The University of Cambridge is unveiling a new initiative under which its admission staff will travel to India to conduct interviews so that applicants need not travel to Britain for that part of the admission process.
The initiative was announced as the university launched its version of the UK-India Year of Culture, which includes a large number of events and activities in India and Britain throughout the year that marks 70 years of India’s independence.
The initiative was somewhat marred by a recent row over senior Cambridge academic Priyamvada Gopal alleging censorship when its alumni magazine removed a reference to “Kashmir” in her contribution, “My wish for the next 50 years of independence”. The allegation was rejected by the university.
The university said vice-chancellor Leszek Borysiewicz is in New Delhi for a fundraising event at which he is expected to reconfirm Cambridge’s commitment to attract the brightest and best students from India.
From this year, university admissions staff will be travelling to India to visit schools and meet students face-to-face in Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. In autumn, a team of academics will visit India to conduct admissions interviews, the university said.
The centrepiece of Cambridge’s 2017 celebrations will be India Unboxed, a programme of exhibitions, events, digital engagement and installations organised by the University of Cambridge Museums and Botanic Garden. Rooted in the museum collections, the programme will explore themes of identity and connectivity for diverse audiences in the UK and India. A series of profiles – This Cambridge-Indian Life – will look at the people at the heart of the relationship between Cambridge and India: Indian scholars and students who study at Cambridge, Cambridge researchers working in collaborations based in India, and notable Indian alumni from the university.
Notable Indian alumni from Cambridge include:
– Prince Ranjitsinhji (Trinity College, 1888-1891): considered one of the greatest cricketers of all time who played for Sussex and England. In India, he did much to improve conditions in his home state of Nawanagar.
– Sir Dorabji Tata (Gonville and Caius College, 1877-1879): played a key role in the development of the Tata Group, especially in the steel and power sectors.
– Srinivasa Ramanujan (Trinity College, 1913-1918): largely self-taught mathematics genius. He was the second Indian to be elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society.
– Three Indian prime ministers: Jawaharlal Nehru (Trinity College, 1907-1910), India’s first prime minister; Rajiv Gandhi (Trinity College, 1961-1964); Dr Manmohan Singh (St John’s College 1955-1957).
– Harivansh Rai Bachchan (St Catharine’s College, 1955-1957): Hindi poet best known for his lyric poem Madhushala. – Amartya Sen (Trinity College, 1957-1963, 1998-2004): Nobel prize-winning economist. His reputation is based on studies of famine, human development theory and welfare economics. He plays a key role in the debate on globalisation.
– Lord Karan Bilimoria (Sidney Sussex College, 1985-1988): founder of Cobra Beer and founding chairman of the Indo British Partnership Network.
– Jayant Narlikar (Fitzwilliam House and King’s College, 1957-1972): co-developed the conformal gravity theory, commonly known as Hoyle–Narlikar theory, which synthesizes Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and Mach’s Principle.