The sixth annual The Free Press Journal Management Scholarships and the second annual Higher Education Forum Scholarships were awarded to the deserving winners on December 9. Shraddha Kamdar reports
“Educationists should build the capacities of the spirit of inquiry, creativity, entrepreneurial and moral leadership among students and become their role model.” India’s first Education Minister, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad said this in the spirit of fostering ties many decades ago, but it could not ring more true today. Establishing The Free Press Journal Management Scholarships six years ago in association with Higher Education Forum (HEF) was a small effort by The Free Press Group as part of its CSR activity to help make that change for at least 10 deserving students who the scholarship was awarded to. In the same spirit, the HEF also established the HEF scholarship last year, to provide financial impetus to the five motivated students.
Every year, the scholarships are awarded to the winner’s in celebration of National Education Day, which falls on Maulana’s birthday. This year, they were presented to the winners on December 9, 2015 at ITM Business School in Kharghar, Navi Mumbai. A total of 15 awards: 10 for the Free Press Journal Management Scholarships and five for the Higher Education Forum Scholarships were given away.
“Students need encouragement in both financial and non financial forms,” said Dr. A. K. Sen Gupta, Founder and Convener of HEF, on the occasion, in true spirit of Maulana. “We have grown every year with this scholarship, and this year I am proud to announce that we have established a ‘Student of the Year Award’ to the student who scores highest in the evaluation process,” he added. The motivation for this award was derived by the performance of a student application, Sonia Sachdev, at the scholarship interview. Sachdev, a student of C. K. Shah Vijapurwala Institute of Management, Vadodara, scored a whopping 84 on 100 in her interview, a score, D. Sen Gupta said was unparalleled. “This kind of a person comes by very rarely, and she should be appreciated,” he added.
Master of ceremonies and a senior member of HEF Ranjeev Manrao announced the event open by introducing the dignitaries and requesting them to light the ceremonial lamp. Dr. Lakshmi Mohan, Dy. Director & Campus Head – ITM Kharghar, delivered the welcome address, saying, “Excellence is not an art, but a habit. We are, therefore, what we repeatedly do.” She took the metaphor of the lighting of the lamp forward, saying that each lamp can then in turn light many other lamps. In a similar manner, one educated person can then provide impetus to many others.
Guest of Honour, Venkateswaran Subramanian, General Manager of The Free Press Journal, addressed the winners by conveying his regards and best wishes for the future, wishing them every success to achieve their vision in life. “Education is a systematic approach to learn something with modern technology to find solutions to not only business problems but also day to day problems. By encouraging students in this manner, we are building future generations in a better way, where they can represent their ideas freely,” he said.
Noted management guru and teacher Prof. Sharu Rangnekar addressed the audience in his inimitable and humourous style, mocking all those who write off the country as hopeless and providing examples to the contrary. He reminisced about meeting Gandhi at a young age, and told the students that “success is not about knowing more, but about acquiring education and enthusiasm”. He mentioned the Sanskrit definition of education which is “Education is that which frees you from the bindings and the shackles that you have created for yourself” and talked of ways to be liberated from these bindings.
Dr. Sanjay Muthal, head of RGF Management Search, and senior HEF member, regaled the audience with anecdotes, passing on his message in a digestable manner. “When you celebrate something, it is also a time to take a pause and look into the mirror and ask whether this is the end or is this the beginning of something new? And that is why it is extremely important in building solid foundation in becoming good human beings.” He added that, “We are very fortunate that we are born in this part of the world, where respect for education is the basic ethos of our lives.” He also mentioned that the outlook that education should lead to an outcome should change, and should be looked upon as a process. “Invest in yourself by creating an abundance mindset for yourself. You have to go out there and tell yourself that you are as good as anyone else,” he said.
Towards the end of the ceremony, Dr. Sen Gupta provided a different economic perspective to the students present in the audience. He presented the global scenario vis-a-vis business, and talked of current trends in global GDP and productivity and linked it to work prospects for future management graduates. He also talked of three serious problems that need immediate attention in the country – poverty, education and health care.
Prof. Vikram Parekh, a senior member of HEF proposed the vote of thanks. The event was attended by a hundred around a hundred delegates comprising awardees, their family members, faculty members from different institutes, students, and other members of HEF.