Indonesia now has the first Hindu University at Denpasar, Bali.
As per media reports, Indonesian President Joao Widodo on January 31 signed the decree to upgrade the State Hindu Dharma Institute into a university.
The new university has been named after Indonesia’s religious and community leader I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa and it will be known as I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa Denpasar Hindu University.
The institute has been accorded the status of a university by President Widodo as recognition to the contributions of I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa towards the nation and his efforts to understand the ethos of Hinduism and the roots of its civilisation in the Muslim-dominated country.
A media report quoted Indonesia’s ambassador to India, Sidharto R Suryodipuro as saying: “This university signifies the strength of pluralism in countries like India and Indonesia, where we believe that all can contribute to the development of the whole.”
I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa passed away on November 22, 1973.
The report quoted the IHDN Denpasar Rector, I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana, as saying: “We, the entire academic community of IHDN Denpasar, are grateful for the issuance of Presidential Regulation No 20 in 2020 concerning I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa Denpasar Hindu University, which was signed by President Jokowi last Friday.”
Sudiana also said the order went on to show that President Jokowi gave “special attention” to Hindu educational institutions in Bali in order to improve the quality of their “human capital”.
The Hindu religion institute was set up in 1993 as a state academy for Hindu religion teachers, and six years later it was converted into Hindu Religion State College.
In 2004, the institute was turned into Hindu Dharma State Institute o IHDN.
As per the Presidential Regulation, in order to support Hindu higher education programmes, the new university will “administer Hindu higher education programmes” and other higher education programmes.