In what can be considered as music to the ears to the students of the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir, the State Administrative Council headed by Governor Satyapal Malik has given consent to the Jammu and Kashmir University of Ladakh Bill-2018, paving way for setting up of the first ever university in the region.
Ladakh with more than lakhs of students has no university in the region. Thousands of helpless students every year leave and go to other parts of India in order to pursue higher education. The varsity to be set up will fulfill long-standing demand of the people of the region. Last month, students of the region had launched huge protest demanding an autonomous university in the region, and now it seems that their struggle has paid off.
An official handout said, “Ladakh region with a population of 2.75 lakh as per 2011 census has a student population of 40%. As per the rough estimates, around 90% of students from Ladakh have enrolled in different Universities across the country for studies and the remaining 10% study in Ladakh.” ‘In the absence of full-fledged university’, writes JAMPHEL SHEYAN, students face a lot of problems. He further writes, “The magnitude of psychological and financial strain they have to endure, not to mention the partiality they have to face when they are forced to study in different parts of India has never been a serious concern for the government.”
An official spokesperson said, “It will be a cluster university covering five colleges of Leh and Kargil districts. The university will be established with an initial grant of Rs 65 crore to be provided next fiscal. Establishment of the university will fulfill a long-standing demand of the people of the districts.”
Though Kashmir varsity does have a campus in Ladakh, as per reports it is mostly defunct, and also because of affiliations of colleges of the region with Kashmir University, the students of the region face many problems whenever there is shut down and mindless protest in Kashmir region.
According to the Financial Express report, 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. In future, all the new colleges which will be set up in Ladakh region are envisaged to be constituents of/affiliated with the Cluster University of Ladakh.
No varsity in the region even after seventy years of independence signifies regional discrimination practiced by Kashmir centric political parties. Despite comprising 58.3% out of a total of 101, 387 sq km of the territory of the state of Jammu & Kashmir, Ladakh has been consistently receiving step-motherly treatment from the Kashmiri-dominated State Government. It’s good to see that finally attention is being paid to the development of region neglected for long.