Second batch of the Franco-Indian Education Trust scholarship awardees

Mrs Dana Purcarescu, Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of France in India felicitates the second batch of the Franco-Indian Education Trust scholarship awardees.

New Delhi, 22 August 2019

Mrs Dana Purcarescu, the Chargé d’affaires a.i., along with Mr Tony Berland, CEO and MD, and other representatives of Legrand India, Dr Gun Nidhi Dalmia from the Dalmia Group, Dr Kazem Samandari, founding member of l’Opéra, today felicitated the scholarship awardees of the Franco-Indian Education Trust at the Residence of France in India.

The students will travel shortly to France and join others scholarship holders who have already settled in Paris, Toulouse, Lille and other French higher education hubs. This is the second batch of students travelling to France, under the umbrella of the Franco-Indian Education Trust, which received funding from Legrand India, Dr Gun Nidhi Dalmia and Dr Kazem Samandari.

Eighteen students have been awarded scholarships for 2019-20 batch under the Legrand Group’s innovative CSR initiative, the ‘UGAM Legrand Scholarship’, to promote quality higher education in France for Indian students. Academic excellence coupled with students’ social and economic situations were bases for selecting these awardees. A French global specialist for electrical and digital infrastructure, Legrand India is extending financial aid to these students to give them access to quality education in management and engineering. In total, the Legrand initiative has enabled the funding of more than 30 students over two years.

Five others have been awarded scholarships under the Amba Dalmia programme, which was set up by the Trust and funded by a grant of 25 lakh rupees from Dr Gun Nidhi Dalmia for Indian women pursuing studies in music, theatre, sports, arts, cinema, ballet, opera, philosophy, gastronomy, design, painting or photography in France. Dr Dalmia’s donation to the Trust for the second successive year will enable these young women to pursue programmes at various reputed French institutions such as Gobelins – L’école de l’image, Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts et Techniques du Théâtre (ENSATT), Esmod, etc.

Under the Bahman Samandari programme, set up by the Trust and funded by Dr Kazem Samandari, one scholar will have the opportunity to study gastronomy at Ecole Ferrières.

During the event, Mr Tony Berland said, “Education is a key aspect in everyone’s life and at Legrand, we are taking initiatives to nurture the talents in society. With this scholarship programme, Legrand aims to promote quality education among deserving Indian students to pursue their Masters in France, which will give them a life-changing opportunity and help them to be tomorrow’s budding leaders. As per our global CSR strategy, we are happy to initiate this Scholarship Programme which has enabled us to create awareness about the importance of quality education, support aspiring students to be successful individuals and contribute to nation building.” He further added, “Legrand India has been actively contributing to the development of the communities through different CSR initiatives. As a responsible brand, we will continue to actively contribute towards the betterment of our society.”

Prior to the occasion, Dr Dalmia remarked, “I wish these young ladies a great experience in France and hope they will come back to India with new ideas. I hope they will inspire many Indian students to go to France and study art, design, gastronomy and other lesser known fields. France has much to offer and should be a major student destination for Indians, who need not look only at Anglophone countries. It has been a cherished desire of mine, since the days I myself was a student at the Sorbonne many years ago, to see more Indian students choose France."

During the event, Dr Samandari shared, “My late brother, Bahman Samandari, in whose name this scholarship has been awarded, was deeply convinced of the transforming power of education and profoundly committed to it. The young generations in India and France are the standard -bearers of two millennial civilisations which have much in common but also much to learn from each other. It is our family’s hope that through the acquisition and exercise of culinary arts by the awardee, the people of these two countries will come closer to each other.”

Welcoming these contributions, DCM and Chargé d’affaires, Mrs Dana Purcarescu said, “Having reached the target of 10,000 Indian students pursuing their higher education in France’s globally renowned institutions this year, we are now aiming at doubling this figure over the next five years. The second batch of 24 scholarship holders going to France – thanks to our generous donors’ funding – confirms that private benefactors are willing to promote academic mobility between France and India. I deeply appreciate these sponsorships, which will change the future of these young people, and hope that this will inspire others to support the Franco-Indian Education Trust.”

Commending the sponsorship, Founder-Trustee Mr Prshant K Lahoti said, “I am delighted to see the Franco-Indian Education Trust really coming alive with this second batch of students. Thanks to the first donation of Mr Samandari, the second donation from Dr Dalmia and the Legrand Group, the destiny of these 24 students will be changed. Helping Indian students aspiring to study in France’s excellent institutions has long been close to my heart. Through student scholarships and supporting exchanges between professors and researchers, the Trust will create ambassadors who will strengthen ties between both countries.”

The Franco-Indian Education Trust

Established on 31st August 2017, the Franco-Indian Education Trust is a not-for-profit organization based in Hyderabad. A joint initiative of the Embassy of France in India and Mr Prshant K Lahoti, Managing Trustee of Krishnakriti Foundation and co-founder of Kalakriti India, the Franco-Indian Education Trust endeavours to increase student and expert exchanges between India and France. It was unveiled at the Knowledge Summit held in March 2018 during the State visit of President Emmanuel Macron to India.

Offering top quality education and scientific facilities at reasonable fees, France ranks fourth globally among countries welcoming the highest number of foreign students, yet has only 10,000 students from India. The French government currently invests 1 million euros (7 crores rupees) in over 500 scholarships per year in India. The Trust aims at doubling the number of scholarships that France gives every year to Indian students.

The Trust charges no administrative costs to ensure that the full benefit of donations go to the scholarship awardees, who will be selected through calls for projects. The selection process will be conducted by the Institut Français en Inde (French Institute in India) based on academic excellence and social background as well as the quality of the projects. The final candidates will be selected by the sponsors.

The Franco-Indian Education Trust can offer tailor-made programmes such as the Amba Dalmia and Bahman Samandari scholarships as well as the Legrand scheme which have helped over 40 students to realize their dream of pursuing higher studies in France in the last 2 years. The Legrand Group scheme is the first programme of the Franco-Education Trust, which has been financed by a company. It has earned the appreciation of the Embassy of France for its efforts to boost student mobility between France and India for a second time. It also includes sponsorships for Masters, PhD, internship and short-term programmes (2-3 weeks) for scientists and young professionals.

Last modified on 23/09/2019

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