Australian university names scholarship after Amitabh Bachchan (w/ gallery)

Published: May 1, 2014

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Indian film actor, Amitabh Bachchan poses on stage during the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne Awards at Princess Theatre on May 2, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia. Scott Barbour/Getty Images for IFFM

IANS

Mumbai  — Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who’s in Australia for the Indian Film Festival Melbourne (IFFM), has had a scholarship named after him at Melbourne’s La Trobe University.

According to the 71-year-old actor’s blog, srbachchan.tumblr.com, the scholarship will help students study media and entertainment courses.

On Friday, Bachchan himself presented La Trobe University student, Roshan Kumar, with the AUD 200,000 ($185,000) four-year scholarship.

Kumar, who is from Ranchi in Jharkhand, will work towards a doctorate in the potential of using social media to better communicate health messages to India’s estimated 80 million social media users.

“I have grown up watching Amitabh Bachchan in movies. To imagine that I would meet him in person still seems like a dream,” Roshan Kumar said of his meeting with the Bollywood star.

“I am honoured to receive this scholarship which will help fund my research into improving the health of thousands of people living in India,” added Kumar, who graduated from La Trobe with a Masters in International Business in 2010.

Bachchan will present the scholarship to an Indian citizen every four years. The funds are meant to help the deserving students develop a thesis related to media, digital technology and communication.

Earlier, the 71-year-old actor had taken to his blog to thank the state of Victoria for naming a scholarship after him.

He views it as a way of “fructifying the bonds that exist between our two nations and lending unstinted support to our film industry in conducting such events to acquaint the locals with our cinema.”

University’s vice chancellor John Dewar said it was an exciting and important day for the institution.

“La Trobe University is very proud that Mr. Bachchan has agreed to work with us and help support the education of the next generation of Indian leaders who will help make a difference to the complex problems facing our world today.”

“This is the beginning of a very exciting educational partnership between La Trobe University and a legend of the Indian film industry,” he added.

Some La Trobe staff members of Indian origin and local students were able to meet with and talk to Bachchan. Melbourne-based fans also caught a glimpse of him during his visit.

In May 2013, the University officially renamed its Agora Cinema the Yash Chopra Cinema for one year, launching a series of Indian film screenings that made the campus a focus for Melbourne’s Indian community.

IANS 2014-05-02 12:00:08

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