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Sri Lankan student bags Gold Medal in Delhi-based South Asian University


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Colombo: Niroshika Sanjeewani Liyana Muhandiram, the only Sri Lankan national to have graduated from the New Delhi-based South Asian University (SAU) this year, has topped the Master of Laws program in the university, bagging a Gold Medal, a press release from SAU says.

Niroshika, who works for the Faculty of Law at the Open University of Sri Lanka, received the Gold Medal for her “outstanding academic performance in Legal Studies” at the third convocation of the SAU, held at the Pravasi Bhartiya Kendra, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi on 7 June.

SAU also awarded its first set of PhD Degrees, along with 10 MPhil and 160 Masters Degrees this year.

A total of 176 students were conferred Masters, MPhil and PhD Degrees in various programs that include Applied Mathematics, Biotechnology, Computer Science, Development Economics, International Relations, Legal Studies and Sociology. 7 program toppers were honoured with the SAU Gold Medal – one each from Bangladesh and Sri Lanka, and 5 from India.

Out of the total number of graduates, 21 were from Afghanistan, 17 from Bangladesh, 5 from Bhutan, 11 from Nepal, 5 from Pakistan and one from Sri Lanka and France while the rest 99 are from India.

Ten students will get their MPhil Degrees – two from Nepal, one from Bangladesh and 7 from India. For the first time since its inception, South Asian University handed out its PhD Degrees to 6 of its scholars - one each from Afghanistan and Bangladesh and 4 from India, representing various Departments and Faculties.

The convocation was presided over by Nepali Education, Science and Technology Minister Giriraj Mani Pokhrel. Among others who graced the occasion were Chief Guest ICCR President and Rajya Sabha Member Dr. Vinay Sahasrabuddhe and SAARC Secretary General Amjad Hussain B Sial.

Speaking on the occasion, Pokhrel said: “South Asia has a common enemy called poverty, and the young minds of the region should find ways and means to unleash the true potential of collective strength, to transform the region through rapid economic growth and defeat this common enemy.”

He further said as the current chair of the SAARC, Nepal would give full support and cooperation to the SAARC process and particularly to SAU, which he said was a dream of the visionaries of the region.

Dr Sahasrabuddhe reiterated the importance of the day, i.e., 7 June, as it was on this day Mahatma Gandhi resolved to fight injustice, when he was thrown off of the first class compartment of a train in South Africa.

Empowered youth of the region should fight for unity and harmony in the region, and SAU could be converted into a universal fraternity university, Sahasrabuddhe said.

SAU President Dr. Kavita Sharma congratulated the graduates and shared her hope for the region, as more and more young minds of the region are equipped with cutting-edge knowledge in the fields of Science and Social Sciences, in an inimitable environment of camaraderie.

“Co-operation among the students in South Asian University drawn from different parts of South Asia is nothing but inspiring,” Dr. Sharma said.

Mandated to inculcate a sense of regional consciousness among the young minds of the South Asia region, while imparting cutting-edge knowledge, South Asian University was established by the governments of the eight SAARC nations. The university took off in 2010 with two Masters Degree Programs. Today, SAU offers seven Masters and an equal number of Doctoral Programs.

SAARC Secretary General Amjad Hussain Sial said that with the knowledge and education that the graduates have acquired from the University will play an important role in the development of the South Asian countries and the region. He also thanked the Government of India for allocating a 100 acre land in New Delhi and its magnanimous contribution for constructing the permanent campus of the university.

The construction of the permanent campus of the South Asian University is going on in Maidan Garhi in New Delhi.


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