KUALA LUMPUR: Fifty-five Malaysian students of Indian origin, on Friday, received a total of RM300,000 worth of financial assistance under the Indian Scholarship and Trust Fund (ISTF) for the 2019-2020 academic year.
The High Commissioner of India to Malaysia, Mridul Kumar, said the scholarship is proof of India and Malaysia’s steadfast bilateral ties in all aspects.
“Our engagement with Malaysia is very strong, (and) strategic all through these years. We have come here to celebrate commonalities and the kind of mutual respect that the two countries have,“ he told reporters after the felicitation ceremony, here.
Mridul Kumar said nearly 800 students have benefited from the scholarship in the last 13 years, with almost RM2.5 million disbursed.
The ISTF, established in 1954, had received grants from different Prime Ministers of India.
In 1946, some funds were given by the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, to benefit and assist Malaysian Indians after World War II. The money left over from those funds formed the seed money of the ISTF collection.
“These generous grants that our leadership has provided was in recognition of the deep connection that our Malaysian Indians have with our country, India,“ he said, adding that the High Commission received 400 applications.
Meanwhile, Haarris Gunajakaran, 20, from Johor, is cheerful as he received the certificate and cheque today.
The Allied Aeronautics Training Centre student, who has no close family members alive (dad passed away 10 years ago, mother and brother both passed away about a year ago), said the scholarship would relieve some of his financial burden.
“I am grateful and honoured to receive this. To finance my studies, I work part-time. I’m also in the midst of applying for a loan to pay for my studies,“ he said.
Suviitha Danaselvam, 19, who is studying accountancy at the University of Malaya, thanked her uncle for pushing her to apply for the scholarship.
“I didn’t expect this. I’m so happy and this will definitely help me very much,“ she said. — Bernama