Professor Sir Pali Hungin OBE DL (left), Pam Gosal MBE MSP, Jasdeep Khalsa MBE, Sun Kaur BEM, Harbakhsh Grewal BEM 

Sikhs and people of Sikh heritage in medicine, engineering, public service and the heritage sector are amongst many being honoured in the New Year Honours List of 2024 by His Majesty the King, Charles III.

Amongst the recipients is Jasdeep Khalsa, a published author, poet, software manager and founder of The Sikher Project which he started at the young age of 16, the first Sikh open source software project in history to provide 53 translations and 22 transliterations of the Sikh scriptures, the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji, and inspiring many other Sikh software projects to adopt an open philosophy. Over the years he has worked with various charities and organisations including City Sikhs, The Initiatives of Change, Faith In Leadership, Faiths Forum For London, Guru Ram Das Project and 3HO. He receives an MBE.

When asked about his honour, he said, “I am deeply humbled to have received this award and dedicate it to God, Guru and the universal teachings of the Sikh Holy Scripture, the Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji – containing hymns from Sikh, Muslim and Hindu enlightened Saints and sages coming to a consensus about spirituality and how to transform a human being’s mind, heart and consciousness, all whilst being written in beautiful poetry, song and utter humility. These teachings have personally transformed my life and so I’ve been driven by the fact that anyone seeking personal or spiritual transformation – not just a small group of Punjabi Sikhs – should be able to benefit from these teachings irrespective of their background or language. I hope The Sikher Project is a small contribution towards this vision and that it inspires others to continue this work.”

Professor Pali Hungin is a distinguished British physician and academic renowned for his contributions to gastroenterology and primary care. With a career spanning several decades, he has played a pivotal role in advancing understanding and treatment of gastrointestinal disorders. In 1998, he was appointed Professor of General Practice and Primary Care at Durham University, eventually becoming their founding Dean of Medicine (2003–14). His leadership extended to national initiatives, including initiating the research support networking movement in the UK, particularly in primary care. Professor Hungin also led the NHS Research and Development Forum (England). His dedication to healthcare resulted in him receiving an OBE in 2000. Beyond his clinical and research accomplishments, Professor Hungin stands as a respected figure in both academia and healthcare, and he served as the BMA president in 2016-17. Since 2016, he has been Emeritus Professor of General Practice, Newcastle University. He receives a Knighthood in the New Years Honours 2024.  

Harbaksh Singh Grewal is Vice Chair of the UK Punjab Heritage Association. Harbakhsh has extensive experience in politics and public affairs, having spent over a decade working in Westminster, firstly for a Member of Parliament and later as a political consultant in both in-house and agency roles. His passion for Sikh and Punjabi history led him to volunteer with UKPHA where he has been responsible for much of their public relations and communications work including media, social media, stakeholder relations as well as some of their learning and outreach work. Working alongside others at UKPHA, he has helped bring about a groundbreaking exhibition about the historic Harmandir Sahib (Golden Temple) in Amritsar through over 80 artefacts and artworks, vintage film footage and a reconstructed model of its precincts at its zenith. He receives a BEM. 

On hearing the news, Harbakhsh said, “As Vice Chair of the UK Punjab Heritage Association, I’m delighted to have been awarded a British Empire Medal (BEM) for my voluntary work or sewa over the decades on Sikh history. This is not just recognition for myself but of the Sikh community’s rich heritage which is a vital part of the wider human story. It has been an honour in itself to have been able to have been able to help tell these stories and help place this history on the world stage in the form of exhibitions, events, books and online resources. Our heritage is made up of an incredibly rich tapestry of stories, and I’m grateful to have been able to help give voice to some of the extraordinary narratives that have shaped the Sikh legacy.”

Sun Kaur hails from the West Midlands and had been a beacon of compassion and resilience. For 15 years, she has done impressive and transformative humanitarian work with UNITED SIKHS, a UN-affiliated NGO. Sun Kaur’s global impact spans continents, from aiding refugees in Greece to empowering communities in India and responding to crises like the Grenfell Towers disaster. Her initiatives, addressing digital poverty, supporting the NHS during COVID-19, and aiding refugees, highlight her dynamic contributions. She has collaborated across communities for positive change. Her journey weaves a tapestry of social welfare, from pensions for widows in Panjab to educational initiatives in New Delhi, showcasing her diverse and far-reaching impact. She receives a BEM

Sun Kaur said “The announcement left me speechless. It’s a reflection of the collective dedication and selflessness of the global Sikh community. The honour is validation for the sacrifices, time, and heart poured into our collective community work over the years.”

Pam Gosal MSP was elected as an MSP for West Scotland Region in May 2021 and made history being the first Indian Sikh MSP and one of the first women of colour elected to the Scottish Parliament. She took the oath at Holyrood by reciting the Mool Mantar, the first verse of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib (the Sikh scriptures). She is the Deputy Chairwoman for the Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party and Deputy Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government. Prior to her elected position, she worked at Milton Keynes Council for 15 years in a variety of roles. She receives an MBE for services to Business, to Racial Equality and to Charity in Milton Keynes.

Other recipients of Sikh heritage in the civil honours list include:


  • Rajwinder SINGH – Principal Project Sponsor, Prison Infrastructure Team, Ministry of Justice. For Public Service


  • Tajinder Kaur BANWAIT – Founder, Urban Apothecary London. For services to Business and to the Beauty Industry
  • Dr Dinendra Singh GILL – For services to Pre-Hospital and Trauma Care in Wales
  • Savraj Singh SHETRA – Field Intelligence Officer, Home Office. For Public Service
  • Nirmal SINGH – Chaplain, North West Prisons HM Prison and Probation Service. For services to Community Development and Interfaith Integration


  • Sukhdev Singh PHULL – Engineer, Department for Transport. For services to Transport Technology and for charitable services through the Ekom Charity Trust

Param Singh MBE, Founder and Co-Chairman of City Sikhs, said, “As the New Year unfolds, we celebrate the remarkable individuals of Sikh heritage on this year’s honours list for their diverse and impactful contributions to our society. Congratulations to each honoree, whose achievements inspire pride and unity in the community. May their efforts continue to resonate as we embrace a new year filled with promise.”

Notable allies of City Sikhs who have received honours from the King include:

  • Dr Sanjay BHANDARI, Chair of Kick It Out who receives an MBE for services to Sport
  • Rabbi Jonathan WITTENBERG, Senior Rabbi of Masorti Judaism who receives an OBE for services to the Jewish Community and to Interfaith Relations (London, Greater London)
  • Zehra ZAIDI, who receives an OBE for services to International Development, to Humanitarian Action and to Community Cohesion (Longhope, Gloucestershire)

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