Punjabi University vice-chancellor Jaspal Singh has been honoured with Bhasha Samman, one of the highest literary awards given by the Sahitya Akademi, Government of India, for his outstanding contribution in classical and medieval literature in Punjabi language. He was awarded for his outstanding contribution to research in Punjabi literature for the year 2013.
The uniqueness of the award lies in the fact that it is given to only one scholar every year in any one of the Indian languages. The award was given to him at Coimbatore on Sunday by the Akademi in the presence of illustrious figures, noted litterateurs and renowned scholars belonging to different languages.
Speaking about the honour conferred upon him for his works, Dr Jaspal Singh said, "I consider this award as an honour for my services to my mother tongue, Punjabi, which has a long and glorious history. It is the language that has a cherished and esteemed legacy as the language of Sikh gurus, other mystic saints, Sufis and seers, enshrined in Guru Granth Sahib and otherwise. It also reflects my commitment to promote Punjabi language as is the mandate of Punjabi University in all its dimensions."
The Bhasha Samman was instituted in 1996 to be given to writers, scholars, editors, collectors, performers or translators who have made considerable contribution to the propagation, modernisation or enrichment of the languages concerned. The Bhasha Samman carries a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, an inscribed copper plaque and a citation.