Leh Current Affairs - 2020

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Rohtang pass tunnel named after former PM Vajpayee

On 24 December, 2019, the Union cabinet chaired by PM Modi decided that the strategic tunnel that was constructed under Rohtang Pass will be named after him. This is because the tunnel construction was started in June 2000, during his tenure.

About the tunnel

The tunnel is the world’s longest tunnel (8.8 km) at an altitude of 3,000 metres. The tunnel reduces the distance between Leh and Manali by 46 kilometres. This helps in saving crores of rupees on fuel usage. It is built under Pir Pinjal range.

It is a single tube tunnel and is 10.5-metre-wide with fire proof emergency provisions. The geological and weather challenges were overcome by the Border Road Organization. It includes the Seri Nalah fault zone.

Rohtang Pass

The pass connects Kulu valley and Lahaul and Spiti valleys of Himachal Pradesh. The three rivers in the region of the pass are chenab, Beas and Chandra rivers. The Beas river emerges from underground and flows southwards, Chandra river flows in the eastern Himalayas and Chenab river flows westward.

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Cabinet approves establishment of National Institute of Sowa Rigpa at Leh

The Union Cabinet has approved establishment of National Institute for Sowa-Rigpa (NISR) in Leh, Union Territory of Ladakh. It will be an autonomous National Institute under Union Ministry of AYUSH. It is mandated to undertake interdisciplinary education and research programmes in Sowa-Rigpa system of traditional medicine in collaboration with premier national and international Institutes and facilitate integration of different systems of medicine.

About National Institute of Sowa-Rigpa (NISR)

It will be apex Institute for Sowa-Rigpa in the country. It is aimed at bringing a valid and useful synergy between traditional wisdom of Sowa-Rigpa system of medicine and modern science, tools and technology.

Functions: It will help to promote interdisciplinary research & education of Sowa-Rigpa. It will facilitate quality education, quality control & standardization, scientific validation and safety evaluation of Sowa-Rigpa products, standardized Sowa-Rigpa based tertiary health delivery. It will identify best Sowa-Rigpa treatment ithin the framework of its traditional principle and possible co-relation with bio-molecular western medicine in providing health care facilities to the general public.

Benefits: It will provide an impetus for the revival of Sowa-Rigpa system of medicine in the Indian Sub-continent. It will also provide multitude opportunities to students of Sowa-Rigpa from India and also from other countries. It will establish synergy among existing Central Institute of Buddhist Studies, Leh, Union Territory of Ladakh and Sowa Rigpa Institutions – Central University of Tibetan Studies at Sarnath, Varanasi (UP) – which are under the administrative control of Union Ministry of Culture.

About Sowa-Rigpa

It commonly known as Tibetan system of medicine. It is also dubbed as Science of healing. It is one of the oldest, Living and well documented medical tradition of the world. It has been originated from Tibet and popularly practice in India, Nepal, Bhutan, China, Mongolia and Russia. In India, this system of traditional medicine is widely practice in Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, Darjeeling (West Bengal), Dharamsala, Lahaul and Spiti (Himachal Pradesh) and Ladakh (UT).

Yuthog Yonten Gonpo is believed to be the father of Sowa Rigpa. He had composed rGyud-bZhi (four tantra) the fundamental text book of this medicine. rGyud-bZhi is based on indigenous medicine of Tibet enriched with Ayurveda, Chinese and Greek Medicine.

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