A former Indian diplomat, Dr Jaspal Singh took the coveted position of Vice-Chancellor of Punjabi University, Patiala, on December 11, 2007. During his stint as India’s High Commissioner to Mozambique and Swaziland, Dr Jaspal Singh played a stellar role in identifying newer areas of cooperation for enhancing the scope and vistas of understanding among the countries concerned. This included signing of agreement for the establishment of Indo-Mozambique Joint Cooperation Commission, Indo-Mozambique Draft Agreement for Cooperation and Indo-Swaziland Trade Agreement.
After securing his Master’s degree in Political Science and Diploma in Foreign Affairs from Aligarh Muslim University, he did his Ph.D. from Panjab University, Chandigarh on the topic “The Concept of State as Reflected in Sikh Scriptures and Historical Writings” in 1989. He has a total 32 years of teaching experience in Khalsa College, University of Delhi, which includes a seven-year stint as Principal of Sri Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, University of Delhi.
Dr Jaspal Singh has authored well-acclaimed books including
- 'Raj Da Sikh Sankalp' (The Sikh Concept of State), Navyug Publisher, New Delhi, 1990.
- 'Sikh Dharam Te Rajniti', (Sikh Religion and Politics) Navyug Publisher, New Delhi, 1997.
- Sri Guru Granth Sahib: Sadivi Prerna Srot, Punjabi Academy, Delhi Government, 2007.
- Sri Guru Granth Sahib: The Sikh Scripture, New Delhi, 2009.
- Sikh Virasat: Sidhant Te Vihar, New Delhi, 2010.
Published more than 250 articles on Sikh History and Religion, and on the Issues of National and International Politics.
A medley of presidential and keynote addresses delivered by him at various national and international seminars and conferences have earned him the distinction of an erudite scholar. Few of these addresses include
- 'The Religion, Ethic and Rights' at Kathmandu, Nepal organized by the UNICEF in March 1996.
- 'Crises of Sikh Identity' in Michigan University, USA in 1996.
- Mata Sundari Memorial Lectures on Mata Khivi ji and Mata Ganga ji, New Delhi, 1993 and 1996.
- 'Global View of Guru Nanak' at World Punjabi Conference in Wisconsin University, USA in 1998.
- 'Nature of Monarchy under Maharaja Ranjit Singh' at Maharaja Ranjit Singh Bi-Centenary Celebrations in United Kingdom in 2001.
- 'International Peace through Religious Cooperation: Sikh Perspective' in the International conference on Religious Co-operation at Taipei, Taiwan on September 18, 2001.
- 'Concept of State in Guru Granth Sahib' at Guru Granth Sahib Research Centre, Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee, on 14th August, 2004.
- 'Bani of Guru Granth Sahib' Keynote Address at Mata Sundri College, University of Delhi on December 12, 2004.
- 'The Concept of Compassion and Its Importance in 21st Century', organized by Kagyu Yeshe Gatsal Buddhist Trust and Shri Aurobindo Society, on March 20, 2005.
- 'Sri Guru Granth Sahib: A Historic Perspective' Keynote Address at Khalsa College, Dev Nagar, University of Delhi, New Delhi on March 17, 2005.
- 'Janam Sakhi Tradition' at seminar, Indian International Centre, New Delhi on April 22, 2004.
- 'Political Concerns in Guru Granth Sahib' at International Seminar on 'Guru Granth Sahib and Its Context', Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi on November 1, 2005.
- 'Philosophy of Dasam Granth', Keynote Address at Sri Guru Nanak Dev Khalsa College, University of Delhi on January 14, 2006.
- 'Gurmat Sangeet: A Comparative Perspective', at Punjabi University, Patiala on February 28, 2006.
- Dr Harbhajan Singh Memorial Lecture on Religion and Politics at Delhi University, March 11, 2008
- Historical and Ideological Importance of Gaddar Movement, Keynote Address at Gaddar Memorial Conference, Sacramento, California, USA, organized by Gaddar Memorial Foundation of America, August 22, 2009
- 'Banda Singh Bahadur' Inaugural Address at National Seminar, Fatehgarh Sahib, April 24, 2010
- 'Place of Banda Singh Bahadur in History' at Hindi Bhawan, New Delhi, May 8, 2010
- Achievements and Value System of Banda Singh Bahadur, Inaugural Address at Conference, Institute of Sikh Studies, Chandigarh, May 29, 2010
- 'The Sikh Concept of Inclusive Approach' Bhapa Pritam Singh Memorial Lecture at Punjabi Bhawan, New Delhi, September 25, 2010
He has also been awarded a lot many fellowships and awards by various national and international institutions which include:
- Best Prose Writing Award by Punjabi Academy, Delhi Government for the year 1990-91
- Awarded Fellowship by Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar in 1997
- Vismad Naad Fellowship awarded by International Gurmat Institute, Ludhiana in 1996
- Nishan-e-Khalsa presented at Anandpur Sahib on the occasion of Tercentenary Celebrations in 1999
- Punjabi Parchar Parsar Award for outstanding contribution to the promotion of Punjabi Language and Culture by Punjabi Academy Delhi Government in 2005-06
- Honoured for outstanding contribution to Sikh Literature by Chief Khalsa Diwan, Amritsar, December 18, 2009.
- Amar Shadeed Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Award by All India Baba Banda Singh Bahadur Sikh Sampardai, 2009.
- Honoured by Wilkes university, USA, June 24, 2009.
- Honourary Fellowship by Punjab Academy of Sciences, February 7, 2010.
- Honoured at All India Sikh Educational Conference, Chief Khalsa Diwan at Chandigarh, November 14, 2010
He has also remained General-Secretary of the DSGMC; Founder Member of Punjabi Academy, Delhi; Member, Board for Centre for Dalits and Minorities Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi; and Chairman, Harkrishan Public School, New Delhi.
During his continuing tenure as Vice-Chancellor, the Punjabi University has achieved a few remarkable milestones which include: Bestowal of highest “A” grade by the UGC’s National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) to the University; Winning of the coveted MAKA trophy for three years in succession enabling it to emerge as the “Best Sports University” in the country; Establishment of UGC’s Women’s Study Centre, UGC’s Academic Staff College and Centre of Advancement Media Centre; Hosting of a All-India Punjabi Conference on the occasion of University’s Foundation Day celebrations with the objective of ensuring a cohesive promotion of Punjab, coupled with all-inclusive participation by Punjabis spread all over India engaged in diverse activities; Initiating special effort to pave the way for digitizing all the invaluable historical documents in the Main Library and in the Department of Punjab Historical Studies; Organizing the Rababi Bhai Mardana Classical Music Conference on the pattern of Harvallabh Sangeet Sammelan helping Punjabi University carve out a special niche for itself in the field of Sikh Divine Music.
Looking at the environment getting continuously polluted, he has created Punjabi University Environment Society to make the Campus “polythene and smoke-free”. After launching a “pro-environment, anti-pollution” drive as a part of health and hygiene crusade, he has ensured the growing of medicinal plants, carrying out waste management and beautification drives to ward off the spreading menace of global warming and greenhouse effect.
His compassion for the students from rural areas has resulted into establishing two more Regional Centres at Jaito and Maur Mandi in addition of already existing centres including Centre at historical city Talwandi Sabo. Guided by his inbuilt empathy, he has spearheaded the establishment of an independent geriatric clinic at Patiala’s Senior Citizens Welfare Association Centre to provide treatment to the old age patients suffering from different ailments.