The Naropa Fellowship will empower the next generation of leaders to positively impact the Himalayan region
New Delhi, May 2, 2018: The Drukpa Order, which has shaped and contributed to the Himalayan and Central Asian culture and heritage for over a millenium, has launched the Naropa Fellowship programme to develop entrepreneurial skills that will foster a robust socio-economic environment in Ladakh and the greater Himalayas. This modern approach to serving the people of the Himalayas will help ensure that the communities and cultures cradled in the Himalayas thrive for generations to come.
The Naropa Fellowship is a one-year, fully residential, post-graduate, academic programme focused on creating and nurturing agents of change who will work towards building a sustainable socio-economic environment in Ladakh and the greater Himalayas. It seeks to foster entrepreneurship, retain local talent while preserving the cultural heritage of the region. The fellowship is designed to address the rising challenges of unemployment, lack of training and professional skills, and gradual cultural erosion in Ladakhi and the Himalayan societies. The Naropa campus is located at Hemis, a beautiful village in Leh.
The Naropa Fellowship is inspired by His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa and co-founded by His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche, Spiritual Regent to His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa and Dr. Pramath Raj Sinha, the founding dean of the Indian School of Business (ISB), Hyderabad, and the co-founder of Ashoka University, Sonipat.
Expanding on the Drukpa Order’s centuries old tradition of experiential learning, the curriculum of the fellowship will include entrepreneurship, society and culture, communication skills and personal development tied up with a live project which will engage the fellows in working on sustainable solutions for the local community in Ladakh and surrounding regions with support from faculty which includes industry experts, academicians and practitioners who will guide and instruct the fellows.
Speaking on the occasion Dr Pramath Raj Sinha said “The Naropa Fellowship is a wonderful initiative that fosters entrepreneurship, leadership and responsible and sustainable solutions for society. It is a great opportunity for the youth to engage and involve themselves with a programme that develops their leadership skills and prepares them to contribute to their communities”.
Speaking on the occasion His Eminence Drukpa Thuksey Rinpoche said “Education is the key for creating a sustainable future and finding solutions for the challenges that face us today. The Naropa Fellowship is a step in the direction of inspiring our youth to take on these challenges, provide leadership and direction to efforts at revitalizing the land, the society and the balance of nature.”
Over 40 of the world’s leading academics, industry experts and practitioners will guide and instruct the Naropa Fellows as visiting faculty- facilitating professional development and growth. Some of the reputed faculty includes Kenwyn Smith- Professor, University of Pennsylvania, School of Social Policy and Practice, Kathy Dewitte- Dean, Arteveldehogeschool, Belgium, Stuart Hendry- Entrepreneurship Lead Professor, University of Cape Town, Sara J. Corse- Associate Adjunct Professor, Thomas Jefferson University and many others.
The Fellowship is currently inviting applications from graduate students for the first session beginning September 2018. 40 of the total 50 students of the first batch will be rewarded full scholarship worth INR 10,00,000. Full or partial scholarship will also be available to international students on a needs-only basis. Students can apply for the Naropa Fellowship 2018 through the website (http://naropafellowship.org/) and last date of the submission of the application is 7th July 2018.
About Drukpa Lineage
The Drukpa Lineage (the “Dragon Lineage”) is an integral part of Himalayan and Central Asian legacy and culture. Dating back to the Indian scholar-saint Naropa, the Drukpa Lineage is woven throughout the history of Buddhism, India, the Himalayas and Central Asia.
The Drukpa Lineage follows the Mahayana Buddhist tradition in philosophy, i.e. the philosophy of “enlightenment for the benefit of others” and the methods are based on the Tantrayana teachings passed down from the great Indian saint Naropa, who was born a prince in 1016. It acquired the name “Drukpa” in the twelfth century when the reincarnation of Naropa, Tsangpa Gyare, saw nine dragons fly up into the sky from the ground of Namdruk. The present Gyalwang Drukpa is the twelfth incarnation of the founder of the Drukpa Lineage.
The Drukpas are best known for taking its meditation practice off the mat and into the world – converting compassion into action to tackle the world’s challenges.
Because the Lineage makes its home along the most important historic trading routes, its core tenet of Ultimate Truth fostered and nurtured great civilizations throughout the region including modern day Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, China, Mongolia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Today, the Drukpa Lineage sprawls over major parts of the Himalayas, especially in Ladakh, Kinnaur and Lahaul-Spiti in India, as well as Bhutan and Nepal. Bhutan, also known as “Druk Yul” or “Land of Thunder Dragons”, honours the Drukpa Lineage as its state religion. The lineage is also widely practiced in many countries throughout the world, especially Vietnam, another nation deeply influenced by the legends of “Dragons”.