left to right Dr. Sonam Wangchuk, President IALS, Moses Kunzang ADDC, Leh, C.Phuntsog, VC Ladakh University, Tashi Rabgais, Scholar and Kaniz Fatima, Former Secretary Education Department.
The inaugural ceremony of the 19th International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) conference themed ‘Negotiating Change in the Trans-Himalayas’ was held at Nagarjuna auditorium, CIBS, Choglamsar, Leh on August 31.
C. Phuntsog, Vice-Chancellor, Ladakh University inaugurated the five-day international conference which will be concluded on September 4.
Addressing the gathering, C Phuntsog said, “Ladakh is a separate field of study in all aspects such as anthropologically, historically, geographically, culturally and linguistically as well”.
“Ladakh is already a famous tourist destination area and there is no need for introducing the region to the outside world. But the challenge now is to get the right direction to the future cause of development to obviate the adverse consequences of tourism socio-culture life of the region”, he added.
He stressed on the importance of regaining the moral and cultural wealth along with monetary development to get peace and happiness among the people for which Ladakh is known for.
Talking about different papers to be presented in the 19th IALS conference, C Phuntsog urged IALS to devote more sessions in highlighting different problems and issues that the region is more likely to confront in the future.
The keynote speaker of the occasion, Kaniz Fatima, Former Secretary Education Department and a senior member of IALS said that the conference has given a common platform to scholars, researchers, academician, and students to exchange the ideas and thoughts. Also, it gives more opportunities to know and learn more about Ladakh.
She said that IALS has given energy, enthusiasm and inspiration to many people from different parts of the world to know more about the culture, history, geography, economy and many other aspects. With this, it further adds to work for the development and sustainability of the region.
The patron of the IALS and a renowned scholar of Ladakh, Tashi Rabgais also reiterated the founding of the IALS and its importance.
International Association for Ladakh Studies was formed under the initiative of Henry Osmaton in the early 1980s.
Dr. Sonam Wangchuk, President expressed the happiness over the growth of IALS with over 300 members with maximum participation of youths.
Moses Kunzang, Additional Deputy Development Commissioner, Prof Geshe Konchok Wangdus; Director CIBS, paper presenters from different parts of the world and many other dignitaries were present.