Scholars 2019: Rajnandini Mukherjee, Shivangi Bishnoi, Shreya Nayak, Shruthi Ramesh & Suchita Agrawal
And for the final post we present to you two physicists, an economist, a musician and an economist turned public policy maker.
Kudos to all the scholars of 2019! We are delighted to welcome you all and look forward to all the incredible things you know you will achieve.
Rajnandini has always enjoyed building models. Starting with the unhealthy habit of carrying parts of her mechanics’ box around, she made taps and cars as a kid and built radios and robots in high school. Once she realised that the universe was the grandest machine of all, she found herself deeply interested in the pursuit of building mathematical models that understand and explain nature, and it has since been her dream to pursue research in theoretical physics.
Given the research in particle physics and cosmology over the last few decades, and the recent advancement in technologies that potentially verify/falsify the proposed theories, Rajnandini finds this to be an exciting time to be doing physics. There are many daunting questions that challenge the current understanding of the universe and she looks forward to being a part of the chase to answer them. She finds herself enthusiastic about several creative and unconventional approaches to these problems, and hopes to come up with a few solutions herself someday, as she believes that the answers to the unknown will lie in some radically new ideas.
Starting October of 2019, Rajnandini will be pursuing a Masters in Advanced Studies (MASt) in Applied Mathematics at the University of Cambridge, with the patronage of the Inlaks Scholarship. This course is offered at the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics (DAMTP), which has historically been doing extremely rich and exciting research in the fields of high energy physics, relativity and gravitation, and cosmology. She hopes that being at Cambridge will add rigour and perspective to her existing and imminent training in physics, and expose her to research at the frontier as she aims for a meaningful PhD following her masters.
Alongside her academic interests, Rajnandini enjoys reading, painting, listening to music, playing the guitar and watching Korean dramas.
Shivangi Bishnoi completed her post-graduation in Economics from the Delhi School of Economics in 2016. Currently, she is an Economist with the International Monetary Fund’s South Asian Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (IMF SARTTAC). She prepares and delivers customized training courses on macro-economics for government officials from the Ministries of Finance and Central Banks of the SARTTAC member countries. Previously, she was a Research Assistant at the Indian Council for Research in International Economic Relations (ICRIER).
Shivangi will be pursuing a Masters in Analysis and Policy in Economics (M2 APE) at the Paris School of Economics (PSE) with the support of the Inlaks Scholarship. She hopes to continue to the PhD track at PSE. She wants to explore the gender aspect of wealth inequality and is convinced that intra-household wealth distribution has sizeable consequences on society, which merit better estimates of its magnitude and evolution over time. She wishes to take advantage of the World Inequality Lab at PSE, which is a hub for collecting historical wealth data and is responsible for opening a dialogue on the rising income and wealth inequality within countries and among social groups. Her broader interests circle around other unsolved gender puzzles. She hopes to be able to contribute to simple policy solutions that can close the gender gap, not just in income and wealth, but other aspects of social life as well.
When she is not reading Economics or arguing over world affairs, Shivangi enjoys reading fiction, non-fiction and poetry in English or French. She believes her risk averse self narrowly chose Economic Research over becoming a fiction writer but hopes that some day she can merge the two worlds by writing books in Economics that speak to the public rather than just a closed circle of intellectuals.
I began in musical career in Indian classical music at the age of 10 and studied it till I was 19.
In the year 2013, I participated in the master class conducted by the internationally renowned Soprano Patricia Rozario (OBE FRCM) and the accomplished pianist and vocal coach Mark Troop. Under their tutelage I developed an instant affinity to western classical music as I realised that with this genre of music I can fulfil my vocal potential. I am presently studying under the Mumbai based Soprano, Minaish Doctor.
I am a regular participant of the Giving Voice Society (GVS) Programmes. GVS enabled me to perform in various projects as it promotes young Indian singers like me and gives us platforms to perform in addition to their on-going training sessions and master classes.
With the GVS I have performed in two operas and several concerts as a solo artist at venues such as the Royal Opera House Mumbai and in National Centre for Performing Arts, Mumbai. I have also been invited to perform several times by the German Consulate General of Mumbai.
As I explore the world of western classical music, my love and passion for it grows. In addition to music I have also pursued a master’s in business studies however music will always remain my career choice.
I am fluent in spoken Japanese. I am drawn to their culture and anime. I am comfortable singing in Japanese and have won a few Japanese singing contests in Mumbai, India.
Shruthi Ramesh is all set to pursue a masters in public policy from the Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago. Her interest in public policy was kindled through multiple projects she took up during her undergraduate studies in economics at Shri Ram College of Commerce, University of Delhi. She has taken up research in both academic and professional settings, working with academics, corporate leaders as well as heads of renowned NGOs. Her projects have covered various realms of public policy such as maternal and child health, mental health and menstrual hygiene. She has also taken up research on urban housing, urban informal sector and learning outcomes as part of her coursework. Shruthi is passionate about population-based research and believes in employing rigorous data-driven techniques to devise bottom-up solutions for policy conundrums.
Apart from being an active debater through school and college, Shruthi has also taken up lead roles in the Social Impact Wing of the Students’ Union and the Economics Society in her college. Books are her best friends and be it fiction or non-fiction, she is always ready to read. She loves Carnatic music and one can see her tuning into Rajani-Gayatri or Sudha Raghunathan concerts during her free time.
Growing up in a household where cultivating a curious, questioning outlook and having an open mind took precedence over everything else, Suchita got a chance to evolve in an organic, unhurried way. Over time, this natural process lead her to realise that her passion had been to simply learn and understand more about the how and why of our world. This made her gravitate towards the sciences and she found physics to be a natural fit.
Suchita completed her undergraduate studies in Physics from Miranda House, Delhi University. Her undergraduate experience had been an eye-opening one wherein she received her first taste of real, contemporary physics. She soon realised, that as much as she liked getting acquainted with the underlying physics of the world, she was even more interested in applying that knowledge into useful technology. She became especially interested in the physical realisation of quantum computers (especially using superconductors and ion traps) and manipulation of matter at a small scale. During this time, she was also actively involved in robotics as an extra-curricular activity as she was actively seeking ways to apply her knowledge of physics to the real world.
Continuing on this journey, Suchita will be attending the Masters course in Physics at ETH Zurich this autumn. There, she is particularly excited about exploring the fields of solid state physics and quantum electronics. These fields leave scope for many applications, especially in the physical implementation of quantum computers.
In her free time, Suchita also enjoys swimming, reading and going on treks.