Three students and two teachers from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) schools in rural Maharashtra – India were hosted at the High Commission in London last week as part of the The Karta Initiative.
This non-profit initiative works in collaboration with the Tata Trusts to connect brilliant low-income Indian students with world class higher education. Founded by Ms. Ranjita Rajan, the initiative launched this year as a pilot, brought the students and teachers to participate in an intensive two week programme at Pembroke and Somerville Colleges, University of Oxford.
High Commissioner Mr. Navtej Sarna welcomed the initiative and had a long interaction with the young students. During their discussions with the High Commissioner, the Karta students shared their experiences and the takeaways from the programme and talked to him about their future plans and aspirations of serving their communities. High Commissioner encouraged them to make the most of this unique opportunity of learning and interaction, and to share the knowledge and experiences gained at the UK institutions with their fellow students and teachers back in India.
Later, senior High Commission officials conducted a roundtable session with The Karta Initiative group and explained to them, inter alia, the role of the various wings of the High Commission. Of particular interest to the 16 and 17 year old students was the sheer variety of backgrounds (e.g. veterinary sciences, medicine, economics), of officers representing India in the UK.
The visit culminated with the students joining young Indian entrepreneurs at the High Commission where individual presentations were made by the visitors. Chair of Trustees of the Karta Initiative, Mr Vindi Banga, outlined future plans of the Initiative, and thanked the High Commission for its deep support to the launch of the Initiative. During this interaction, many participants present undertook to extend support to the Initiative in the form of scholarships, mentorship, summer programmes, laboratory visits and knowledge sharing.