FATEHGARH SAHIB: The Sikh community inKenya has agreed to arrange the land required for setting up the first Sikh University campus outside India — either near Nairobi or Makindu, where the first and the most popular gurdwara in the African nation was established in 1906.
Representatives of the Sikh community of Kenya have offered to provide 25-50 acres of land for the institute to help their next generation there understand the concepts and ideas of Sikhism.
The institute would be an “offshore campus” of Sri Guru Granth Sahib World (SGGSW) University, Fatehgarh Sahib, in Kenya. The Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC) has also given an in-principle approval to the university to establish its offshore campus there.
“The institute would provide education and research in Sikh studies and courses on study of the Guru Granth Sahib, gurmat sangeet, Punjab history and Sikh identity, apart from technical and management education. It would be the first such university-level institute outside India, which would impart education in such subjects. Students of all communities would be welcomed at the institute,” said SGGSW vice-chancellor Gurmohan Singh Walia, while confirming the developments.
A two-member delegation from Kenya was in Fatehgarh Sahib on Tuesday to discuss the modalities of setting up the offshore campus. Walia said the delegation had also met deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal on the issue. “A joint delegation of SGPC, SGGSW University and Kenyan Sikhs would visit the proposed sites in November. We will prepare the project report by February and have estimated the institute’s covered area to be around two lakh square feet,” said Walia. The institute would probably start functioning in next three years, he added.
Bir Devinder Singh, former deputy speaker of Punjab assembly, with whom the Sikhs in Kenya had first deliberated, said the university’s offshore campus would also serve students fromTanzania, Uganda and Somalia.
Jinder Singh Rehsi, member of the Kenyan delegation and general secretary of the managing committee of gurdwara at Makindu, said a trust or society, in accordance with Kenyan laws, would be constituted to execute the project. “The estimated project cost is Rs 70-100 crores, which would be jointly borne by the SGPC and the trust. Salaries and fee structure would be at par with other Kenyan universities. We will recruit around 30% of total teachers from India,” said Rehsi, who is also member of Sikh Supreme Council, an umbrella organisation of all Sikh bodies of Kenya.
Kuldeep Singh Dhami, who is serving as chairman of managing committee of popular Sikh shrine at Makindu Sahib for the last 22 years, is the other member of the Kenyan delegation visiting India.
Originally Published By TOI