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From developing high altitude elearning facilities to testing the latest solar technology, researchers from across the world now have the chance to explore Ladakh to their heart's content. A brand new education base ( E- Base) has been set up in Mahabodhi, 15km from Leh. The brainchild of Sir Robert Swan, the first man to have explored both the North and South Pole, this E- Base is the third of its kind and will act as a bridge between Ladakh and the global research world. Along with boasting of the latest technologies for the benefit of visiting academics, the E- Base will also help educate local students on various scientific topics.
“E- bases aim to provide a perfect setting for the world to learn more about climate change in different parts of the world and understand the need to promote renewable energy, preservation and conservation practices. This new E- Base will be a multi dimensional base, supporting the local population as well as acting as a repository for future explorers and sustainability experts,” says Swan who inaugurated the E- base in Ladakh last week.
The E- Base will run exclusively on sustainable power technology products such as solar panels, solar home UPS and solar batteries being provided by Luminous Power Technologies. “The future of our planet is dependant on sustainable living. Partnering with the base in Ladakh will help us to test the durability and advantages of various solar technologies in one of the harshest high altitude climates in the world," says Manish Pant, managing director of Luminous Power Technologies.
Last month the base hosted its first team of sustainability experts, travellers and explorers from the US, UK, UAE, Nepal and Netherlands. They will travel through the remote villages and tribes across the Zanskar Valley over the course of 11 days. Aside from researching and connecting with the local communities, academics will also educate locals on affordable and sustainable home lighting technologies. Calling themselves the Global Himalayan Expedition ( GHE), the team is led by Paras Loomba, a 26- year- old engineer from Ferozepur, Punjab.
“My journey to the South Pole was a transformational experience which made me realise the need for a sustainable future. GHE’s visit to the E- base is a unique opportunity for many researchers and senior academics to carry out a number of scientific tasks in Ladakh. This will make a significant contribution to our understanding of the true effects of global warming closer to home,” says Paras.
The E- Base will also serve as a digital classroom which will give students access to e- learning through tablets and documentaries, while also connecting them through Skype with other schools around the world. Similar E- bases have already been set up at the South Pole and at Pench Forests in Madhya Pradesh.
A child at the E- Base learning to
use sustainable solar lanterns