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DAAD prize for Indian student

Swaraj Tendulkar is this year's recipient of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) prize worth 1,000 euros for outstanding achievements by foreign students at German universities.

Swaraj Tendulkar und Prof. Uwe Hettler

Swaraj Tendulkar und Prof. Uwe Hettler

Swaraj Tendulkar comes from India and is studying for a Master's degree in Mechatronics and Robotics at Schmalkalden University of Applied Sciences. Since March 2022, he has been part of the research team led by Prof. Frank Schrödel, which is developing an autonomous logistical mobile robot that is to be used in Gera to provide logistical support for elderly people shopping in the supermarket. The first part of the project consisted of carrying out test runs in the area in question and recording people's reactions to the robot. Swaraj Tendulkar was actively involved in this test campaign, talking to the mostly elderly people and explaining the project to them. They reacted very positively and were enthusiastic about the mobile robot.

To promote engineering as a career, Swaraj Tendulkar accompanied project manager Prof. Frank Schrödel at numerous events for young people in Dortmund, Jena, Gera and Schmalkalden. The aim was to arouse enthusiasm and curiosity among the young people in order to get them excited about a career in engineering.

Before studying for his master's degree in Schmalkalden, he completed a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at the Thakur College of Engineering and Technology in Mumbai. The 25-year-old was also involved in social work: as a member of the Extension Work Team, he was part of the team that visited rural areas of India to teach underprivileged children. The aim of the program was to impart knowledge and share academic experiences to encourage more students to pursue the academic path. The lessons also included flash mobs and skits to show the negative effects of alcoholism on family relationships, children and society. In addition, he was appointed sports director of the Rotaract Club of Thakur College of Engineering and Technology. His main responsibilities included organizing sports events to show the importance of a healthy lifestyle. This group also worked to improve the living conditions of the underprivileged and drew attention to important social reforms in India.

"It is a great honor for me to receive this award," Tendulkar said happily as he received the certificate. From Mumbai to Schmalkalden is quite a culture shock, but Swaraj Tendulkar has mastered it well: "In Schmalkalden, I was able to concentrate fully on my studies and my research work." After completing his Master's degree, he would like to return to India to support his parents.

About the DAAD Prize

The DAAD Prize has been awarded for more than ten years and is intended to help put faces to the large numbers of foreign students at German universities and connect them with stories. This makes it clear that every single foreign student takes a piece of Germany back home with them and leaves something of themselves in Germany - an enrichment for both sides.