Essay Competitions 2014 India

India Essay Contest Winners

We were thrilled to receive 28 essay entries for the first India Essay Prize Contest held at BU in Spring 2013!

We had just four weeks for submissions! The contest was announced during the busiest part of the semester when students were getting ready for final exams; thus, we weren’t sure what the response would be. It was the collective effort of reaching out to students by our distinguished faculty from the BU Center for the Study of Asia (BUCSA) and other programs, the Howard Gotleib Archival Research Center, BU Student Services, BU Writing Programs, and Global Programs that BU students heard our call and responded with enthusiasm.

We are so grateful to the following four faculty and staff members who agreed to read and judge the essays within a compressed ten-day period:

  • Maria Gapotchencko, Senior Lecturer, College of Arts & Sciences Writing Program, Boston University;
  • Nazli Kibria, Professor of Sociology, Boston University;
  • Douglas Sears, Vice President and Chief of Staff for the President; and
  • Sunil Sharma, Associate Professor of Persianate & Comparative Literature, Boston University

Congratulations to our India Essay Contest winner and runner up!

First Place:

Challenging Gender and Sexuality Norms through Devotion: Sufi and Bhakti Poets
Written by: Shrishti Nayak
A PhD candidate in Brain, Behavior and Cognition, in the Psycholinguistics Lab at Boston University

Winner’s reaction:
“I’m really excited that my essay was chosen for this prize. Submitting to this competition gave me the opportunity to share something that I wrote a few years ago while exploring South Asian devotional poetry in a humanities class. It was really encouraging to have people read and like my essay, which I had almost forgotten about. Initiatives like this India Essay Prize Competition give students in various fields the opportunity to explore their intellectual interests outside of the academic work they do on a daily basis. As for the prize money, I am currently carrying out research on Indian-English in the BU Psycholinguistics Lab (Indian friends — email me to participate!, and since it is a small scale unfunded project, this money will help a lot with the various inevitable costs associated with research. Thank you again to BU Global Programs and India Initiatives!”


Breaking the Motherland: An Analysis of the Figure of Women in Post-Partition India
Written by: Jeremy Weprich
A sophomore in Kilachand Honors College at Boston University, pursuing a dual degree in Sociology and Psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences

Runner up’s reaction:
“It was not until the second semester of my sophomore year at Boston University that I was introduced to India’s power as a global and historic force. Although I have experienced years of high-quality education in the United States, it seems that much of South Asia’s role in international, historical, and cultural developments has been largely overlooked by Western academic institutions. To ignore the ethnic, religious, cultural, and political diversity of India and the larger subcontinent poses a significant handicap to understanding the forces at work in the social, political, and cultural dimensions of our world. India, specifically, can be used as a powerful lens for which to understand patterns and concepts that reach far beyond the country’s borders.

I would love to use the money I won from this contest to begin saving for a future trip to India.”

The entire list of entries is as follows:

India Essay Prize Contest entries
TitleFirst NameLast Name
1A Comparison of Haroun and the Sea of Stories and A Tale of Four DervishesTheaDiklich-Newell
2A Glimpse of IndiaSundharamaniVenkitapathi
3An Afternoon TeaLavanyaMadabusi
5Breaking a Country: India PartitionedKelsea-MariePym
6Breaking the Motherland: An Analysis of the Figure of Women in Post-Partition IndiaJeremyWeprich
7Challenging Gender and Sexuality Norms through Devotion: Sufi and Bhakti PoetsSrishtiNayak
8Education for AllVidya Sachita ReddyVemireddy
9Epigenetics, Indian Renaissance and Vegetarian ChiliMckennaLongacre
10Feminine Transcendence and Masculine Dependence: Religion as an Experience of Gender in Indian LiteratureKellyFelsberg
12India, My CountryNishithaShekhar
13India’s Emerging Middle ClassKelsea-MariePym
14Learning PerspectiveAlexandraKramer
16My Boulevard of Shattered DreamsLouenPereira
17My MotherPriyalShah
18Outsourcing of Animation and Visual Effects Work to IndiaJustinWagg
19Palwal Rural Health MissionKatharinaSchwan
21Shaking A Reputation: India, Orientalism, and International
22Taal, An Indian MelodramaHarleenGrewal
23The Country of ContradictionsNeelDhanesha
24The History of KathakRoshniSingh
25The Influence of Western Culture on Indian Classical Music: Shaping Nineteenth and Twentieth Century North and South IndiaLavanyaPradeep
26The Taj MahalMitaliHariawala
27The Tale of Indian CivilizationAartiJawa
28Tomorrow you Fall?LaurieOhlstein

India Essay Contest


India Essay Contest Winners Announced! »

Prize: $500 award
Who: All BU students
Deadline: April 28, 2013

As part of Boston University’s India Initiatives, and to celebrate the BU-India Symposium on May 10, 2013, BU Global Programs announces the India Essay Prize contest for the best student essay submitted by a BU student on an Indian topic. We want to celebrate India through good writing, thus all topics relevant to India—cultural history, scientific achievement, philosophical ideas, or other areas—may be submitted. The Essay Prize is for nonfiction prose and we welcome entries that inform, delight, teach, and highlight an aspect of India in the form of personal or academic essays, research papers, commentary, or biography. Any student enrolled at BU is eligible to enter—undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time.

Essays should be less than 1,500 words (3 to 5 pages) and be submitted online per the submission guidelines below. Entries will be judged by a panel of faculty, staff, and/or professional writers.

  • One winner will receive a $500 award
  • The winner will be publicly announced on May 10, 2013 at the BU-India Symposium
  • The winning submission will be featured on the BU Global Programs website

Guidelines for Eligibility and Submission

  1. The deadline for submission is midnight,Sunday, April 28, 2013.
  2. All BU students (undergraduate or graduate; part-time or full time) are eligible.
  3. Entries may be nonfiction prose only, and be less than 1,500 words, typed double-spaced in Arial font.
  4. Add your BU student ID# on the top left corner of the essay (the student’s name should NOT appear anywhere on the essay page itself). Names should appear on the submission form only.
  5. Students may submit multiple entries, each with a new submission form.
  6. Entries written for classes or as part of undergraduate theses are eligible (however, works that have been previously published are not eligible).
  7. The winning essay will be featured on the BU Global Programs website and used for promotion in other media for BU Global Programs. The student will retain copyright.

For further questions and information, please contact Deepti Nijhawan, Director, India initiatives, BU Global Programs at

Please note that the deadline for submitting essays has passed. Thank you for your interest in the BU India Essay Prize contest.

Categories: 1

0 Replies to “Essay Competitions 2014 India”

Leave a comment

L'indirizzo email non verrà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *