The Sikh community here in collaboration with the National University of Singapore on Saturday launched an academic programme in Sikh studies to commemorate the 550th birth anniversary of the faith's founder Guru Nanak Dev.
The academic programme is the first Asian visiting professorship in Sikh studies outside India and will enable National University of Singapore (NUS) to attract leading scholars who have demonstrated excellence in the study of Sikh philosophy, history, art, culture and the wider Punjabi diaspora globally.
"This is a first Asian Visiting Professorship In Sikh Studies outside India. There are similar university based study programmes on Sikhs in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States,” said Baljit Singh, President of the Central Sikh Gurdwara Board, which oversees two gurdwaras and a Sikh Center in Singapore.
The academic programme was inaugurated by the former Singapore parliamentarian Inderjit Singh, who currently is the Chairman of Coordinating Council of Sikh institutions in Singapore.
The NUS will manage a fund of 2.4 million Singaporean dollars as it will be running the programme supporting visiting professor in research and teaching Sikh studies from an academic perspective.
“The Professor will be a senior or emerging scholar with a strong international reputation and publication record, extensive experience of teaching and student supervision, and be internationally recognised,” Singh said.
"He or she will contribute to undergraduate and graduate teaching, research and leadership at the South Asian Studies Programme,” he said.
Singh said the Sikh community in Singapore believes the programme would improve the understanding of the Sikh Way Of Life among Sikhs and non-Sikhs alike.
"This Visiting Professorship will enable NUS to attract leading scholars who have demonstrated excellence in the study of Sikh philosophy, history, art, culture, traditions, value systems, Punjabi regional history and the wider Punjabi diaspora globally," he said.