asha bhosle

The legendary singer Asha Bhosle was conferred an honorary Ph. D by the University of Salford. (photo provided)

MUMBAI — The University of Salford has awarded Asha Bhosle with an Honorary Doctor of Arts degree in recognition of her contribution to the field of music and her role in inspiring future generations to participate in arts and media.

Bhosle, 86, is widely recognized as one of India’s most popular singers through a career that spans seven decades. Over the course of her career, Asha has sung in more than 20 languages and has been listed as the world’s most recorded voice in the Guinness Book of Records, 2011.

Bhosle, says a press release, “has also served as an inspiration for individuals pursuing popular Indian music through the popularity of the (Bollywood) films that she has featured in, providing an opportunity for British South Asians, in particular, to trace their cultural roots and celebrate their heritage.”

The impact of this was so profound that in 1997, British indie rock band Cornershop released the song ‘A Brim Full of Asha’ to celebrate Asha’s musical achievements and her role as inspiration to British-Asians.

Jo Purves, Pro Vice-Chancellor at the University of Salford, presented the Doctorate to Bhosle at a formal ceremony in the Saint Regis Hotel in Mumbai. He said, “Throughout her career, Asha has left a lasting impression in the industry by transforming traditional Hindustani music to inspire future generations across all nations to get involved in arts and the media. We’re truly delighted to be honoring Asha for her accomplishments while celebrating her influence on modern British culture.”

The University of Salford has a long history of supporting Indian culture and has sponsored the Asian Media Awards for many years to ensure the media fully represents the diversity, talent and creativity of the UK population.  The School of Arts and Media aims to inspire the next generation of stars across the sector, from journalists to filmmakers, actors and performers, and recognizing Asha’s illustrious career is testament to that.

The honor is a part of a series of announcements made by a 30-strong delegation from Greater Manchester. The delegation was led by the Manchester India Partnership, which was set up in 2018 to celebrate and strengthen the ties between UK and India in the fields of education, culture, trade, investment and tourism.‘

Continuing its investment in the region this week, the University of Salford will also be signing a memorandum of understanding with Karnataka State Higher Education Council in Bangalore Oct. 9. The agreement will look to promote collaboration between the UK and India at both institutions through activities such as the development of joint research projects, exchange programs and driving international entrepreneurship. These activities span across subjects that are of critical importance to the future of industry, including smart cities, health and well-being, biosciences and advanced manufacturing and robotics.

Purves continued: “We’re incredibly excited to be collaborating with the Karnataka State Higher Education Council. By sharing our expertise in our specialist areas and creating opportunities for partnership, we can uncover unique insights into the industries that are rapidly transforming the way that we, and our students, will live our lives in the years ahead. ”

Applications from India represent approximately 25 percent of the total number of international applications received by the University, and to support students from India, the University has an Indian Student Society, which organizes cultural and social events for students and staff with an interest in India.  

With the UK Government’s announcement in September to introduce a new post-study work visa that will allow graduates to work after their studies for up to two years, the UK has become even more attractive and affordable.  

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