Indian business leader, scientist and philanthropist, Dr Yusuf Hamied, today announced he is donating INR 8 Crore (£800,000) to the Royal Society of Chemistry to support an innovative chemistry education programme for school students in India, especially those from less-advantaged backgrounds.
Dr Hamied, who is the chairperson of the generic pharmaceuticals company Cipla and has pioneered the model of producing affordable medicines for patients in developing countries, is making the generous donation to support the Royal Society of Chemistry Hamied Inspirational Chemistry Programme.
The programme will be managed by the Royal Society of Chemistry in partnership with the UK's Salters Institute and leading Indian academic institutes to enhance the skills and knowledge of Indian chemistry teachers and inspire school students to study chemistry at university. Over the next five years, the programme aims to:
- equip 8,000 teachers across India with the specialist knowledge and skills to deliver exciting and engaging chemistry lessons, and to pass this knowledge on to their colleagues;
- provide 1,600 of the brightest chemistry students from all backgrounds with places at Chemistry Camps to motivate them to reach the necessary standards to study chemistry at university.
Dr Hamied said: "I am very pleased to be working in partnership with the Royal Society of Chemistry to support the Hamied Inspirational Chemistry Programme. I believe the programme will make a real difference to the education and experience of students studying chemistry in schools all across India."
Chief Executive of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Dr Robert Parker, said: "We are delighted to be working with Dr Hamied and grateful for his generous donation to enable us to bring together leading organisations from the UK and India to deliver this education programme and make a real impact."
Dr. Hamied added: "To inspire the next generation of great Indian scientists we must equip our teachers with the specialist knowledge and practical skills they need to show their students that chemistry is a fascinating and stimulating subject that has many important applications in modern life.
"Just as teachers pass on their knowledge to their pupils, this programme will support the most talented chemistry teachers in India to train their colleagues to deliver informative and exciting chemistry lessons country - a "train the trainer" approach. I am very pleased to support this sustainable model for teacher training which will allow the programme to reach thousands of teachers across the country."
Dr Hamied continued: "An inspiring chemistry education isn't just about excellent teachers. We need to encourage and motivate the best students to achieve the knowledge and skills they need to go on to study chemistry at university and eventually, to make a strong contribution to India's success. This isn't just about getting the best grades - we also need students to develop problem-solving and interdisciplinary skills. That is why I am also very pleased that this joint initiative will support the best students - particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds - to take part in Chemistry Camps at leading academic institutions and experience a true taste of chemistry at university."
Dr Simon Campbell, former president of the Royal Society of Chemistry and personal friend of Dr Hamied, said: "Yusuf has consistently demonstrated his driven ambition to make a positive impact on quality of life, and this unique programme is a significant educational investment with great potential to train the skilled chemists that will be vital for India's growth and social wellbeing."
Dr Parker added: "We're most effective when we work together, so we want to support and enhance standing initiatives and work with existing networks to deliver the best possible results. As the programme evolves, we will be looking to engage more leading partners in India. Everyone in the chemistry community has a part to play in inspiring the future generation of scientists."
"The Royal Society of Chemistry has a large number of very active and enthusiastic members all across India, who have been working hard to support education here for many decades. They can provide excellent opportunities for scientists to volunteer and get involved in supporting this programme."