What you need to know:
- According to Mr Rajesh Chaplot, the patron of AUSI who has served in different capacities as a social and business leader in Uganda and India, the association was born out of the need to create a platform where Ugandan students studying in India can be heard on different issues that concern them such as acquiring internship opportunities.
While the number of academic scholarships and other education opportunities for Ugandans increase in foreign countries, their wellbeing is not guaranteed. In a bid to smoothen the stay of Ugandan students in India, the Association of Uganda Students in India (AUSI) was launched on November 2, 2023.
According to Mr Rajesh Chaplot, the patron of AUSI who has served in different capacities as a social and business leader in Uganda and India, the association was born out of the need to create a platform where Ugandan students studying in India can be heard on different issues that concern them such as acquiring internship opportunities.
“In May, 2023 the High Commission to Uganda invited me to attend an event in Entebbe where I witnessed Ugandan students dance for the India audience. I was happy and reached out to Ugandan university students across India to create a platform to bring them together while they study,” Mr Rajesh said while congratulating the AUSI executive committee that comprises of students from various universities in India on forming such an initiative.
Mr Moses Asiimwe the chairman AUSI noted that the association lives with the vision to foster strong academics and cultural bonds between Uganda and India to galvanise social cohesion and operates under a mission to provide a spring board for Ugandan students studying in India to connect, collaborate and grow academically, professionally and in terms of culture.
AUSI aims to facilitate sharing knowledge, internship opportunities and leadership programmes to grow efficient business leaders and professionals with a deep understanding of the Indian and Ugandan markets.
Mr Rajesh explained that UASI will act as a link body for students to speak on their behalf with the Ugandan High Commission in India. This will possible through sharing information of Ugandan High Commission through whatsaap group created for the students. On the social media platform, students will be able to share various experiences.
Mr Asiimwe commended over100 participants in the launch for the spirit of community and friendship that AUSI strives to foster. These included university student leaders from countries like Liberia, Nigeria, South Africa, Rwanda and other countries.
“Today marks an exciting new chapter of Ugandans in India, I look forward to working with you to make AUSI a thriving hub that brings its value to its members and makes a positive impact,’ Mr Asiimwe said.
To increase cultural diversity, Mr Rajesh encouraged students to create opportunities for themselves that can enhance meetings amongst themselves when in India like recognising Miss Uganda- India
“Nominate representatives to the association and contribute positively for the common benefits of Ugandan students. Explore by visiting hundreds of tourist attraction destinations in India and get exposed to the knowledge in the continent,” he said, adding , “Learn the Hindi language to help in case you get opportunities to work with an Indian company. This will make your tenure in India more comfortable.”
Mr Dickson Kateshumbwa, MP Sheema Municipality who studied in India 20 years ago advised students to excel in education which is their primary purpose.
“Stand out in academics and bear positive attitude and good character to supplement education when looking for jobs,” Mr Kateshumbwa tipped students.
Mr Baker Balunywa, Education Attaché to the High Commission of Uganda in New Delhi, India who was the Chief Guest thanked students for starting the association and encouraged them to respect rules in India to avoid crime so they can access the country whenever other opportunities come up.
“Students should register with the Indian embassy during their first 14 days in India to avoid fines whether they on scholarships or not. This can help them whenever the face any problems,” Mr Balunywa advised adding that they should as well remember to collect their documents when leaving India.
Objectives of AUSI
To strengthen the ties between Uganda and India
To enhance knowledge sharing through quality exchange programs
Promote collaborations in various sectors
Provide internship and mentorship opportunities in field of pharmacy, engineering among others
To bolster academic excellency through mentorship provided by the association’s alumni community
To promote diversity through cultural exchange between Uganda and India but also celebrating the diversity between Ugandans from different regions.
Professional development, health and wellbeing of AUSI members and to be able to stand in solidarity where possible with those in need.