Thursday, April 12, 2012

3 Indian students win Gates Cambridge scholarship

Three Indian students are among 50 from around the world chosen for this year's prestigious Gates Cambridge scholarship established by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2000 and awarded annually to the “world's most brilliant” scholars. They are Siddhartha Kar, Suhasini Sen and Anand Shrivastava. They will begin their courses at Cambridge University in October. The university said that the competition this year was “intense” and the 50 successful candidates from 23 countries were chosen on the strength of their “potential to improve the lives of others in a multitude of important ways.”

“We are delighted to have awarded Gates Cambridge Scholarships to 50 outstanding individuals from over 20 countries in the International selection round. The scholars come from diverse backgrounds and will pursue a wide range of subjects at Cambridge. Most importantly, they fit the mission of the Scholarship: they convinced us at interview that they have real potential to improve the lives of others in a multitude of important ways,” said Professor Robert Lethbridge, Provost of the Gates Cambridge Trust.

Mr. Kar, who has an MBBS degree from the B. J. Medical College, Pune, will study for a PhD in public health and primary care with focus on the genetic epidemiology of cancer. “My research will involve the application of exciting emerging technologies. My experiences so far have left me profoundly conscious of global disparities in cancer care. I aspire to use my education in cutting edge public health genomics to eventually organise large-scale studies in India to further elucidate genetic risk factors for cancer,” he says in his profile.

Ms. Sen, a graduate of NALSAR University of Law, Hyderabad, and a practicing lawyer from Delhi, will study for LLM. Her area of interest, she says, is the balance that needs to be struck between compulsions of national security and curtailment of civil liberties. “At what stage or in what context does it become morally and legally permissible to dilute principles of presumption of innocence and personal liberty? I believe that it is essential for a legal practitioner to have some answers to these questions, and it is to this end that I am pursuing an LLM,” she says.

Mr. Shrivastava, a product of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Madras, will do an MPhil in economics. “I am particularly interested in the assessment of the costs and benefits of forest land, the variation in these costs and benefits across the population and the political economics of the conversion of forest land for industrial use,” he says.

Source: The Hindu, April 12, 2012

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