The funding facilitates free education at India’s top private university and the fifth-best in the country
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham has announced a new scholarship program to support 350 students from Africa to travel to India for higher education. Envisioning a common bond between Africa and India to further sustainable development, the announcement was made at the Amrita-Africa Summit in New Delhi on Monday. The event was attended by ambassadors and high commissioners from across Africa and hosted by dignitaries from the university.
India’s Minister of State for External Affairs, Shri V Muraleedharan, was the Chief Guest. Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri is the Vice Chairman of Mata Amritanandamayi Math and President of Amrita and presided over the conference.
The distinguished guests from Africa represented Burkina Faso, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
Amma, Amrita’s Chancellor, addressed the gathering via video. She shared that all of society will benefit when we see there is a difference between the types of knowledge one can pursue.
“There are two kinds of education: education for living and education for life,” said Amma. “While education for a living is essential for success in the academic and material sense, education for life equips young people with the knowledge, skills and values needed to lead an ethical and beneficial existence.”
It is this second type of education that brings true growth to society, as its members come together to participate in building a better world instead of creating conflicts that come as a result of competition. Education should not focus only on gathering information about the world, but also an understanding of our part in contributing to the whole.
Swami Amritaswarupananda said, “Let our youth excel in every single area of action, but allow them to be fair players. That is compassion in action. Let them be fair players with love and compassion for others. Along with scientific and technological excellence, Amrita inculcates a deep sense of social responsibility in its students.”
Amrita and the African nations will soon reach an agreement in the various fields of study available, including its medical schools at Amrita Hospitals in Kochi, Kerala and Faridabad, Haryana. In 2021, the Govt of India’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) rated Amrita the country’s top private university and the fifth best out of all public and private universities.
Shri V Muraleedharan congratulated Amrita for organizing the meeting and emphasized that India is well-known for its long-lasting educational ties with Africa. He said the Ministry of External Affairs has a liberal process for African students and assures them proper care.
“The Indian higher education system has been witnessing metamorphic changes over the years and is considered as having the largest higher education system in the world. The Faridabad campus of Amrita will be a major expansion in terms of quality medical education and healthcare. It will provide connectivity to Delhi and the Ministry will be collaborating with the facilities and opportunities with this,” he added.
The African officials included:
- HE Stella Budiriganya, Ambassador, Republic of Burundi
- HE Isse Abdillahi Assoweh, Ambassador, Republic of Djibouti
- HE Mustapha Jawara, High Commissioner, the Republic of The Gambia
- HE Ahmed Sule, Ambassador, Nigeria High Commission
- HE Christopher E Okeke, Minister, Nigeria High Commission
- HE Abdalla Omer Bashir Elhusain, Ambassador, Sudan
- HE Anisa Kapufi Mbega, High Commissioner, The United Republic of Tanzania
- HE Kondi Mani, Charge d’ Affaires a. i., Togolese Republic
- HE Margaret L Kyogire, Deputy High Commissioner, Uganda High Commission
- HE Dr Godfrey Majoni Chipare, Ambassador, Republic of Zimbabwe
- Mr Jean Baptiste Gagre, Second Counselor, Burkina Faso
- Mr Theodore Dah, Minister Counsellor, Côte D’Ivoire
- Mr Leonardo Mola Laplata Mum, Counsellor, Republic of Equatorial Guinea
- Mr Errachid Alaoui Mrani, Minister Counsellor, Deputy Head of Mission, Kingdom of Morocco
- Mr Mehdi Boukourizia, First Secretary, Kingdom of Morocco
- Mr Moustapha Aboubacar Diori, First Secretary, Republic of Niger
- Dr PV Jayaraj, Managing Director, Tanzania
- Mr Balunywa Baker N, Education Attache, Uganda High Commission
The event focused on potential collaborations with distinguished delegates from Africa for exploring opportunities in the areas of education, research, and healthcare, with special emphasis on admissions and scholarships offered for undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs.
Along with these, PhD level collaborations in specific thematic areas with respect to sustainable development, social sciences, engineering, and management were showcased. The event also highlighted Amrita’s 100 fully-funded E4Life PhD scholarships for highly promising students, as well as tailored PhD programs for government officials that are planned to be offered at Amrita.
Amrita’s Dean of Life Sciences, Dr. Bipin Nair, delivered the welcome address, while Vice-Chancellor Dr. Venkat Rangan, Medical Director of Amrita Hospitals Dr. Prem Nair, and Provost Dr. Maneesha Vinodini Ramesh spoke about the various aspects of study and facilities Amrita offers. The Dean for Postgraduate Programs, Dr. Krishnashree Achuthan, gave the vote of thanks and the conference ended with a lively group photo session.