The Consulate General of India (CGI) in Edinburgh in partnership with the Indian National Students Association (INSA) UK welcomed a new batch of Indian students who have recently enrolled at universities across Scotland and are embarking upon their academic life in the UK.
The Consul General of India, His Excellency Bijay Selvaraj, welcomed them at his office in the capital of Scotland and delivered an inspirational keynote address to welcome the students to Scotland.
He underlined the significance of adhering to safety standards and being responsible while in a foreign country. Extending a warm welcome to all, he assured the students of the Consulate General of India’s assistance in their time of need.
The theme of the evening was around ‘Unity in Diversity’, which was on full display as the students represented various states and languages of India. The event started with a brief introduction of INSA and their mission by Kishore Dattu, head of INSA North. He highlighted the work that INSA has undertaken to support Indian students in UK, the prominent role they had played during the pandemic, and encouraged people to get involved to help fellow students from the Indian community.
INSA has a central mission of creating a “home away from home" for new Indian students who arrived in the UK. The event brought together many INSA representatives and also students from various courses across leading Scottish universities.
Sakshi Jain, founding member of INSA chapter at University of Glasgow, shared her experience of being a member of INSA and how it has enabled her to help fellow Indian students at her university and fulfil INSA’s crucial motto of contributing back to the Indian community.
Chief guest Councillor Robert Aldridge, the Right Honourable Lord Provost of the City of Edinburgh stressed that Edinburgh is open to international students. He shared how he had something in common with all the students present in the hall since he was once an international student. He emphasised the importance of having a support network and suggested more students must get involved with INSA. He also shed light on Scotland’s and India’s common heritage and the link between India and Edinburgh.
Karan Patil gave a stirring speech to the students: “Work towards creating a solution for a social problem. Make sure your solution reaches the entire world.”
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“I believe that a diverse classroom, a classroom which has students from all nationalities enriches both research and education”, said Professor Pankaj, whose words also resonated deeply with the gathering. He shared valuable insights into India and Scotland's continued partnership to improve education, culture, and industry ties.
Puneet Dwivedi offered the vote of thanks and expressed his gratitude to the Consulate General of India and all the dignitaries who shared their valuable insights and experience with the newly arrived Indian students.
The students then had the opportunity to network and enjoy a delicious Indian meal – in true home away from home spirit.
by Sakshi Jain
Sakshi Jain is an Indian National Students Association (INSA) UK Scotland member and a founding-member of the INSA Chapter at the University of Glasgow, Scotland. Sakshi works as a Developer with Barclay’s after completing her Master’s from the University of Glasgow.