The Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society (SIFAS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Delhi University in India, which provides for collaborations in teaching, training, research and developing arts programs.
The MoU will allow the teaching staff as well as the 2,000 students of SIFAS who are pursuing Carnatic, Hindustani Music, Dance and Art forms access to the resources and capabilities of the Music Department of University of Delhi.
“Encouraging a life-long learning of the arts or expertise development in the field, Delhi University offers courses all the way to the PhD level; thus, creating an opportunity for many of our students to pursue the next level of academic rigour, once they graduate from SIFAS,” said a press statement by the 72-year-old organisation.
The signing of the MoU was commemorated with a special online function with SIFAS President KV Rao invited to be the Guest of Honour for the International Conference on ‘Traditional Music in Different Cultures - Challenges and Opportunities in the Changing Global Scenario’, organised by Delhi University on February 25 and 26.
“Music is a unifying force in the world and brings people together. In the post COVID world, mental health is the issue No. 1 all over, and music provides that pause, peace and mindfulness,” said KV Rao in his keynote address, outlining the rich and cherished cultural history shared between India and Singapore.
“We are very excited to be partnering with Delhi University (DU), one of the premium universities in India. We hope to participate in their programs like Malhar Utsav, Sadhyayan, etc. and have their students and teachers reciprocate in the more than 200 programs that SIFAS stages annually,” added Puneet Pushkarna, Vice President SIFAS. “We are also looking forward to doing some joint research and publishing articles in their magazine called Vageeshwari”.
“The music department of Delhi University is pleased to sign its first MOU with SIFAS, which has a long standing reputation of promoting Indian classical music and dance. I am sure the academic and cultural exchange programme between the two institutions will prove beneficial to both and strengthen the mutual goal of spreading Indian culture in its region and even beyond,” said Dr Deepti Omcherry Bhalla, Dean of the Music Department (University of Delhi – India).
The occasion was also marked with a SIFAS presentation of a multi-ethnic Mallari, a rhythmic confluence of percussion instruments, which was conceptualised by Guru Tripunithura Sreekanth, and supported by Guru Mihir Kundu and Guru Manjula Surendra.
SIFAS added that it aims to take up this opportunity to fortify its ties with traditional art and to provide a platform to all its students to make Indian art and culture their career, thus widening its reach across the world.