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Singapore’s National University appoints British professor Jasjit Singh for Sikh Studies

Singapore : In an effort to foster an understanding of Sikh beliefs and practices, the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Central Sikh Gurdwara Board (CSGB) have appointed Associate Professor Jasjit Singh as the inaugural CSGB visiting professor, according to the statement released by NUS.

His appointment was announced at the official launch of the CSGB Visiting Professorship in Sikh Studies, which Minister for Education, Chan Chun Sing, attended as Guest of Honour.

Associate Professor Singh is an expert in Sikh studies from the School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science at the University of Leeds, UK.

He began his term with FASS on August 7 2023 and will be serving for one semester (or five months) in the new academic year 2023/2024.

The official launch event today follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding in April last year between NUS FASS and CSGB to set up this Visiting Professorship.

Administered by the NUS FASS South Asian Studies Programme, with a Singapore Dollar1.06 million endowment fund raised by the local Sikh community (with donations receiving government dollar-to-dollar matching), this is the first Sikh studies visiting professorship to be established in Asia, outside the Indian subcontinent, as per the release.

FASS Dean, Lionel Wee, said, "Assoc Prof Jasjit Singh is a leading authority in the field of Sikh studies, he is also well-regarded as an innovator in his impact- related work as demonstrated by his meaningful engagements with minority ethnic communities and organisations in the UK. With his expertise on British Sikhism, Assoc Prof Singh will sharpen our scholarly lens on Sikh beliefs and practices, and deepen our students' knowledge and appreciation of the Sikh way of life not only in Singapore but internationally. We thank CSGB for working with us on this pioneer endeavour which supports our Faculty's wider aim of community engagement with society."

Additionally, Singh will deliver guest lectures for the 'South Asia in Singapore' and 'World Religions' undergraduate courses, broadening the student's exposure to Sikhism's rich tapestry. Under the aegis of NUS FASS's South Asian Studies Programme, Singh will spearhead research in the field of digital Sikhism-a study exploring how the online realm influences the religious practices of Sikhs, with a particular focus on how Singaporean Sikhs engage digitally.

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