NRI principal awarded for her contribution to education field

India's High Commissioner to UK Nalin Surie and Dr Bishma Narain Singh, a senior congress leader and President of the NRI Welfare Society of India, jointly presented the award to Khemka at a glittering event at the House of Lords organised by the NRI Welfare Society of India.

Hosted by Baroness Sandip Verma, Government spokesperson for the Cabinet Office, international development and women and equalities, the award recognised Khemka's significant contributions in the education field and service of the wider global community.

Receiving the award, Khemka said: "I feel overwhelmed and genuinely privileged to have received this gold award. People travelled from all over the world to collect their awards in London and I was lucky enough to meet many of these people.

"After hearing some of their success stories and great life journeys, I felt very humbled to be in the company of such high-achievers.

"I'm truly grateful to have been one of those people to be recognised. I do my job well because of the tremendous support I get from my work colleagues and from my family.

There are so many people in this world who achieve much in life but don't get the recognition they deserve so I feel very lucky to have my achievements recognised in this way".

Born in Bihar's Sitamarhi district and married at the age of 15, Asha moved to the UK in 1975 with her husband and three young children.

With no formal qualifications, she overcame significant cultural and language barriers to succeed. In the mid 1980s, Asha decided to embark on her own education.

Within less than 20 years, her career evolved from mature student to lecturer, deputy principal and Ofsted inspector to the first female principal and CEO of a UK college, born and raised in India.

In October 2009, she was crowned the Midlands Businesswoman of the year.
Earlier that year she was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) by the Queen in recognition of her services to further education.

In May 2008, Khemka picked up an Asian Woman of Achievement award for her outstanding contribution to education, and in July 2007 won the National Jewel Award for Excellence in Healthcare and Education.

Since taking over at the Nottinghamshire college in 2006, she has transformed it into one of the top colleges in the country; with more than 25,000 students, a grade on 'Outstanding' ranking from Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) - the government department that inspects and regulates education providers - and category 'A' financial status.

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