Indonesia has got its first Hindu state university, thanks to a recent presidential regulation by its president Joko Widodo (Jokowi).

According to the Jakarta Post, the regulation turned the Hindu Dharma State Institute (IHDN) in Denpasar, Bali, into the country's Hindu state university.

The rechristened university, named I Gusti Bagus Sugriwa State Hindu University (UHN), will reportedly administer and support "Hindu higher education programmes".

For the record, Hinduism is one of the six official religions of Indonesia, and practised by about 1.7% of the total population, according to a 2010 census. In Bali, more than 83% of the population are Hindus.

Under the new regulation, all current IHDN students, employees, and assets will be converted to the UHN.

This is the third reincarnation for the insitute, which started off as a state academy for Hindu religion teachers in 1993.

It was converted into the Hindu Religion State College in 1999, then into the IHDN in 2004, before its current incarnation as the UHN.

IHDN rector I Gusti Ngurah Sudiana lauded the regulation, which he said was awaiting an official handover from the central government.

He added that the move marked a historic moment for Hindus in the Muslim-majority Indonesia and shows that Jokowi has given special attention towards improving the quality of human capital provided by the Hindus in the country, particularly in Bali.

Source: The Star/Jakarta Post
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