Ludhiana Luminary Shines on Global Stage: Jalnidh Kaur’s Remarkable

by Manjari Singh

In a momentous stride for both her personal journey and the global academic community, Jalnidh Kaur, hailing from Ludhiana, was recently appointed as the student speaker for the prestigious convocation at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York. Leading the procession of students on May 15th, Kaur marked not only her own academic achievements but also the resilience and determination of individuals to transcend borders in pursuit of knowledge.

Kaur’s academic accolades are as remarkable as they are diverse. Having received a doctoral degree in economics and education, she traces her educational roots back to Ludhiana’s Guru Nanak Public School and Sacred Heart Convent School, Sarabha Nagar. Her thirst for knowledge led her to the esteemed corridors of St Stephen’s College in New Delhi, where she pursued a Bachelor’s in Economics.

However, it was her stint as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University where Kaur truly began to carve her path. Graduating with an MPhil, she returned to her homeland, India, where she became deeply involved in education research projects with J-PAL South Asia. These projects, situated in Punjab and New Delhi, not only honed her academic acumen but also ignited her passion for equitable education access.

In a testament to her commitment to societal betterment, Kaur initiated the ECLAIR street school chain, offering pre-school education to underprivileged children dwelling on the streets. Reflecting on her journey, she expressed, “I started teaching the kids of migrant labourers near my residence in Dugri and then continued the same when I moved to New Delhi.” Her actions exemplify the power of grassroots initiatives in fostering lasting change.

Not content with merely academic pursuits, Kaur and her spouse, Divjot Singh, exhibited extraordinary altruism by establishing an “aspiration building fund” in lieu of conventional wedding expenses. This fund, aimed at supporting underprivileged students, underscores their unwavering dedication to uplifting communities and amplifying educational opportunities for all.

Looking ahead, Kaur’s trajectory continues to ascend as she embarks on a new chapter as an assistant professor at the esteemed Adam Smith Business School at the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Her appointment not only signifies personal triumph but also heralds the global recognition of Punjab’s rich intellectual capital.

As Ludhiana basks in the glow of Jalnidh Kaur’s accomplishments, her journey serves as an inspiration for aspiring scholars and changemakers worldwide. In her pursuit of knowledge and social justice, she embodies the spirit of resilience, compassion, and relentless determination. Here’s to Jalnidh Kaur – a beacon of hope and a testament to the boundless potential within us all.

Manjari Singh

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