Britain tops first Indian music course offered by Vidya Bhavan

Tom Pope from Yorkshire who plays the mandolin was awarded a First Class Honours in the four-year Indian Music B Music (Hons) course, run in association with the Trinity Laban Conservatoire for Music and Dance and validated by City University.

Three NRI students, Nalini Jani, Situ Kharel and Arani Sivapathasundaram successfully completed the course in Upper Seconds, said Maneck Dalal, Chairman of the Bhavan said.

Dalal said the music degree, the first of its kind in the UK, was launched in 2006 and it was a pioneering effort on the part of those who felt that traditional Indian methods of training in classical music could be combined with the rigours of a western conservatoire-style approach, supplemented by other professional and academic skills.

The successful students will be awarded the degree at a graduation ceremony at Trinity College of Music in Greenwich on December 8, Dalal said, at The Bhavan, UK Centre's 2010 Diwali Banquet where Lord McNally, Deputy Leader of the House of Lords, along with Nalin Surie, High Commissioner of India to the UK, was the Chief Guest of Honour.

Prominent among those present were NRI industrialist Lord Swraj Paul, Lord Navnit Dholakia, Sir Mota Singh, QC, Lord Bagri, NRI industrialist R S Suri, NRI industrialist Sir Gulam Noon and noted writer Mathur Krishnamurthy. Dalal also lauded the outstanding contributions made by leading Hotelier Joginder Sanger and Dr M N Nandakumara, Executive Director of the Bhavan for its rapid growth.

The Bhavan currently has 950 students studying in different subjects. Surie said the Indian diaspora in the UK could play an important role in further strengthening the India-UK relations and help it develop into a special Strategic Relations as envisaged by British Prime Minister David Cameron.

Lord McNally lauded NRIs contribution to the British economy, culture and cuisine. "India has set an example to the world in how one can achieve economic growth without sacrificing civil liberalties and human rights," he said, adding, it has emerged as a major economic and industrial power.

"India's culture, music, cinema and cuisine has become global. Britain, one of the oldest democracy and India, the largest democracy can have greater exchanges in higher education for the benefit of both," he said.

Joginder Sanger, Vice Chairman of the Bhavan and Chairman, Fund-raising and Finance Sub-Committee, said the Bhavan has become a major institution in promoting art, culture in the UK.

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