The University of California, offers a Religious Studies program through its School of Humanities. However, these programs currently do not offer a graduate degree in religions studies, and are confined to a Bachelor’s Degree. UCI, has expressed a commitment to establish a graduate degree program in religious studies, and is working towards developing the faculty necessary to teach at the Masters and Ph.D. levels.
This initiative was born primarily through the proactive interest of the UCI’s School of Humanities, which came to Dharma Civilization Foundation, with a proposal, where in one half of the financial commitment necessary to establish a fully endowed chair, would come from the State of California, and the other half would need to be raised by the Dharma Civilization Foundation.
Thanks to a very generous gift by Drs. Irma and Ushakant Thakkar, who have committed $1 Million of their own funds, and to raise the remaining $500,000 from the extended Thakkar family, DCF plans to establish the DCF-Thakkar Family chair in Hindu / Vedic Studies at the University of California. The processes for negotiating the terms of the Gift, and formalizing the Gift agreement are currently under way.
The DCF – Thakkar Chair in Hindu / Vedic Studies will create and facilitate the opportunity for the serious study of the Hindu / Vedic ethos that will emphasize among other things, serious scholarship in Indian history of religion, culture, philosophy, religion, and theology. DCF anticipates that the person designated to fill the DCF Chair in Hindu / Vedic Studies will combine academic excellence in Hindu / Vedic Studies, particularly classical Indian philosophy, with a high level of proficiency in Sanskrit—both written and spoken—and expertise in grammar, philology, translation and interpretation of classical Sanskrit texts. DCF also hopes to ensure that the scholar appointed in the Chair is able to evince a superior quality of research on contemporary Hinduism in India, and that the holder of the Chair will have the equivalent of native proficiency in a major Indian vernacular language. In addition to scholarly excellence, the person designated to fill the DCF-Thakkar Chair in Hindu Studies will also possess a demonstrated ability to forge meaningful and productive partnerships with the Indic Dharma community.