Paytm founder to offer scholarship to two Indian students yearly to pursue research at LMSAI at Harvard University – education

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Paytm on Monday said its founder, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, will offer scholarship to two Indian students yearly to pursue research at the Lakshmi Mittal and Circle of relatives South Asia Institute (LMSAI) at Harvard University.

“By enabling scholars from South Asia to work in a cross-disciplinary fashion with faculty, researchers, and students across Harvard on critical questions and issues related to the region, Sharma’s gift will significantly support the goals of the Institute to deepen the teaching and research on remarkable cultural and global issues related to South Asia,” a commentary said.

The “gift” from Sharma will give a boost to the activities and research performed by LMSAI, it added.

University Provost Alan Garber said “through his (Sharma’s) generosity, he has affirmed our shared commitment to advancing cross-disciplinary research and learning in our interconnected world. His vision for a more collaborative future has never been timelier. We are proud to partner with him,” Garber added.

Vice Provost for International Matters Mark Elliott said further expanding Harvard’s work and partnerships in India is a major precedence for the University.

“This fund, which will supply leading South Asian scholars in all fields with new opportunities to pursue their research at Harvard, will bring benefits to them and their home institutions in addition to to the Harvard community.

“In this way, this new program will do much to improve and broaden the kinds of academic connections we depend upon to help deepen our engagement with South Asian partners and to advance our academic mission globally,” he added.

Sharma, who founded Paytm in August 2010, has played an instrumental role in developing the mobile payments and digital financial products and services ecosystem in India. Paytm counts Alibaba, Ant Group, Softbank and Berkshire Hathaway as its shareholders.

“I imagine that good education can change an individual’s life in the most profound ways. My father, who used to be a teacher, believed that the world will also be positively changed through education. His teachings are my inspiration to make this contribution to Harvard University,” Sharma said.

He added that Harvard’s integrity, diversity, and commitment to excellence are exemplary.

“I’m hoping this gift will help future leaders attain the global vision that would help in transforming the lives of millions for the better in India and beyond,” Sharma said.

Tarun Khanna, Director of LMSAI and Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at the Harvard Commerce School, said the number of interdisciplinary programs and fellowships offered at the Mittal Institute continue to increase, welcoming scholars of South Asia to share their research and partner with Harvard’s faculty and students.

“Thanks to Vijay’s generosity, we move closer to a critical mass of diverse perspectives and ideas at the Institute that deepen the world’s understanding of South Asia, from all disciplines and angles,” he added.

Every year, the Mittal Institute supports the research endeavours of a large number of scholars from South Asia, providing them with opportunities to interact with Harvard’s faculty, students, and larger community for knowledge-sharing and the potential formation of new research partnerships.

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