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Study Program

Each year, a variety of specially designed workshops and seminars are given for a variety of topics related to science and Tibetan culture.

The LTWA organizes two yearly intensive learning programs. A three-month Intensive Translation Program (ITP) was started in 2006 and a two-month Intensive Tibetan Studies Program was started in 2011. The ITP is from July 1 to September 30. Approximately thirty students are admitted to each program. The programs are open to Tibetans and others from the Himalayan regions and foreigners who have a good command of the Tibetan language.

In the Intensive Tibetan Studies Program, students are taught Tibetan language and literature, Buddhist philosophy and practice, and Tibetan history. In the ITP students are taught Tibetan language and literature, Buddhist philosophy and practice, English language and literature, and translation methodology.

This year the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives (LTWA), Dharamsala, is organizing its eleventh ITP from 1st July to 30th September. The ITP will exclusively cover the various methods and practices adopted in the translation, especially Buddhist teachings.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Through the ages, translation (a simple yet complicated process of rendering a piece of information from its language of origin so that it may be expressed within a different culture) has proven the greatest force behind constructive interaction among humankind. Translation has enabled the sharing and exchanging of knowledge on religion, culture, science, technology, education, tradition, arts and so forth among people of different cultural and environmental backgrounds. For the Tibetans, translation ushered in a golden era as it facilitated the advent of Buddhism in Tibet from India in the late seventh century.

Today, Tibet’s identity is largely characterized by the principles and values enshrined in the innumerable ancient Buddhist scriptures that have been translated from the languages of India and other countries. Though its history is brief compared to other ancient countries, Tibet has witnessed one of the highest rates of Buddhist translation in the world, both in quality and quantity. The quality of translation works by the great savants motivated solely by the intention to benefit others continued for hundreds of years under the patronage of the Tibetan kings and the successive rulers.

The Chinese invasion and its occupation of Tibet in 1959 resulted in the mass killing of Tibetans, including monks and nuns, and vast destruction of temples and monasteries. The infamous decade-long Chinese “Cultural Revolution” (1966―1977) and the subsequent repressive policies instituted by the Chinese government further intensified religious and cultural persecution, ravaging much of the priceless Tibetan literary, religious and cultural wealth. The illegal occupation forced Tibet’s spiritual and temporal leader, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, and thousands of Tibetans to flee into exile and seek asylum in India and elsewhere.

Today, despite all adversity, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Central Tibetan Administration (CTA), with generous support from India and other countries, have taken tremendous strides towards rebuilding the ancient monasteries and cultural institutions and opening new schools for the teaching of modern subjects. This effort has led to the establishment of many cultural centers, including one of the oldest: the Library of Tibetan Works and Archives in Dharamsala in the north of India.

Founded in 1971, the LTWA was formally recognized as a “Centre for Tibetan Studies” by the Himachal Pradesh University. With an extensive library facility aided by several other departments, the LTWA functions as an academic centre for Buddhist and Tibetan studies.

AIMS AND OBJECTIVES

In the ongoing struggle for Tibet’s freedom, Tibetans stand face to face with two major challenges: firstly, to sustain their unique identity through the preservation of their distinct culture and religion, and secondly to begin to embrace modern science and technology and seek to excel in these areas for the betterment of Tibet and the world. In view of these challenges, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the CTA have worked tirelessly towards the rebuilding of monasteries and centers for cultural education, and the opening of new schools for teaching modern subjects.

These two challenges further spur the need for translations to enable both the dissemination of Tibet’s ancient spiritual culture to the materialistically advanced West and the assimilation of Western knowledge of modern science and technology to further Tibetans’ spiritual richness. This imperative could well yield an unprecedented growth of literary works to add to the already vast Tibetan literary collections, and will significantly help to ensure the intellectual growth of a nation. In light of these pressing needs, the LTWA has been organizing its annual ITP for the last eight years.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

The program shall be conducted for a period of three months from 1st July to 30th September 2016. However, classes will not be held on Sundays, on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, on Tibetan national holidays and during His Holiness’ teachings in Dharamsala. Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes.

Throughout the period, the ITP will primarily focus on four subjects: Buddhist philosophy and practice, Tibetan language, English language and translation methodology and practice. On each working day there will be four or five classes of 60–90 minutes.

At times, extra classes will be conducted to provide students with direct interaction with scholars. Whenever possible, the LTWA will also invite experienced translators, scholars, Tibetan parliament members and the experienced CTA staff members to speak on different topics. Students can also attend scholarly talks organized by the LTWA for the general public.

At times, extra classes will be conducted to provide students with direct interaction with scholars. Whenever possible, the LTWA will also invite experienced translators, scholars, Tibetan parliament members and the experienced CTA staff members to speak on different topics. Students can also attend scholarly talks organized by the LTWA for the general public.

The LTWA will entrust students with translation tasks during the training program such as translating religious and secular texts from Tibetan to English and vice-versa. Translated works may be published by the LTWA.

COMPOSITION

The ITP will be administered under Geshe Lhakdor, the Director of the LTWA. The teaching faculty consists of experienced translators and language teachers with years of experience teaching international students. There are five or six teachers. The number of teachers may change in the event of their unavailability.

Translation Methodology and Practice Geshe Lhakdor, Dr. Chok and Julia Wilson
Buddhist Philosophy and Practice Geshe Lobsang Tsondue & Geshe Gyatsen Tsering
Tibetan Language and Literature Acharya Naga Sangye Tandar
English Language and Literature Ms. Kerry Wright
Translation Exercise Dr. Chok
Coordinator Dadon
Extra support

During the program, students are free to ask for any assistance, technical or otherwise, from the existing LTWA staff for the furtherance of their knowledge. Assistance may include free use of the Tibetan and foreign language reference library sections. Students can also avail themselves of services such as the copying of audio-recordings containing Buddhist translations, photocopying, etc. at nominal charges.

Students

In all, the program will facilitate the training of thirty students: fifteen scholarship awardees and fifteen private students.

Scholarship Awardees

Fifteen seats will be reserved for scholarship awardees. They will be selected through the regular selection process (see SELECTION AND ADMISSION) and provided with Rs. 3,000 for monthly accommodation and food allowance.

Private Students

Seven seats will be reserved for students exhibiting an in-depth knowledge of Buddhist philosophy and having adequate knowledge of spoken and written Tibetan and English. This category will consider applications from private Tibetan individuals (as opposed to the following categories).

Institutional Students

Eight seats will be reserved for candidates officially sent by monastic, academic or medical institutes. They also must have an in-depth knowledge of Buddhist philosophy and an adequate knowledge of spoken and written Tibetan and English. This category will accept applications directly from the institutes in favor of their candidates, whose skills will eventually be utilized by the respective institutes.

SELECTION AND ADMISSION
The LTWA will select and enroll fifteen scholarship awardees, seven private students and eight institutional students for the ITP 2016.

The program will be advertised in Bod kyi dus babs (Tibet Times), on www.phayul.com and on the LTWA official website (www.ltwa.net).

Selection of Scholarship Awardees

Each student applying under the scholarship quota is required to fulfill the essential requirements for admission to the ITP. The basic requirements are:

  • Copy of updated Tibetan Green Book
  • Copy of Bachelor degree or equivalent degree (10+2+3 system)
  • Copy of Class XII certificate or equivalent (with Tibetan as one of the subjects)
  • No Objection Certificate from current employer, if employed
  • Two essays (300–400 words), one in Tibetan and one in English, discussing your educational background and work experienceIn the event of any confusion regarding the term “Bachelor or its equivalents”, equivalence standards adopted by the Public Service Commission of the Central Tibetan Administration or the Government of India shall be considered the definitive source.

Selection under this category will be made on the basis of academic degree, marks obtained in the final three-year Bachelor degree, work experience, need and other factors as specified hereunder in order of priority:

  • Academic degree
  • Formal degree in Buddhism or other religious studies
  • Marks obtained in the final three years of Bachelor or equivalent course
  • Years of service, whether paid or voluntary
  • Other academic achievementsSelection will be made strictly on the basis of merit and need of the applicant.

Selection of Individual Students (Private)

Selection under this category will be made on the basis of educational background, work experience and other achievements as specified hereunder in order of priority:

  • Formal training in Buddhism (course level completed, if a degree such as Geshe or Khenpo is not held)
  • Years of service, whether paid or voluntary
  • Any other achievementsSelection will be made strictly on the basis of merit in each of the above determinants. For instance, if two candidates have the same educational background in religious studies, the next determining factor, in accordance with the order of priority, will determine the choice among the two candidates.

Selection of Institutional Students (Private)

Unless institutes specify their preferences among their students, selection under this category will be made in the same manner as the Selection of Individual Students (Private).

Selection Committee

All matters relating to the selection and admission of students will be overseen by a committee comprising:

  • The LTWA Director
  • The LTWA Secretary
  • The Head of the Research and Translation Department
  • The Head of the Cultural Research Department
    In the event of any disagreement, the decision of the Selection Committee shall be final and binding.

FORMAL CERTIFICATION
On completion of the program, the LTWA will confer upon students a certificate stating that they have successfully completed the Intensive Translation Program 2016. Only those attending a minimum of 80% of the total working classes will be entitled to receive a certificate. Should a student fail to fulfill the minimum attendance requirement, no reasons—medical or otherwise—shall be entertained for the issuance of any certificate.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES
Students excelling in their studies and exhibiting special skills during the program will be, if deemed proper, allowed to work at the LTWA as translators and so forth. The student will, in such cases, be entitled to a monthly wage and allowance, as decided by the LTWA.

FOOD, ACCOMMODATION, AND FEES
Each of the students selected under the scholarship awardee quota will be granted a monthly stipend of 3,000 (Rupees three thousand rupees) in lieu of accommodation (Rs. 1000) and food allowance (Rs. 1000) during the program. However, those who get rooms at the LTWA will not get stipend for the accommodation.

No fee will be charged to students for any class or extra-curricular activity that the LTWA might conduct during the program.

DISCIPLINARY NOTES
In the event of any dispute relating to the program, the LTWA reserves the sole right to make decisions or to entrust such cases to the appropriate bodies. The LTWA also reserves the right to terminate the program for any significantly viable reason or suspend a student for any improper action or behavior.