Upakar scholarship

The Upakar Foundation has set up a new scholarship named after Bob and Mani Narasimhan. (Upakar Foundation provided photo)

The Upakar Foundation June 20 announced the creation of the Bob and Mani Narasimhan Scholarship, a new scholarship for Indian American students pursuing undergraduate studies.

The scholar will be chosen by Upakar Foundation based on academic excellence and financial need. The scholar will receive $8,000 over four years, if academic excellence is maintained in higher education, according to a news release.

Bob and Mani Narasimhan believed strongly in the importance of education. Bob studied at Banaras Hindu University, McGill University and the Indian Institute of Science.

Mani was a teacher and became vice principal of the Naval School in Chanakyapuri in New Delhi.

They encouraged their children, Shekar and Chitra, to study, and so both were educated at premier institutions in India, the release said.

In creating this scholarship, Chitra Krishnamurti and Shekar Narasimhan said: “Bob and Mani loved to travel and taught us that giving back was everything. As their children, we feel privileged to institute a memorial scholarship in their memory. May their ideals live on through the scholars who receive this Upakar Scholarship in their names.”

Upakar was founded in 1997 in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area to address the very real need of Indian Americans who cannot afford a four-year college education.

According to 2015 data from the Pew Research Center, as much as 12 percent of the Indian American population lives below the poverty line.

Upakar’s philosophy is that education is the key to advancement in today’s global economy. Upakar scholarships play an important role in empowering Indian American students by providing a four-year commitment of financial assistance throughout their undergraduate study, the release said.

In the last 20 years, Upakar has awarded 158 scholarships for over $625,000 to students who meet the criteria.

A scholar must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident with a minimum unweighted high school GPA of 3.6 and who was born in India or has at least one India-born parent. Financial need is determined by the family’s adjusted gross income. Upakar scholarships are renewable up to four years based on performance, the release said.

For more information and to support Upakar Foundation, visit www.upakarfoundation.org.

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