– Kabir Sharma
The youth visionary awards, an initiative of the India Habitat Centre and National Geographic Channel have been recognizing and encouraging the thinking youth of India over the last few years. This year, Vishes Kothari of 1 year Physics Honors, St. Stephenâ€™s College bagged the laurel, inclusive of an all expense paid summer program at the Cambridge University, UK; making both the college and the University proud.
The first and second runners up were Sayan Ganguly of IIT Madras, Chennai and Rahul Saikia from St. Edmundâ€™s College, Shilong, respectively. They got the unique opportunity of doing an internship with National Geographic Channel.
â€œWe are proud to have successfully come through with this initiative once again. The Habitat Young Visionary Award is a conscious effort to initiate a process wherein young minds while engaged in the pursuit of academic excellence, need to dwell on the concerns of the country as a part of their perspective. With our partners, National Geographic Channel, we look forward to encourage the youth to initiate the thought process for the change they can lead for a better societyâ€?, Raj Liberhan, Director, India Habitat Centre.
â€œAt National Geographic Channel, it is our constant endeavour to stimulate the intellect of our viewers and encourage them to â€˜Think againâ€™ about the world we live in through smart, innovative and relevant programming. Through this unique effort of the India Habitat Centre, and our partnership with them, we want to reach out to the youth, which is the think tank for our future and inspire a spirit of creativity and innovative thinkingâ€?. Nikhil Mirchandani, Managing Director, National Geographic Channel – South Asia
The finale of the event, which took place on January 30th at the India Habitat Centre, comprised of five finalists presenting their views on the given topic â€˜My Journey to the Parliament through the Classroomâ€™ to a distinguished set of judges. All five finalists commented on the sorry state of education in the country which sidelines creativity and originality and is not in agreement with the present social and marketplace demands.
Leading to this finale were two stages of elimination; a 1500 word essay on a specified topic and a semifinal round which required contestants to explain and defend their view points.
Obviously excited and overwhelmed by his achievement, Vishes commented,â€?This is an honor and I am looking forward to the summer programme at the Cambridge University, which will undoubtedly help me to expand my thought horizons. I am thankful to the India Habitat Centre and National Geographic Channel that I got this opportunity to express my thoughts and exchange views with others of my generationâ€?
Such awards initiate the youth into thinking productively and differently in order to tackle the obstacles that emerge as the future becomes the present and share these visions with the experts as well as the public of India.
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