Testimony from a research scholar UMIKS (UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute of Kashmir Studies)

Testimony Srinagar, India - 6th July 2011

His Excellency,
Mr. Madanjeet Singh
UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

Subject: Feed back


I am a full time PhD Research Scholar at the UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute of Kashmir Studies, University of Kashmir. The topic of my research is ‘Track Two Diplomacy’ between India and Pakistan. Over the years the idea of non-official or Track Two mediation has taken off and grown exponentially among various segments of the civil society groups in South Asia. The voices of these civil society groups are acquiring new dynamism in the region. There has been a phenomenal growth in popular interactions among various segments of South Asian society. It is in the context of these factors that I decided to make a critical assessment of these non-official dialogues, their value, importance and relevance in highly political realities of polarized South Asia as my PhD research project. I am sure my research will be an important contribution towards the development of mutual understanding between the various civil society groups and other important government functionaries within the two countries.

It is quite early for me to register my feedback regarding the Institute on all aspects. However, whatever little time I have spent here as a research student I am quite satisfied with the facilities provided to me, especially the monthly scholarship which I receive under the SAF scholarship scheme. Since I come from a socially and economically underprivileged class I have had to face some serious economic hardships and problems during my academic career. Under the conditions, the monthly scholarship (Rs15000/m) is of enormous help to me. In fact, it is only because of this financial support that I receive through the Institute, I am in a position to pursue my PhD research. I sincerely acknowledge and appreciate all the support and guidance from your part in this regard.

There is no doubt that the Institute offers a favorable ambience for its scholars to conduct high quality research. It serves an important center of learning and exposure to exchange our ideas and thoughts and appreciate the various dimensions of a problem. The presence of international scholars within the institute is a great opportunity for all its scholars to interact and thus, helps to eliminate the various stereotypical notions and misconceptions that creep in by way of lack of experience, interface and misunderstanding. Further, the scholars get chance to listen to the comparative points of view that enhance their capacity of approximating and accommodating diverse dimensions of a problem and gain better understanding and knowledge people’s perspective on such issues. 

However, it is my considered opinion that the Institute library, though well maintained leaves scope to make it more advanced in terms of equipping and upgrading it with latest technology, International journals, books and other resources to meet the high standards of a research institute and realize it goals and objectives.

I am of the belief that in the coming times the Institute will be a leading resource center in the state of very high considerable significance, not only for its enrolled scholars but to all those who have craving for high quality research on history, culture and religion existent within the region.

I once again thank you for all your support, help, and making our dreams a reality.


Samir Ahmad Bhat
PhD Research Student
Institute of Kashmir Studies,
From India