Mr. N. N. Vohra, Governor, emphasized the need for making the UNESCO Madanjit Singh Institute of Kashmir Studies (UMIKS) a reputed SAARC institution which serves the unique objectives of this vibrant centre of excellence by undertaking quality teaching and research on social, cultural, historical, governance and other areas, viewing the same, in the historical, contemporary and future context.
The Governor, who is the Chancellor of the Kashmir University and Chairman of the Governing Board of the Institute, was chairing the 3rd Governing Body Meeting of the UMIKS at Raj Bhavan here today. The Meeting reviewed the Institute’s functioning in the past year and discussed its activities which are planned during 2015-16.
Amb.(rtd) Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar, Chairperson, South Asia Foundation (SAF); Amb. (rtd.) Veena Sikri, Vice Chairperson, SAF; Mr. P.K. Prabhakaran, CEO, SAF; Prof. K.I. Andrabi, Vice Chancellor, Kashmir University (KU); Prof. Talat Ahmad, Vice-Chancellor, Jamia Milia Islamia; Mr. P.K. Tripathi, Principal Secretary to the Governor; Prof. Gull Mohd. Wani, Director, UMIKS; Prof. Zafar Ahmad, Registrar, Kashmir University; Prof. Naseem Ahmad Shah, Dean Faculty of Social Sciences, KU; Prof. Ab. Rashid Malik, Department of Kashmiri, KU; Prof. Satyabhama Razdan, Department of Sanskrit, KU; Prof Mujtabha Khan, Director, Academic Staff College, Jamia Milia Islamia attended the meeting.
The Board approved the joint award of Masters Degree in “Kashmir and South Asia Studies” by the Jamia Milia Islamia and the University of Kashmir. Director UMIKS informed that for the purpose of working towards the joint award of the aforesaid MA degree, the Institute has developed academic collaboration with certain centres of learning in the Jamia Milia Islamia. The Board asked the Vice-Chancellor of Kashmir University to take up with the State Government to ensure that the MA degree to be awarded by the UMIKS would be duly recognized for the pass outs being considered for employment in the State Government and its various agencies.
While reviewing the progress achieved on redrafting the paper on “Religions of South Asia”, for which an academic arrangement has been arrived at with JMI, the Governor pointed to the high importance of such studies and stressed that the outcomes of studies and researches in this field are of vital current and future relevance to countries of South Asia. In this context he called upon both the Vice-Chancellors to see that the researches in this arena are of the highest academic excellence.
The Governor urged that all the UMIKS students, both the SAARC scholars and local students, are properly counseled at the time of admission to the Institute. He urged Chairman SAF to provide sustained fiscal and other support for the balanced growth of the Institute.
Mr. Mani Shankar Aiyar, Chairman, South Asia Foundation (India Chapter) assured adequate financial and other required support to the UMIKS for undertaking its activities. He assured the Chancellor that the issue of visa extension of the foreign students at UMIKS shall be taken up with the concerned authorities in the Central Government.