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Khushwant Singh awarded Fellowship

Posted on 17/01/2014

Mr Khushwant Singh and Principal Professor Sir Rick Trainor

Khushwant Singh awarded Fellowship of King’s College London

In recognition of his exceptional achievements in the fields of literature and journalism, King’s College London has awarded esteemed alumnus Khushwant Singh a Fellowship of the College, its highest honour. 

The award was given by Professor Sir Rick Trainor, Principal & President of King’s College London at a private ceremony at Mr Singh’s home in Delhi on Sunday 12 January, also attended by Professor Sunil Khilnani.

2014 is the 80th anniversary of Mr Singh’s admission to King’s as an undergraduate in 1934, while 2015 is his 100th birthday.

Mr Singh was called to the Bar by The Honourable Society of the Inner Temple in 1938. He began his legal career on the eve of the Second World War and spent eight years practising law at the High Court of Lahore. In 1947 he entered the diplomatic service of a newly independent India and served his country for four years in London and Ottawa.

In 1951 he began a career in journalism during which he edited some of the most prestigious titles in India, including the Hindustan Times, the National Herald, the Illustrated Weekly of India and New Delhi magazine. During his tenure at the Illustrated Weekly he was able to increase circulation from 60,000 to 410,000, and he still writes a weekly column in the Hindustan Times which is read by several million people.

Mr Singh has published over 100 books and is one of India’s best-selling authors of both fiction and non-fiction. His first novel, Trainto Pakistan, has been in print since 1956, while his most recent book was published by Penguin on his ninety-eighth birthday in 2013.

He was awarded a Grant by the Rockefeller Foundation in 1966 and held Visiting Lecturerships at the University of Oxford, Princeton University, the University of Rochester, New York, the University of Hawaii, and Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. In 2011 he was awarded an honorary D. Litt by Panjab University.

He was a member of the Rajya Sabha, the Upper House of the Parliament of India, from 1980 to 1986.

Mr Singh’s exceptional achievements have been recognised on multiple occasions. In 1974 he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award in the Republic of India, which he returned in 1984 in protest against the siege of the Golden Temple by the Indian Army. In 2007 he was awarded the Padma Vibhusha, the second highest civilian award of the Republic of India.

Professor Sir Rick Trainor, Principal & President of King’s College London, said:

‘We are delighted to confer this award on Mr Singh in celebration of the substantial achievements of one of our most successful, and best-known Indian alumni, as he enters his ninth decade of association with King’s College London and his 100th birthday.’

Notes to Editors

For further information please contact Katya Nasim, International Press Officer at King's College London, on + 44(0)207 848 3840 or email 

Fellowship of the College of King’s College London is given “in recognition of their exceptional achievement and/or service rendered to the College”. 

For further information about King's please visit our 'King's in Brief' web page. 

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