Modi govt moves Lok Sabha for Sindhu Central University in Ladakh
On the second anniversary of the creation of the union territory of Ladakh, the Narendra Modi government on Thursday introduced an amendment in the Central Universities Act, 2009, in Lok Sabha paving the way for Sindhu Central University to cater for higher education and intellectual growth. Costing ₹750 crore, the Sindhu university was approved by the Union Cabinet on July 22.
The name of the university was given as Sindhu or Indus river after considerable deliberation under Home Minister Amit Shah as the government wanted a name that covered not only Ladakh but Ladakh and beyond as the map of the Ladakh UT incorporates Pakistan occupied Areas of Gilgit and Baltistan.
In his Independence Day address in 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced to establish a new Central University in the Union Territory of Ladakh, which inched a step closer to materialisation as the government introduced the amendment on Thursday.
Sources in the know of the development confirmed that the Union Territory of Ladakh has identified approx 110 acres of land at village Khaltsi, located in between Leh and Kargil.
According to top government sources, after the Home Ministry considered a number of names for the Central University including those of Ladakhi military leaders, Sindhu was found to be an apt name as the river rises in Tibet, passes through Ladakh, connects to Kargil through Suru tributary, flows through Gilgit-Baltistan in Occupied Northern Areas and then empties into the Arabian Sea near the port city of Karachi. The name Indus was not given as already a private university in that name is registered in Gujarat.
The jurisdiction of the upcoming Sindhu University will cover the entire UT of Ladakh including Leh, Kargil, and beyond. These regions were left out of the jurisdiction of central universities in Jammu and Kashmir after the state was bifurcated into two union territories.
A Budget provision of ₹750 crore will be required over the next seven years to meet the expenditure of setting up the university. Local administration and experts will be consulted before taking the final decision.
But why a separate university instead of merging it with the existing university for Ladakh? Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Councils of Leh & Kargil are of the view that UT Ladakh should opt for a separate Central University rather than merging it with the existing University for Ladakh as around 4,000 students are estimated to be pursuing higher education outside Ladakh and having a Central University in Ladakh would provide them quality education within their UT.
"Students, Faculty members and their families from the rest of the country would be visiting Central University which will act as a catalyst for emotional integration of this region. The University will help in emotional integration of the country, and taking forward the concept of 'Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat' to the remotest corner of the country. It will also help in convincing the people of the UT of Ladakh that entire country is standing with them, especially at a time when China is trying to create mischief at our borders," said officials. Also, Jammu and Kashmir already has two Central universities, one each in Jammu and Srinagar.