A knowledge centre for Ladakh.

Author:Maqbool, Tabasum
Position:Report
 
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Introduction

Jammu and Kashmir have wonderful natural resources and a unique set of arts and crafts. In order to harness the resources to its fullest, we need to develop these sectors with the continuous aid and support of relevant knowledge. Ladakh could undertake a pilot project to manage its resources with help of a Knowledge Centre. The Knowledge Centre would be a place to share and access our collective understanding of our economy, culture, natural and human resource management. The Knowledge Centre could prove an integration system and corroboration engine to facilitate an evolving knowledge-driven society. The Knowledge Centre wuld annotate, filter and gather the collective knowledge and experience of individuals and organizations across the globe. The system would facilitate personal access to relevant ideas.

The reason for considering Ladakh for pilot project are that it has a unique set of arts, very famous for its tourist attractions. Some of the cultivated fruits are unique, and the region comprises only two districts and launching a well-managed Knowledge Centre would be much easier for a pilot project.

The areas in which knowledge centre can boost the overall development Ladakh region are:

* Education

* Digitization of Valuable Buddhist Literature

* Agriculture

* Horticulture

* Medicinal Plants

* Tourism

* Handicrafts and

* Conservation of Environment and Culture

Education

According to the 2001 census, the overall literacy rate in Leh District is 62% and 58% in Kargil District (Education for All, 2001). The figures are quite encouraging given the lack of development in past and needed to be improved further. The Knowledge Centre could play a vital role, providing counselling services to the students in choosing a profession and fields of knowledge. The counselling could be done both by In-house experts or inviting experts from different parts of India. The counselling can increase the core competence of the region and also act as facilitating centre for getting admission in different professional and academic colleges of state and India. This is necessary because there are no professional colleges available in Ladakh and their contact with rest of India is low. The region remains cut-off for months from rest of the world. This service could transform the education sector and improve the human resources of the region.

Digitization of Valuable Buddhist Literature:

Ladakh has 67 big Buddhist monasteries (Kaul and Kaul, 1992)...

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