UPES’ Project Protsaahan Supports Underprivileged Meritorious Students

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According to IBEF reports, the education market in India is expected to grow to USD 225 billion by 2025. India’s education industry will see a transformation in the coming years owing to the adoption of the Education 4.0 movement, which encourages inclusive education and improved employability. Nevertheless, the educational system still has a significant amount of room for growth and progress. Access to India’s higher education by students from low-income homes is still a prevailing factor in the system. This can be attributed to a variety of problems, such as their inability to obtain reading and writing resources due to cost, their inability to keep up with rising tuition costs, and more.

Accessible, affordable, quality education for all is the need of the hour, and government and universities must work together towards making it possible. While the National Education Policy suggested a greater focus on inclusion, it is crucial for all universities and industry players to adopt an approach that includes targeted initiatives to bridge the gaps within the sector.

Focusing on higher education, UPES has launched various scholarship programmes like girls’ scholarships to encourage more girls to continue with their studies, freeships for the underprivileged, and sports scholarships.

Research suggests that one of the major reasons for students opting out of higher education is the lack of funds. Scholarships and financial assistance are one of the most effective ways to encourage students to pursue higher studies. Nowadays, several universities have been coming forward to provide students, including the ones from the underprivileged sector with financial aid and assistance via scholarship programmes and CSR initiatives. In order to support the well-being of the communities, UPES has various initiatives catering to education, health, safety, and women’s empowerment. Focusing on higher education, UPES has launched various scholarship programmes like girls’ scholarships to encourage more girls to continue with their studies, freeships for the underprivileged, and sports scholarships.

With the vision of ensuring education for all, Project Protsaahan was launched in 2018. Elaborating on the initiative, Dr Sunil Rai, Vice Chancellor, UPES said, “The project supports underprivileged meritorious students from the Purkal Youth Development Society, by providing admissions to any of the programmes in UPES, taking care of the complete fees of the students, providing a stipend during internships, a faculty to mentor and monitor academic and co-curricular progress, and a member from the Career Services team to assist in internships and placements.”

Aayushi Verma, a student under this programme, pursued her high-education dreams by way of a 100 per cent scholarship. Aayushi would dream of having a successful career until 2016 when her father had a paralytic attack. Amidst all the chaos in life, the dreamer in her was diminishing. She then came across the 100 per cent scholarship programme at UPES in association with PYDS. With a never-give-up attitude, she bagged the scholarship and enrolled on the BBA programme at UPES. She interned at Bajaj Health Insurance and is working towards getting into an Ivy League College in the US.

Similarly, Priyanka Bhatt joined UPES through the programme and pursued B.Tech in Electronic and Communication Engineering. She received a 100 per cent scholarship and has got placed at Silicon Labs with an annual package of Rs 21 Lakhs.

UPES has been helping PYDS students through focused mentorship and financial assistance. UPES has been providing holistic care and education to at least two high-potential children from underprivileged families of Uttarakhand, especially villages around the Dehradun district every year.

“UPES believes that the best way to give everyone the power to improve their well-being, status, and place in society while also laying the groundwork for their holistic growth and development is to provide education at all levels. The University has long been at the forefront of giving back to society, particularly to Uttarakhand. Hence, as the ‘University of Tomorrow’, UPES continues to uphold its commitment and plans to put Project Protsahaan in force till the academic year 2028-29,” added Dr Rai.

Overall, a total of 15 students have been a part of this initiative to date. Under this initiative, students who qualify for the UPES Entrance Examination can opt for a variety of courses that include all programmes of B.Tech., Integrated LLB, BBA and B. Design. In terms of financial assistance, the PYDS students are being provided with free-of-cost education. The Institute provides for all costs including academic and tuition fees, hostel charges, uniforms, laptops, one-time charges, refundable security and more during the entire tenure of the course. Further, to ensure requisite guidance and monitoring, a faculty member from the UPES Societal Responsibility Team undertakes the role of mentor as Campus GURU for these students for each batch.