2016 Yenching Scholars
Sudarshana Chanda

Sudarshana Chanda

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Sudarshana Chanda graduated with a BA in History from Lady Shri Ram College, Delhi University. She was awarded the Amba Dalmia Prize for Creative Talent and Commitment to College, the Faculty Prize for All Round Excellence and a Certificate of Academic Excellence from the Department of History. She was selected to join the Young India Fellowship Programme and subsequently the Ashoka Research and Teaching Fellowship. She has worked as a teaching assistant to celebrated scholars such as Rudrangshu Mukherjee and Nayanjot Lahiri. Music is her first love and though she holds a diploma in Rabindrasangeet and Indian Classical Music, she has a two-year-old performance career as a jazz singer in New Delhi. Her interests and work experience range from art and film-making to writing and music. Her connection with China dates back to memorable excursions during childhood to Tiretti Bazaar, the old Chinatown in Calcutta, her hometown. At Yenching Academy she is studying Literature and Culture and hopes to research Children’s Literature in China, New Wave Cinema, and Chinese music, and to establish channels of cultural exchange between China and India.

Veeresh Kanduri

Veeresh Kanduri

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Veeresh Kanduri graduated in Development Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai. He extensively studied ecological approaches to environmental sustainability and completed his thesis titled “Towards a methodology for Cumulative Impact Assessment”. He received his bachelor’s degree from Kakatiya University in Mechanical Engineering. Veeresh has been actively involved in student union elections and served as a General Secretary during his undergraduate studies and as a Literary Secretary during his graduate studies. In his capacity as the Literary Secretary, Veeresh initiated a Literature Festival, which featured personalities from various spectra of everyday life. Veeresh also volunteered at length in the recent Nepal earthquake disaster and worked with the community to construct 200 shelters in 3 months. His focus at the Yenching Academy is on the environmental politics of developing nations and the role of civil societies in sustainable development.

Mohnish Kedia

Mohnish Kedia

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Mohnish Kedia is Indian by citizenship and an economics graduate of the University of Cambridge. Before arriving in Cambridge, he did his undergraduate degree in economics at Ramjas College, University of Delhi. His area of research primarily focused on public policy with a special interest in education and healthcare. As an undergraduate student, he has worked with the Indian Statistical Institute and the Government of Bihar on projects focusing on law and order, corruption, etc. As a scholar at the Yenching Academy, Mohnish is focusing on the economy of China, with a special interest in the urbanization and structural transformation of China. Apart from his interest in China as a scholar of economics, Mohnish’s interest in China grew as a result of deep friendship with his colleagues from China at Cambridge. He believes that studying in China will give him new insights on human nature, culture, society and norms. Mohnish strongly believes in the Indian culture of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, which means ‘the world is one family,’ and aspires to spread this message to his fellow world citizens.

Vaishnavi Patil

Vaishnavi Patil

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Vaishnavi Patil (Satara, India) completed a Masters' in History of Art from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London in 2015, where she studied Chinese paintings, calligraphy and ceramics along with Western art theory. Her thesis, titled “China meets West: Understanding cross-cultural artistic interactions through the battle-scenes of the Qianlong Emperor”, studied the European artistic influences seen in the Qing court art of the 18th century. Prior to this, she received her Bachelors' degree from St. Xavier's College Autonomous, Mumbai studying ancient Indian culture, history and psychology. Her research papers have been selected for inclusion at the International Indian Art History Congress 2013, the Stanford-Berkeley Conference on Pre-modern Chinese Humanities, 2016 and the 21st biennial conference of the European Association for Chinese Studies, St. Petersburg, 2016. Apart from fine arts, she is passionate about literature, performance arts, languages and cultures, and hopes to link different disciplines of study through her work. Also an international delegate to the inaugural Yenching Global Symposium, Vaishnavi is looking forward to returning to the Academy to deepen her understanding of Chinese history, philosophy and culture and to further her Chinese language skills.