The Centre is the first of its kind in the UK and was launched in 2018, offering PhDs and Master’s level courses in Sikh studies as well as continuing professional development (CPD) courses for teachers and managers.
The Mayor joined community leaders including Avtar Singh the Head of the Council of Sikh Gurdwaras UK, Dr Sadhu Singh who is from Wolverhampton and also a regular presenter on the Sikh Channel, Dr Sujinder Sangha, a retired Principal, Councillor Kuldip Sahota from Telford and Sham Sharma, the owner of Zuri’s Coffee shop also attended, along with his son, Dr Sharma. They discussed joint working, future plans and how to continue to exchange knowledge on an international platform using the links already established with Sikh Studies scholars across the world.
The Mayor gave an overview of his recent visit to Amritsar and Delhi, exploring the connectivity between the cities and the links between businesses, as well as his experience of visiting the Golden Temple for the first time.
Dr Opinderjit Takhar updated the group on the progress being made at the Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies. She said: “We are the first centre of its kind across Europe and with it being the 550th anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev who founded the Sikh Faith, we are planning a series of exciting events during 2019.
“The Centre for Sikh and Panjabi Studies is very much a part of our community, not an ivory tower research centre. Over the coming months we are planning a huge international conference. We are also delivering professional development training for Granthis and Gianis, individuals who take the religious lead in Gurdwaras.
“Our aspiration is to create a space for current and future generations in which they can feel comfortable in enquiring about their faith, its principles and ethos. The Centre will be a ‘go-to place’ for any individuals or organisations wanting to know more about the Sikhs and their faith.”
The Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Street, said: “I am a big supporter of the Centre and its work. When I was in Amritsar I visited the Guru Nanak Dev University and spoke with them about this really interesting and globally significant work the University of Wolverhampton is doing. It is something that generates pride in our region and reminds us of the immense contribution of the Sikh community to our region.”
Anyone interested in getting involved with the new Centre should contact Dr Takhar by emailing: O.firstname.lastname@example.org.