Editorial Team

The British Council is delighted to announce the 9 finalists for the ‘Study UK Alumni Awards 2021’ in India. The nine finalists were selected from more than 1,300 applicants from around the world, for their outstanding achievements as business professionals, entrepreneurs and community leaders, and for their important contribution to strengthening collaborative ties between the UK and India. University of Dundee alumni, Asish Dash, is also amongst the 9 finalists announced by the British Council. Asish is currently the CEO of Sustainable Mining Initiative and Joint Secretary General at FIMI.

The prestigious international award celebrates UK higher education and the achievements of UK alumni all over the world. Now in its seventh year, international UK alumni applied from more than 114 countries, representing more than 148 UK higher education institutions across the UK. The three award winners will be announced and celebrated virtually, online ceremony on Friday 26 March 2021.

Barbara Wickham OBE, Director India, British Council, said: “The remarkable individuals selected as finalists for the Study UK Alumni Awards in 2021 have all taken their UK education as a starting point to excel in their chosen careers and shape the world around them. This year’s finalists are testimony not only to the diversity of UK alumni and their endeavours, but also to the transformative impact of a UK education.”

The finalists of the Professional Achievement Award, which recognises alumni who have distinguished themselves through exemplary leadership in their professional field, are:

  • Asish Dash – graduate of University of Dundee, also a commonwealth scholar.

Asish is CEO of Sustainable Mining Initiative and Joint Secretary General at FIMI. His work with industry and Government has led to standardization and wider implementation of sustainability in Indian mining sector, thus improving sector performance.

  • Urvashi Prasad – graduate of London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of Cambridge and University of Birmingham.

Urvashi Prasad is the policy specialist responsible for health, nutrition, water, sanitation and gender in the Office of the Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, Government of India’s premier think tank.

Urvashi contributed to 3 pathbreaking legislations in medical education and worked with the Chairman of the National Task Force on Covid Management.

  • Abhijit Singh – graduate of University of Greenwich

Dr Abhijit Singh, an accomplished maritime professional and passionate educationist with multifaceted work experience in shipping, on-shore and as well “at sea”. A result-oriented decisive leader, a change agent, with proven success in conceptualizing ideas and strategic planning. Presently, he is holding the post of Executive Director, Indian Ports Association (IPA), an apex body formed by the Major Ports of India under administrative control of Government of India (GoI) and think tank to Ministry of Ports, Shipping(MoS) & Waterways, and rightly hailed as center of excellence for maritime related matters.

The finalists of the Social Impact Award, which acknowledges alumni who have made an exceptional contribution to creating positive social change, are:

  • Devika Singh – graduate of King’s College London, , also a commonwealth scholar.

Devika is a leading legal expert and advised the Indian Government on implementation of sexual harassment & maternity laws. As co-founder-Cohere Consultants, Devika has trained 16,000+ employers, employees, students, lawyers, police, labor officers & NGO’s and advised on 2,200+ PoSH cases. She is also a guest faculty at the CBI Academy & National Labour Institute, Devika hopes next to train judicial officers and keep promoting gender sensitive workplaces through legal and social change.

  • Harichandana Dasari– graduate of London School of Economics and Political Science

Currently working as the Collector and District Magistrate of Narayanpet District of Telangana. Armed with an MSc in Global Policy from London School of Economics and Political Science and later as an officer of Indian Administrative Service, he initiated many policies and programmes for the benefit of poor people in his various postings. Few notable programmes and policies are – Recycling Efforts in city of Hyderabad, Drone base spraying and spying to protect the lakes in urban areas, Pet friendly Parks, Heritage restoration, Robotic drainage and Feed the Need.

  • Dev Aditya – graduate of Brunel University London                         

Dev Aditya is up-skilling unserved learners to make them employable in 8 countries globally with over 25,000 learners in India alone. He works with governments in India, Afghanistan, and several international humanitarian organisations including UN camps through his social education firm Otermans Institute and he has received several national and international awards for his work which include the Points of Light award from the UK Prime Minister in January 2021, being named as a 30 under 30 India for social entrepreneurship, Under 30 Global Innovator by Innovate UK, Alumni of the Year of Brunel University London 2020.

The finalists of the Entrepreneurial Award, which highlights alumni who have played a leading role in innovation, are:

  • Neha Chauhan – graduate of Cranfield University and University of Liverpool

An Engineer with a passion for taking seemingly complex problems and forming unique solutions intended to serve and delight the end user,  she enrolled  for  an  M.Sc  by Research in Aerospace  Propulsion  (Thermal Power) at Cranfield University, U.K, it gave her a chance to work on different amazing industrial projects one of them was NASA funded project for building an Electric commercial aircraft and futuristic Propulsion systems. During this time she got an opportunity to lead Cranfield University’s biggest technology symposium, she learnt a lot about team leading, management and much more and hence created a fire inside her to be an entrepreneur and bring innovation and make a difference. She won the best Indian start-up award from 143 countries amongst 20,000 participants in Dubai Annual Investment meet conference AIM Congress 2019. She has been Invited in the Next global Aviation Summit, as a special Invitee.

  • Reeti Roy – graduate of London School of Economics and Political Science

Reeti Roy is the Founder and CEO of Aglet Ink, a bootstrapped creative content services firm that has helped over 10,000 people in India, through direct and indirect resources and In 2019, Reeti was named one of 19 Women of Worth by Outlook Business Magazine, while Aglet Ink has been hailed one of 10 innovative start-ups to watch out for by CXO Outlook Magazine in 2021. Reeti is also a beneficiary of certification and training provided by Empretec India and United Nations Conference on Trade and development (UNCTAD), which was funded by the West Bengal State Government (IBAC).

  • Janki Rajapurkar Deole–graduate of Loughborough University, Staffordshire University and Middlesex University

Dr. Janki was the first Indian To pursue a professional degree from the UK in the field of sport psychology in 2005. Today, Dr. Janki R Deole holds a PhD, MSc & a BSc in Psychology from the UK (with a specialization in sport, exercise & performance). She is the highest qualified sport psychologist in the country and her contribution has been key in the advancement of sport & performance psychology in India. Dr. Janki has co-founded Samiksha Sports PvtLtd,which is a pioneer in the field of sport psychology in India. It is the first and the most trusted consultancy services in India In the field.

This is the first time the Alumni Awards is being hosted virtually in India, being the seventh country to host the awards this year. This event will be followed by awarding ceremonies in further countries including Mauritius and Saudi Arabia.

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