Bollywood comes to La Trobe University

Bollywood film legend Amitabh Bachchan has visited La Trobe University.

Mr Bachchan presented an Indian student with a prestigious A$200,000 scholarship.

Amitabh Bachchan visits La Trobe University

La Trobe University Vice-Chancellor Professor John Dewar said it was an exciting and important day for the University.

'It is both an honour and delight to host the legendary film actor Amitabh Bachchan at the Melbourne campus of the University,' Professor Dewar said.

'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,' Professor Dewar said.

Professor Dewar said La Trobe has had a strong link with India since the late 1960s, when then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi visited the campus.

'We have many long-standing connections with India and currently host more than 1,100 students from India. We would welcome more to study here,' he said.

Mr Bachchan presented La Trobe graduate Roshan Kumar with the Shri Amitabh Bachchan Scholarship, valued at up to A$200,000 over four years.

Mr Kumar is originally from the city of Ranchi in northern India. He will undertake a PhD into the potential of using social media to better communicate health messages to India's estimated 80 million social media users.

Mr Kumar graduated from La Trobe with a Master of International Business in 2010. He studied a Bachelor of Engineering at the Birla Institute of Technology in Ranchi in 2006.

'I am honoured to receive this scholarship which will help fund my research into improving the health of thousands of people living in India. Social media has immense potential to act as a powerful communication tool to share health information with millions of people,' Mr Kumar said.

'I have grown up watching Shri Amitabh Bachchan in movies. To imagine that I would meet him in person still seems like a dream.

'La Trobe University has certainly provided me with some fantastic opportunities in the past and I am very confident that my future association with the university will be very rewarding for my career,' he said.

The scholarship will be presented every four years by Mr Bachchan to an Indian citizen to develop a thesis related to media, digital technology and communication.

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

La Trobe University is one of the oldest and most respected Universities in Victoria. It first opened its doors to students in 1967 and has since then given life-changing opportunities to 167,000 graduates.

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.

Yash Chopra's popular 2005 work Salaam Namaste was set partly at the University's Melbourne campus. He also directed number of blockbuster movies starring Shri Amitabh Bachchan.

Relationships with India and Indian institutes are very important to the University. Memoranda of Understandings and articulation arrangements have been established with:

Lady Sri Ram college of Delhi University
SRM University (Chennai)
Indian Institute of Technology (Chennai)
JSS University (Mysore)
NIIT India
KL University (Vijayawada)
University of Agricultural Sciences (Bangalore)
Delhi Technological University
Birla Institute of Technology (Pilani) and many more.
La Trobe University also has MOUs in place with business giants of India such as HCL and Mahindra Reva.

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