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Washington, October 29, 2015: University of California will establish three new endowed chairs in Jain, Sikh and modern Indian studies to expand knowledge of South Asian religions and culture.

The School of Humanities at the University of California, has the Dhan Kaur Sahota Presidential Chair in Sikh Studies, Shri Parshvanath Presidential Chair in Jain Studies, and Swami Vivekananda-Dharma Civilisation Foundation Presidential Chair in Modern India Studies studies.

Donations of USD 4.5 million, plus another USD 1.5 million from the UC Office of the President, will fund these chairs, intended to expand UCI’s scholarship in South Asian religions and culture, the university said in a statement.

Meera and Jasvant Modi along with their children established Shri Parshvanath Presidential Chair in Jain Studies. The chair holder will be a scholar with wide-ranging knowledge of, and research interests in, Jain ethics, philosophy, religion, history and culture, including the fundamental principles of Jainism nonviolence, nonpossessiveness and a pluralistic perspective and familiarity with Indian languages such as Sanskrit and Prakrit.

The chair is named in honour of Bhagvan Parshvanath, the 23rd savior of Jainism, with “Shri” being a Sanskrit title of veneration akin to “holy”. The Dharma Civilization Foundation, a California-based nonprofit, seeks to promote philanthropic giving to further the systematic study of Indian religious traditions in Modern India Studies. Source: PTI