Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Harvard University has announced a fund from the founder and CEO of Paytm, Vijay Shekhar Sharma, for Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute (LMFSAI). The fund will help two deserving Indian students every year to be granted a scholarship to pursue their their research at Harvard.

Vijay Shekhar’s gift to the university will further help achieve its goals, one of which is to increase its engagement with South Asia through LMFSAI. On the other hand, the Indian scholars who are competent but lack the financial support to pursue their research at Harvard, will receive the support they need through the scholarship.

The Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute is Harvard University’s premier center on regional studies, cross-disciplinary research, and innovative programming pertaining to South Asia. Some of the countries the institute works with include, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

The institute was founded in 2003 to further Harvard University’s engagement with South Asia. Harvard, of course, needs no introduction. After all, the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Harvard University, is one of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after private universities. Some of the Ivy League research university’s notable alumni include, Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Natalie Portman, Conan O’Brien and Barack Obama.

“Recent months have confirmed that the most pressing societal challenges are global in nature,” said Harvard University’s Provost, Alan Garber. “We are deeply grateful to Vijay Shekhar Sharma. Through his generosity, he has affirmed our shared commitment to advancing cross-disciplinary research and learning in our interconnected world. His vision for a more collaborative future has never been timelier. We are proud to partner with him.”

Vijay Shekhar Sharma is the founder and the CEO of the online payments platform giant Paytm, which he founded in 2010. Some of the notable investors of the company include Alibaba, Ant Group, Softbank and Berkshire Hathaway. The company has played a significant role in introducing online payments to India’s population and has greatly helped the country in its push towards digital payments.

Sharma has a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communications from the Delhi College of Engineering, and he is an individual who understands the transformative power of education.

“I believe that good education can change an individual’s life in the most profound ways. My father, who was a teacher, believed that the world can be positively changed through education,” Sharma said in a statement.

“His teachings are my inspiration to make this contribution to Harvard University. Harvard’s integrity, diversity, and commitment to excellence are exemplary. I hope this gift will help future leaders attain the global vision that would help in transforming the lives of millions for the better in India and beyond.”