The world-famous venues, the House of Commons and Madame Tussauds London, played host to a high-profile delegation of Indian heads of educational institutions, UK and Indian VIPs, business leaders, society lynchpins and public figures. The pioneering event, is powered by Lavasa Corporation Limited, a subsidiary of HCC (Hindustan Construction Company), showcased India’s prowess as a global-leader in educational attainment as well as demonstrating the country’s vast potential as a hub of learning and development.
The initiative marked the first international education convocation of its kind in London to profile some of India’s most established and respected educational institutions, and positioned India’s plethora of fine colleges and universities on an international platform, enhancing the country as a destination of choice by the global student fraternity.
The esteemed proceedings began at the House of Commons with an afternoon presentation of certificates ceremony to 20 of India’s top educational institutions. The certificate presentation was by Mr Bob Blackman MP, the Conservative MP for Harrow East and a member of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee and Backbench Business Committee.
Certificates and awards were presented to the following renowned Indian universities:
- AIMS Institutes, presented to Dr Kerron G Reddy, CEO, AIMS Institutes and Dr. Gopal G Reddy, Director AIMS Institutes.
- Ansal University, presented to Sheetal Pranav Ansal, Trustee – Ansal University.
- Apeejay Education Society & Apeejay Stya University, presented to Sushma Paul Berlia, Co-Promoter and President, Apeejay Stya & Svran Group, Co-Founder and Chancellor Apeejay Stya University, President Apeejay Education Society
- Ecole Hoteliere Lavasa, presented to Mr Rajiv Duggal, Senior Vice President – Tourism, Hospitality & SPV’s – Lavasa Corporation Limited
- FORE School of Management, presented to Dr Jitendra K. Das, Director, FORE School of Management
- G D Goenka University, presented to Prof Dr Raj Singh, Vice-Chancellor G D Goenka University
- Goa Institute of Management, presented to Dr Ajit Arun Parulekar, Professor Marketing, Asst. Dean Health Care Management
- Great Lakes Institute of Management, presented to Prof S Sriram, Executive Director and Dr. Vaidy Jayaraman, Associate Dean, Great Lakes Institute of Management.
- ICFAI University, presented to Mr Sudhakar Rao, Director, ICFAI Group
- IMT-CDL, Ghaziabad – Mr. Rajiv Tandon, CEO, IMT-CDL, Ghaziabad
- ITM University, Gwalior, presented to Prof Yogesh Upadhyay, Vice Chancellor ITM University Gwalior
- JIS Group Educational Initiatives, presented to Mr Taranjit Singh, Managing Director JIS Group
- Manipal University, presented to Dr Prabhu Gopalakrishna Karkala, Registrar, Manipal University
- RV College of Engineering, presented to Prof BS Satyanarayanan, Principal, RVCE
- SR Group of Institutions, presented to Dr Ashish K Mukhopadhyay, Group Director, SR Group of Institutions
- Shoolini University, presented to Mr. Vishal Anand, Founder Trustee – Shoolini University
- Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, Retd Brig Dr PK Saxena, Registrar, VIPS
- Whistling Woods International, presented to Ms Meghna Ghai Puri, President, Whistling Woods International and Mr. Rahul Puri, Head of Academics, Whistling Woods International.
- XLRI – Xavier School of Management, presented to Dr Pranabesh Ray, Dean – Academics
- Yenepoya University, presented to Dr. Ravi Vaswani, Professor & Head, Department of Internal Medicine – Yenepoya Medical College, Former Registrar – Yenepoya University
The certificates presentation was followed by a glittering dinner reception at London’s renowned Madame Tussauds. The awards presentation once again acknowledged the 20 leading Indian educational institutions, as well as honouring six of the UK’s most enterprising, innovative and successful business leaders and public office dignitaries, who have all played their part in promoting relations between the two countries. The six honourees from the UK included:
- Mr Sarosh Zaiwalla, Founder and Senior Partner, Zaiwalla & Co Solicitors, who was presented the Global Leader Award for International Law.
- Dr Richie Nanda, Global Chairman of TOPSGRUP and The Shield Group, who was presented the Global Leader Award for Entrepreneurship.
- Dr Rami Ranger MBE, Chairman of Sun Mark Ltd and Sea, Air & Land Forwarding Ltd, was honoured with the Apeejay Dr. Stya Paul Global Leader Award for International Trade & Enterprise.
- Lord Navnit Dholakia OBE, was presented the Global Leader Award for Education.
- Rt Hon Keith Vaz, MP for Leicester East & Chairman, Home Affairs Select Committee, received the Global Leader Award for Public Affairs
- Rt Hon Lord Swraj Paul of Marylebone, Chairman of Caparo Group, was presented with the coveted Lifetime Achievement.
The initiative was also attended by several Indian and British high profile dignitaries, public figures, leaders from the education and business sector, billionaires, and celebrities including: Deputy Indian High Commissioner Mr. Virander Paul, Mark Pritchard MP, The Rt. Hon Baroness Sandeep Verma, Minister for Energy & Climate Change, Commodore Sandeep Beecha, Dame Asha Khemka, principal and chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College, The Rt Hon. the Baroness Prashar CBE, Deputy Chair of British Council, Indian film stars Upen Patel and Amy Jackson, former Transport Minister for London, Kulveer Ranger to name but a few.
SkillTree Knowledge Consortium is an organisation engaged in higher education advisory and consultation, spreading knowledge and sharing ideas through research and publication. It now aims to use its expertise to draw global attention to India’s thriving educational sector, whilst also discussing the improvements it needs to make to draw more students globally. SkillTree is India’s first for-profit social enterprise in the education sector with multiple platforms and engagements, and is steered by professionals with core expertise in educational leadership. ‘Great Place to Study’ is an international academic auditing and research wing at SkillTree. It studies, recognises and creates great institutes of international standard. Great Place to Study’s annual recognition is India’s only international award platform for education institutions.
Mr Shekhar A Bhattacharjee, Founder, SkillTree Knowledge Consortium, commented: “Nine months ago my team and I came up with this idea that we must go global, and here we are. India is a great destination with great institutions; India’s higher education system has witnessed tremendous growth in recent times. The teaching techniques and the quality of learning have been transformed and taken to new heights. ‘SkillTree Great Place to Study – India Edition’ showcases 20 institutions in the country which have great global practices. Every year we will be highlighting 20 universities across the country.”
Ms Arvina Purkayastha, COO & Editor, SkillTree Knowledge Consortium and Editor, Great Place to Study, added: “SkillTree Knowledge Consortium is a pioneering initiative, which has been specifically established to promote the finest Indian universities and colleges to a global audience. We have some of the best educational establishments in the world and we are very proud to showcase 20 of them here tonight. I also want to thank Shekhar Bhattacharjee for all his relentless support, dynamism and vision in making this SkillTree initiative possible.”
Speaking earlier at House of Commons, Mr Blackman, Conservative MP for Harrow East and a member of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee and Backbench Business Committee, said: “I represent the Harrow constituency, where a large number of my constituents are from India, particularly from the state of Gujarat. As we have this program today, my colleagues in the House of Commons are currently discussing student visas; I am sure there will be a statement made on this very soon. We do need to ensure that we get some improvements on this because Britain is not the most popular place to go for Indian students, it is now the USA. I think given the history and the links we have with India that is regrettable.
“India is a very young country in terms of its development of young people. But in this country we have stayed still for too long. The degree in the UK takes three years; why not have degree courses that could be done in two years? I think that the friendship and the relationship between India and the UK are strong and growing. We can achieve so much as friends and people that can participate and work together. I am not only looking forward to giving out prizes today but hearing from the award winners on what they are doing.”