Cheistha Kochhar Scholarship - Indian School of Public Policy Cheistha Kochhar Scholarship | Indian School of Public Policy Humane ClubMade in Humane Club
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Cheistha Kochhar Scholarship

7 MAY Tuesday 20:00 UTC
Duration :
1 hour(s) 30 minute(s)
Where :
Event Cheistha Kochhar Scholarship (1)

Cheistha Kochhar Scholarship

For Indian School of Public Policy Alumni & Team to Study at Chicago Harris

Cheistha Kochhar, who recently lost her life in a tragic accident in London, played a significant role in the early days of the Indian School of Public Policy and in shaping the partnership with the Harris School of Public Policy. This scholarship will support one person from ISPP to study at Chicago Harris who we hope will be inspired by her story. 

Cheistha grew up in an army atmosphere. Her father, Lt Gen S P Kochhar, retired as Signal Officer in Chief of the Indian Army. Cheistha studied Economics and Math at Delhi University and was a Young India Fellow at Ashoka University. She spent many years working at various places in the Government of India, starting at UIDAI and ending as a Consultant in the Office of the Advisor to the Prime Minister. She then worked for the University of Chicago at the Delhi Centre. Cheistha went to Chicago Harris to get an MA in International Development and Policy. She came back to India and was at the Centre for Social and Behaviour Change and the National Behavioural Insights Unit of NITI Aayog. A few months after she got married to Prashant Gautam they moved to London to work on her PhD at the London School of Economics.  

Parth J Shah, Dean of ISPP, has known her for 16 years, from when she was a research intern at the Centre for Civil Society. Since then she has remained an active member of the CCS community and then of ISPP. Right from that young age she demonstrated the ability to get things done with a lot of passion. She has always been committed to improving life in India, probably inspired by her parents. Luis Miranda, Chairperson of ISPP, got to know her later when she was working at the UChicago Centre in Delhi. She shared with him a lot of interesting stories from CCS internship, some of which cannot be shared in public! She started the Anubhav Lecture Series to connect the social sector in India with Chicago Harris. After Cheistha left the Centre, this series was managed jointly by ISPP, Chicago Harris and the UChicago Centre in Delhi. 

When we started ISPP, Cheistha played a role in getting Chicago Harris and ISPP to partner together. More recently she was working with both partners on a new joint initiative: Women in Public Policy. 

We recently started a scholarship for ISPP alumni and team to study at Chicago Harris, called the “ISPP@Harris Scholarship”. We felt that it is fitting that we rename the scholarship in memory of Cheistha, since she played a significant role in the early days of the ISPP-Chicago Harris partnership. We spoke to Cheistha’s family about naming the scholarship in her name and they were highly supportive. Therefore, we are renaming the scholarship as “Cheistha Kochhar Scholarship”.  We hope that by associating this scholarship with her, recipients of the scholarship will be infused with the same passion, energy and zest for life that Cheistha showed.  

The Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago is hosting a memorial service to celebrate the life of Cheistha Kochhar, MAIDP’20 who passed away on March 19.

The event will be held on Tuesday, May 7 from 9:30-11am, CDT or 8:00 p.m- 9:30 p.m at the Keller Center, 1307 E. 60th St., Chicago. There will also be a virtual session for those who cannot attend in person.

For more information and to participate virtually, To participate –