Due to the ongoing Corona pandemic the 20th IALS conference – scheduled for 2021 in Heidelberg/Germany – has to be postponed until 2022. The venue will remain the same.
More details will follow in due time.
Statement of IALS President Sonam Wangchock on the Passing of leading Ladakhi scholar and IALS Patron Tashi Rabgias (30/10/2020)
“I am saddened to learn the passing away of Shri Tashi Rabgias, the patron of International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS) this morning. I extend my most heartfelt sorrow and condolences on the loss of Ladakh’s historian and scholar whose contribution to language, literature and history of Ladakh is immense. It is an irretrievable loss to the people of Ladakh. May he attain Nirvana!”
– Sonam Wangchok
Letter to the Members from IALS President Sonam Wangchok concerning COVID-19 / the Corona Virus (27/03/2020)
Dear IALS Members,
I hope everyone is keeping well and taking all the precautionary measures seriously at wherever you are to combat the COVID-19 outbreak. The Coronavirus has reached most of the countries on earth and it has upended life across the globe, shutting down entire cities and countries in a matter of months. It is the most likely scenario that this situation may take possibly more days and months. It is being reported that more cases of Coronavirus pandemic are now being recorded outside of China, where the virus was first detected in the central city of Wuhan. In this situation I appeal you all to stay strong and fight the COVID-19 outbreak by taking all precautionary measures. During this difficult time, it’s important to continue looking after your physical and mental health. This will not only help you in the long-term, it will also help our administrations and hospitals to fight the virus.
Like other countries and states, Ladakh has also witnessed 13 positive cases connected to pilgrims returning from Iran. Among them three declared completely cured in last few days. My heartfelt admiration goes to Ladakh administration and the health fraternity who work day and night in such difficult circumstances in the service of humanity.
At the moment, we are under complete lockdown for three weeks but we strongly believe that we’ll get through this together at the earliest. We can see the sun is shining, the sky is clear and apricot and apple trees are all set to blossom in Ladakh.
Stay safe, stay calm, be vigilant and most importantly remember prevention is better than cure.
Please take care everyone.
IALS Minutes of the General Meeting and Updated Membership Fees (06/11/2019)
Dear IALS members,
please find the minutes of the general meeting held after the 19th IALS conference in Leh here.
As mentioned in the minutes membership fees were changed to better reflect current exchange rates and socio-economic changes since the old rates were installed. In addition IALS now offers 6 and 10 year memberships to a 10% discount from the normal rates. As before all information can be found under our Membership section.
IALS Election Results and Conference Report (02/10/2019)
The results of the 2019 election for the Executive Committee of IALS:
Sonam Wangchok [Elected unopposed]
Lauren Smyth [Elected unopposed]
For the other posts, a total of 65 ballots were cast at the conference (45) and by email 20). Of these three were disqualified as two were received after the deadline and one was cast by a lapsed member. The final results are:
Amjad Ali 
Elizabeth Williams-Oeberg 
Judith Muller 
Konchok Dorjey 
Nazir Hussain 
Elizabeth Williams-Oeberg with 22 votes is the new secretary of IALS.
Ladakh LIaison Officer
Fayaz Ali 
Muzammil Hussain 
Tsewang Rigzin 
Tsewang Rigzin with 29 votes is the new Ladakh Liaison Officer of IALS.
Compiled and overseen by Election Officers, Rigzin Chodon and Sunetro Ghosal
The report of the 19th IALS Conference in Leh can be downloaded here
IALS Elections Update (03/09/2019)
The members of the Executive Committee and Advisory Committee of IALS met in Leh on 1 September, 2019 on the sidelines of the IALS conference currently underway. At this meeting it was decided to follow the spirit of the IALS conference and provide the members who were not able to attend the conference to cast their vote for the positions that are currently up for election. It was also decided that the final result of the election will not be declared till email votes have been counted.
Thus, the members who are at the conference will cast their vote in person at the conference. Through this post and through email being sent to all members, we are opening the election to all members. Please use the official ballot to cast your vote. The other PDF provides information on who have been nominated. You will notice that the position of Secretary and President do not appear in the ballot sheet as only one person has been nominated for each position and are elected unopposed.
You will need to fill in your name on the ballot and any sheet without a name will not be counted. We assure you that your choice will not be disclosed to anyone and your name is only being recorded to ensure that there is no double voting and all voted are cast by members. The email ballots have three editable spaces for you to type your name, and pick a candidate for each position. You do not need to print the ballot our. You can fill it on your computer.
Please ensure that you are a member of IALS and have not voted at the conference. The ballot will be disqualified if you are not a current member or have already voted.
Please send all your queries and completed ballots to email@example.com. .
The deadline for receipt of email votes is 23:59 hours on 17 September, 2019. The final result of the elections will be announced after these votes have been counted and added to the tally of the votes cast at the conference. .
Sunetro Ghosal and Rigzin Chodon
Election Officers 2019IALS
Conference Update 24/08/2019:
Update Conference Programme & Contact and Transportation Information
Please find attached the final schedule of the IALS 2019 Conference, including several changes and additions to the previous draft: IALS Conference Programme
We also uploaded contacts and local transportation offers. Especially the hired bus going from Leh to the conference location and back every day might be of interest. Please find more details here: Contacts and Transportation
Conference Update 17/08/2019:
Note of Reassurance by the Conference Conveners about the Current Situation in Leh and Choglamsar
We are very much looking forward to welcoming our friends and colleagues to the 19th IALS conference at the Central Institute of Buddhist Studies in Choglamsar from 31 August to 4 September. All the preparations are ready, and we expect some 80 papers on a wide range of topics
However, we have heard that some participants are reconsidering their plans because of recent political developments in the wider region. Here we would like to offer a note of reassurance. Tourists are still coming to Leh in large numbers, and everyone is going about their normal business. The UK, the US and Germany have issued travel advisories recommending that their citizens avoid Kashmir but, as you will see from the link below, they all make an exception for Ladakh.
Please do come, and help ensure that the conference is a great success!
Call for Nominations: IALS Elections
We have four Executive Committee posts up for re-election at the Association’s forthcoming conference in Leh this year.
These posts are:
- The President
- The Secretary
- Treasurer/Membership Secretary
- Ladakh Liason Officer
- The Webmaster
IALS will begin fielding nominations immediately, with the intention of voting for candidates and ratifying the final decisions at the next General Meeting in Leh, 2019.
For more details on the election and the nomination process, please visit our Election Page
Conference Update 24/06/2019:
Accommodation at CIBS, Sponsors, Travel Funds
CIBS has agreed to allow IALS to use its guest house to host conference participants. This means we have ten double-sharing rooms available on campus. The organizing committee feels that this should be offered on a first-come first-served basis to students attending the conference from outside Leh. If there are such candidates who require accommodation in Leh, they are advised to get in touch with the organizing committee before 15 July. If there are rooms still available, then it can be offered to others.
Furthermore, if there are members who are willing to sponsor the fee or accommodation for students attending the conference, please get in touch with the organizing committee by 15 July. This will ensure that any such offers are allotted to deserving candidates.
We have not been able to raise funds to cover the travel costs to and from Ladakh. However, all conference-related travel to and from the venue and field trips will be covered by the conference fees.
For more Information visit our Conference Page
The International Association for Ladakh Studies (IALS)
Ladakh, located in the north western part of India, has only been readily accessible for study since the early 1970s. In that short time it has been the focus of interest for many students, senior scholars and independent researcher from across many disciplines.
They are attracted by Ladakh’s physical condition as a high altitude desert in the rain-shadow of the geologically active Himalaya and Karakorum. They are interested in the skilful agricultural adaptations to these rough environment by its farmers and pastoralists. It is Ladakh’s unique sociology, history and cultural tradition at the crossroads of Central and East Asia and its rich and diverse religious heritage that makes the field interesting for people from all over the world. Most recently the problems encountered with modern development and conservation have become a focus of research.
We formed our community of students and researchers from within South Asian and beyond to share our research via conferences, small workshops and publications.