It was with a crazy smile and immense gratitude that I read through the entire mail from Google India about being awarded the Venkat Panchapakesan Memorial Scholarship for the session 2019-20. An amazing and prestigious scholarship, I am really happy to have been made a part of it and would love to talk more about it in hope that it would help someone deserving receive the same in the future.

Image - Acceptance letter for Venkat Panchapakesan Memorial Scholarship

So,

What is Venkat Panchapakesan Memorial Scholarship all about?

The answer to this question begins with another question -

Who was Venkat Panchapakesan?

A description from Google's Web page about the scholarship describes Venkat as given below -

Venkat was a much loved and highly respected engineer whose career took him to YouTube, Google, and Yahoo, among other notable companies. He tragically passed away too young, after a battle with cancer. During his short time he deeply touched the hearts and minds of his friends, family and colleagues. He taught us to be generous, humble, ever-optimistic and to always find the best in people.

Once you read through, and try taking a look at some videos on YouTube about Venkat, you'll come to realize the beauty of his personality and what made him so loved. But above that, you'll realize what it means to be compassionate, supporting and forever happy to help. It is this understanding, which will help you answer the following question.

Who is an ideal candidate for winning this scholarship?

Frankly, that is best known to the selectors of the scholarship. In my opinion, my profile stood out due to my contribution to the various tech communities around me and my willingness to use technology for achieveing sustainable development goals. Hence, someone who loves helping people, goes beyond their way to aid those around them in their problems, loves spreading the word about technology and believes that they can help the world become a better and sustainable place with the help of technology would probably stand a good chance at winning the scholarship!

As long as you're leaving a positive impact on even a handful of people around you, you're doing good!

And do I need to be a super programmer?

No! All you need to do is to know how to and be willing to use technology for making this world a more sustainable place and to help people around you in having a better life. Now, 'sustainable' could have a number of meanings, you can Google up United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and study about the several factors which contribute towards making the world a better place to live in! Remember, at the end of the day, the best person is he/she who uses whatever they have learnt for the best of people around them, in whatever measure they are able to!

This scholarship is not won in a day :)

From the above discussion so far, you'd have realized that winning this scholarship may require months or even years of previous work. Hence, to maximize your chances of being among the lucky 5-6 next year who bag this amazing opportunity, make sure you start giving back to your local ecosystem in any manner that's possible for you! It will take time, patience, effort but at the end of it all, regarldess you win it or not, you'll find yourself a much better version of yourself and will definitely be a loved face among the people around you!

What did you learn today

Today, in under 3 minutes you learnt about the Venkat Panchapakesan Memorial Scholarship and why I think this scholarship recognizes those who do their best over a long period of time to help people around them using technology. There will be more posts coming on this topic in the future at regular intervals, and I hope you'll be able to make the best of them when applying in the future!

I'll post more on this blog on 12th Jan, 2020! Bookmark my site to stay tuned!

About me

I am a web developer turned machine learning explorer who loves mixing and matching various stacks! I lead the team at The Code Foundation and we love solving problems about computer vision and NLP!

Send me a hi on [email protected]