South East Asia’s First Night Sky Sanctuary, At Ladakh

    • As told by Union Minister Dr Jitendra Singh, during the Ladakh Pride Exhibition.
    • It is being set up with the help of the Indian Institute of Astrophysics Bengaluru, affiliated to the Department of Science & Technology, Govt of India.
    • The Dark Sky Reserve will be located at Hanle village in Eastern Ladakh.
    • It is part of Changthang Wildlife Sanctuary.
    • It will be one of the world’s highest-located sites for optical, infrared, and gamma-ray telescopes.
    • It is spread over 1,073 square kilometres.
    • It is adjacent to the Indian Astronomical Observatory, the second-highest optical telescope in the world, at Hanle at an elevation of 4500 metres.
    • It will be among only the 15 or 16 of its kind in the world.
    • A tripartite MoU was signed among the UT Administration, Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council (LAHDC) Leh and the Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA) for launching the Dark Space Reserve.
    • It will help boost local tourism and the economy.
    • The exhibition showcases GI-tagged treasures of Ladakh, – Seabuckthorn, Raktsey Karpoapricots, Ladakh wood carvings and Pashmina wool.

    Other Developments:

    • The CSIR promotes “Leh Berry’, which is an exclusive food product of the cold desert.
    • Prime Minister has strongly advised for widespread cultivation of Seabuckthorn, which is the source of “Leh Berry”.
    • Commercial cultivation of three medicinal plants is also being promoted at a height of above 15,000 feet.
    • This includes “Sanjeevani Booti”, locally known as “Sola”, which has very high life-saving and therapeutic properties.
    • Department of Atomic Energy will set up facilities for Gamma Irradiation Technology for the preservation/shelf life extension of fruits and vegetables.
    • Apricot from Ladakh is now being exported to Dubai.
    • An exclusive Examination Centre has been set up by DoPT at Leh for conducting the UPSC’s Civil Services Examination.
    • Common Eligibility Test (CET) is also being conducted at Leh and Kargil.
    • Snow Sculpture has been introduced in Ladakh since last year as a tourist attraction, which will create job opportunities for the locals.
Posted in Current Affairs.