been vested with revenue authorities.
The e-commerce portal Government eMarketplace (GeM) too has provided a platform for local sellers. Following the successful conduct of the "GeM Samvaad" and overwhelming response from stakeholders, the UT administration signed an MoU with GeM to facilitate UT Ladakh to onboard GeM, integration of GeM system with UT of Ladakh payment system in order to facilitate online, time-bound payment to suppliers/ service provider and imparting training to the officials of the UT on the use of GeM.
The Ladakh administration has maintained a steady power supply with power being increased to up to 8 hours per day in remote unconnected areas. A large number of additional water tankers were arranged to give the best ever drinking water supply during winters, and with the help of the Indian Air Force, fresh vegetables and essential commodities were brought.
Among the major administrative decisions was the imposition of a ban on single-use plastic, and full Internet services were restored in Kargil district. In addition, the feasibility study of Kargil airport for making it functional for the landing of wide-bodied civilian aircraft was initiated, and the consultancy was awarded to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) with funds amounting to Rs.3.54 crore released to ICAO.
Among other developmental initiatives, the two standouts are: The first edition of Ladakh Winter Conclave that was organized for preparing a road map for developing Ladakh's winter tourism and the second saw a tender floated under Khelo India Scheme for laying of Synthetic Track and AstroTurf for football grounds and construction of gymnasium hall at NDS Sports Complex Leh.
The Indian government hopes to get closer to the people with such beneficial programs and projects that would impart education, livelihood and dignity to the people.
During the COVID pandemic, local authorities have been quick to procure masks, sanitizers and hand wash items for children with special grants. A special committee has also been set up to monitor the health of these children and ensure easy access to medical care and healthy nutrition.
Many high-profile projects, delayed first by violence and then by the coronavirus epidemic, are now underway with great speed and determination. These projects will link far-flung villages with the mainstream, connect millions of people to better opportunities and prosperity and transform Ladakh into a sought after destination for tourists as well as entrepreneurs. — Agencies


Clic here to read the story from its source.