KOCHI:Arya Thampi, an integrated masters degree holder in science from the Indian Institute for Science Education and Research, has won this year’s Dr Manmohan Singh Scholarship, instituted by St. John’s College, Cambridge University.
Kochi-based Arya is the first Keralite and 20th Indian to win the prestigious scholarship.
The scholarship, set up in honour of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an alma mater of St John’s, enables academically outstanding students to pursue PhD and Mphil in the fields of Economics, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. The scholarship, sponsored by Rolls Royce, Bharat Petroleum Foundation, Hardeep Ray(a St. John’s alumni) and two other anonymous sponsors, is worth `1.5 Cr, and covers all the expenses of the student in UK, including Air tickets, tuition fee, living expenses and UK Visa.
Arya will be studying for a PhD in Optoelectronics,in Cambridge and will be researching on how to improve the efficiency of solar cells by using ultra fast spectroscopy to study ‘Singlet Exciting fission’.
“People are not aware of the opportunities that basic science offers. Those who are really passionate about science should go for it. Our society doesn’t respect our dreams, it only accepts doctors and engineers” Arya told Express.
Arya is the daughter of Ashok Kumar, a revenue Officer in Cochin Corporation and Geetha Ashok Kumar, who works with HPCL.