ICCR lecture "Indian Studies in India and abroad: Challenges and Prospects"


Professor Siddharth Singh, first Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) visiting professor at Uppsala University, presented his views on "Indian Studies in India and abroad: Challenges and Prospects" in a public ICCR lecture on Friday, 12 December 2014 at the university main building in Uppsala. 

Singh pointed out in his lecture that “India has taken the best from all religions that came from outside” and constructed its open society. He explained the example of the Buddhist Nalanda university that saw the famous Chinese pilgrims I-tsing and Hsuan-tsang among its students as a role model for an Indian university open to all kinds of intellectual interactions. Indian studies can never be uniform and always have to accommodate different expectations. 

Professor Singh strongly suggested more international academic exchange as an essential tool to discover new fields of research in humanities and social sciences. He especially emphasised the need joint translation committees as well as Indian Studies centres e.g. in Europe. He raised awareness of the role of ICCR, UGC, ICHR, ICPR and others Indian cultural and academic agencies to support foreign researchers of Indian studies through grant opportunities. 

Professor Siddharth Singh is the Head of the Department for Pali and Buddhist Studies at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) in Varanasi, India. He arrived in Uppsla in mid-October and will stay till April 2015 in Sweden, being affiliated to Uppsala University’s Department for Linguistics and Philology during his stay. Singh has also previously been a visiting professor in Sweden twice – in 2006 and 2008 respectively, and been a visiting faculty at University of Colorado, USA. In 2005, he was honoured by a “President Award” in India for his contribution to Pali & Buddhist Studies, and has published books and research papers in this field. 

Singh is ICCR guest professor in Uppsala according to a contract between the Government of India/ICCR and Uppsala University, signed by Indian Ambassador Banashri Harrison Bose, and Eva Åkesson, Uppsala University Vice Chancellor.