Bangladeshi Ching Cha Becomes First Foreign Student Awarded Masters Degree at KU


Riyaz Ul Khaliq



Ching Cha Thowin Marma

Ching Cha Thowin Marma

Two years after Pakistan’s Nadia Mehr completed her doctorate degree from Kashmir University (KU), a Bangladeshi student was awarded two years Masters in Arts degree by Kashmir University early this month—and with that, he became the first foreign student who got his Masters degree from KU.

Ching Cha Thowin Marma, a resident of Chittagong Hill Tracts, joined Kashmir University in 2013 as South Asia Foundation (SAF) scholar for two years MA program.

Ching completed his MA in ‘Kashmir and South Asian Studies’ from UNESCO Madanjeet Singh Institute of Kashmir Studies (UMIKS).

While detailing his two years experience at Kashmir University, Ching Thursday at a function held in UMIKS said, “I never thought of completing this degree; the course was new and I faced many problems.”

“But today, I’ve one MA degree and a dozen professional courses’ certificate awarded from Kashmir University,” he said adding, “you (juniors) won’t find any problem while getting your certificates as I have set things alright.” Ching was lamenting the cumbersome process in getting work done at Kashmir University.

Ching shall be returning to his native nation Bangladesh after two years, and during this many of his relatives have expired. “As I received my MA degree certificate, I wanted to go but something stopped me; home going emotions overflowed since some of my relatives are no more but the memories of last two years stopped me,” he said.

Started in 2006, UMIKS earlier on awarded MPhil and PhD degrees only, but since 2013, the department started a two years MA program in ‘Kashmir and South Asia Studies’.

First of its kind, the course has 30 seats – 14 for locals of Jammu and Kashmir and rest are selected as SAF scholars from eight South Asian nations forming South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

Ching is part of MA first batch and with him two more students from Nepal and Afghanistan had joined the course but they left without completing the degree. In second batch, nine SAARC students are studying the program and come from Bhutan, Afghanistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. One more scholar from Bangladesh -Khan Osman Touseef –  is doing his PhD from UMIKS. Two Srilankan students earlier completed their PhD from UMIKS.

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