BOLLYWOOD star Sharmila Tagore has been honoured for her outstanding contribution to Indian cinema by Edinburgh Napier University. The award-winning actress, who is the great grand-niece of acclaimed Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore, received an Honorary Doctorate of Arts at the recent graduation ceremony.
 
Sharmila joined leading figures from the worlds of foreign affairs, business and education to collect the award at a ceremony at The Usher Hall in Edinburgh. The honour comes just months after the University opened The Scottish Centre for Tagore Studies (ScoTs), the first centre of its kind in the UK dedicated to celebrate Rabindranath Tagore’s legacy, through exploration of his life, teaching and vision. Based within the Institute for Creative Industries and utilising the School of Arts and Creative Industries renowned expertise in literary research and teaching, SCoTs will be the FIRST Tagore Centre established within a UK Educational Establishment.

With strong and successful links to India, including with Higher Education Institutions such as the University of Calcutta and Visva Bharati University in West Bengal, Edinburgh Napier University is uniquely placed to establish a Centre of Excellence in Research and Teaching in Indian Studies through collaborative projects and the exchange of scholars.

The establishment of SCoTs, in the 150th Anniversary Year of Rabindranath Tagore’s birth is supported by the Scottish Government and Indian Government and aims to reflect Tagore’s spirit in its outward facing, inclusive and visionary work.  Aiming to research, disseminate and celebrate the work, life and travels of Tagore as a thinker, philosopher and writer, SCoTs is ideally placed to promote cultural connections between the Scottish and Indian Nations.

With a specific remit to disseminate, promote and highlight Tagore’s legacy to a new audience outwith India, SCoTs will work with UK, European and other Western organisations, cultural bodies and communities to spread Tagore’s influence in Western society. SCoTs reach however, extends far and wide to China and the Far East where connections are being made.

Edinburgh Napier is an international university focused on recruiting international students and developing partnerships with institutions overseas.  In particular, Edinburgh Napier has the second largest Indian student population of any Scottish University and the seventh largest Indian student population at universities in the UK.  Edinburgh Napier University has already established partnerships with four Indian Higher Education Institutions in India which deliver courses for the Business School and in Hospitality Management.