Ravinder Bishnoi (top left), Gladson Vaghela (top right), Vinisha Umashankar (bottom left) and Namya Joshi (bottom right) are among the five students who have made it to the shortlist.

5 Indian students make it to Global Student Prize 2023 shortlist

From a pool of 3,851 applications received from 122 countries, five students studying in India have been chosen among the top 50 finalists for the prestigious $100,000 Global Student Prize 2023.

The annual award goes to one exceptional student who has made a real impact on learning, the lives of their peers and on society beyond.

In the running from India this year will be: Namya Joshi, a 16-year-old student at Sat Paul Mittal School, Ludhiana, Punjab; Vinisha Umashankar, a 16-year-old student at SKP Vanitha International School, Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu; Gladson Vaghela, a 25-year-old medical student at Gujarat Medical Education and Research Society Medical College, Gandhinagar, Gujarat; Padmaksh Khandelwal, a 17-year-old computer science student at Sir Padampat Singhania School, Kota, Rajasthan; and Ravinder Bishnoi, a 20-year-old information technology student at Chandigarh Engineering College, Landran, Mohali, Punjab.

Chegg not only celebrates your achievements but also the endless possibilities that exist when young minds are driven by a passion for change, said Heather Hatlo Porter, Head of and Chief Communications Officer of Chegg.

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The top 50 Global Student Prize finalists deserve the opportunity to have their stories told and have their voices heard. Their dreams, wisdom, and inventive spirit will illuminate a more hopeful future for everyone, she said.

Joshi, acclaimed as the Top Tech Savvy Student in India and a global teacher at the age of 16, got hooked on Minecraft, realising that it can also be used as an education tool.

She went on to create a virtual library of lessons in Minecraft, now numbering around 500 which are available on her YouTube channel and website.

Umashankar is an artist, TEDx speaker, innovator, and environmentalist whose favourite subjects in school are math and science.

Her innovation journey of inventing the award-winning “Solar Ironing Cart” and a power-saving “Smart Ceiling Fan” began when she was 12 years old, and she has since participated in many science and innovation competitions, winning international, national, and state awards.

Vaghela is a medical student advocate for healthcare equity and accessibility for all, participating in healthcare outreach programs in underserved communities. He has helped produce a global mental healthcare service providers database for more than 150 countries worldwide and has also been serving as a Youth Advisor to YuWaah (Generation Unlimited) at UNICEF India.

Khandelwal works on student suicide prevention and also as an anti-poaching activist who launched the current homeschooling model of the Mogya Education Program for children through the support of NGO Tiger Watch.

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Bishnoi used his cyber cafe visits to learn about robotics, electronics, design, and other engineering areas and over the past decade has created many devices, developed robots, exoskeletons, portable water and air filters to help needy people.

The Varkey Foundation partnered with to launch the annual Global Student Prize in 2021 as a sister award to its annual USD 1 million Global Teacher Prize.

The intention was to create a new platform that shines a light on the efforts of extraordinary students everywhere. The prize is open to all students who are at least 16 years old and enrolled in an academic institution or training and skills program. Part-time students as well as students enrolled in online courses are also eligible for the prize.

As time runs out to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), it is more important than ever to prioritise education so we can face the future with confidence, said Sunny Varkey, the Kerala-born founder of the Varkey Foundation.

The top 10 finalists of this year’s Global Student Prize are expected to be announced by next month.

The winner, who will be announced later in the year, will be chosen from the top 10 finalists by the Global Student Prize Academy, made up of prominent individuals.

(With agency inputs)

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