A grant of USD 1.5 million has been made by an Indian-origin philanthropist Mohini Jain, a retired teacher, to the University of California (UC) Davis for advance studies in Jainism. The gift will establish ‘the Mohini Jain Presidential Chair’ for Jain Studies in the Department of Religious Studies as part of a larger effort to position UC Davis as a leader in the study of Indian religions and the interdisciplinary field of South Asia studies broadly. A formal announcement in this regard would be made on February 21.
“In our multicultural, global world, it is important to escape boxed-in points of view,” Jain said in a statement, hoping that the impact of the chair at UC Davis will be a broadening of minds and a renewed focus on dialogue and peace.
Who will get the chair?
A scholar who possesses a well-established record for creative, exceptional and interdisciplinary research on Jainism will be awarded the chair
Duties of the chair holder
The holder of the chair will:
- Help develop curriculum in Jain studies
- Offer graduate courses in Jainism
- Pursue a vigorous research agenda
- Give public lectures
- Contribute to the development of religions of India and South Asia studies initiative at UC Davis by participating in community outreach.
“This gift will further diversify and strengthen our expertise in world religions and is another step toward UC Davis serving as a leader in India religions and Asia studies globally,” said Archana Venkatesan, chair of the religious studies department and associate professor of religious studies and comparative literature.
Each year, the College of Engineering recognises meritorious students in the field through the Anil K. Jain Memorial Fund. The Mohini Jain Family Foundation established an endowment at the UC Davis School of Education to provide annual support for doctoral students whose research has the potential to improve public education.