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GESP successfully hosts the 10th YSP and the first YSP Sciences 

GESP Successfully hosted the third online edition by enrolling 233  students from 137 schools, 42 cities & 4 International Students to the Young Scholars Programme 2022.

The Young Scholars Programme (YSP) at Ashoka has been a trail blazer since its launch in 2016. Over 1800 students have taken the programme and experienced its multi-disciplinary pedagogy in numerous subjects, taught by internationally renowned Ashoka faculty.

GESP successfully hosted the third online edition by enrolling 233 students from 137 schools, 42 cities & 4 International Students to the Young Scholars Programme 2022. From May 16 to 20  students got a chance to hear from 10 Ashoka Faculty and participated in small group discussions around these subjects. They also attended creative workshops as a part of YSP Atelier – the virtual studio space of YSP Online. In writing sessions, students explored the art of writing and through 8 unique topics, the entire batch dabbled with different styles of writing. With inspiring guest speaker sessions and presentations from Ashoka Admissions Team students were able to explore the unique Ashoka liberal arts and sciences pedagogy. The day ended for students with the YSP Unwind – A space to connect with peers and play games. 

Each day started with 2 academic sessions at YSP. From History and Philosophy to Biology and Computer Science the young scholars got exposure to the many majors at Ashoka. Prof. Swaminathan spoke to the young scholars about human musicality and psychology.

Professor Madhavi Menon’s session opened up ways to think critically through the interdisciplinary and deeply complex phenomenon we broadly label ‘love’. Prof. Vaidik’s presentation on looking at Mowgli through the colonial lens and Prof. Ananya Sharma’s presentation on drone warfare was amongst the highest rated sessions at YSP-2022. The session on drone warfare and killing remotely threw up interesting questions about the linguistic, gendered and racial dimensions of producing ‘killable’ bodies. 

Prof. Johannes Burgers traced the development of digital humanities and highlighted how computer algorithms have changed the mapping of big data. While Prof. Imroze Khan’s interesting talk on Growth of Biological thoughts in the era of Climate change, Disease & Pandemic gave students a perspective on the complicated ecological and molecular relationship between host and pathogen in the era of climate change, disease and pandemics and the need for collaboration by different scientific disciplines. 

With the question, Why do we need quantum mechanics? Prof. Bikram Phookan intrigued students on how particulate matter behaves in contrast to our common sense and estimation, and how this behavior relates to bigger concepts of relativity, gravity and quantum physics. Prof. Mishra’s session got students to think about the dispute of who owns the copyright of a selfie captured by a monkey. 

Talking about economics, Young Scholars thoroughly enjoyed the session by Prof. Bhanu Gupta where he introduced the fascinating topic “Tax me if you can.” He elaborated on his topic by discussing practical challenges in taxation, economic policy making and equity!

This is what the Young Scholars had to say about various sessions at YSP. 

“YSP as a programme was absolutely amazing and enthrilling. I got to learn a lot from all the lectures, the workshops and the discussion sessions. I learnt the skill of team building and how to collaborate while working in groups. YSP also helped me open up and boost my confidence during the classes. Overall, this was a great experience, the YSP councilors and my fellow peers made YSP nothing short of a dream!” – Ayaan Kapur,Class 12, Step by Step School

As a person who normally doesn’t speak up and gets nervous, YSP created a safe space for me to be myself and put my thoughts and opinions forward. I grew so much in these 5 days and learned to critically think. I actively took part in the discussion sessions which surprised me a lot. I have no words to describe this programme!  

– Avika Mittal, Class 11, Modern School 

All these sessions were pretty engaging, and the professors were so patient with us. I learnt a lot about weird taxes and was able to connect with History that I learnt in 9th Grade which is Awesome. I also liked the concept of public economics. I learnt the key rule “Empathy” and how it plays the most significant role in problem solving. Additionally, I never knew that a children’s book can also have such a deep meaning. I read the Jungle book and watched the movie earlier but never thought about it in this way.” Rabbhiya Saluja, Class 12, Delhi Public School

Each day after lunch students connected for a discussion in small groups of 12, led by their academic counselors. Sharing their opinions and thoughts was a liberating experience for many scholars. The experience was enriching both academically and in making personal connections with their cohort members. Counselors worked hard to explore different tools and techniques to ensure enriching learning in the online format. 

“Discussion sessions have undoubtedly been my favorite. I enjoyed discussing the academic learnings of the respective day in a smaller group since it made for a much more interactive session. Additionally, it helped me understand how everyone perceives the same piece of information in different ways. It was a safe space, one that I treasured through the course of YSP’22 :)”

– Krisha Taneja, Class 10, La Martiniere

On three days, students attended YSP Ateliers. Conducted by some of the YSP Counselors (UG students), the sheer range of topics made the choice very tough for the students. While popular workshops on Myth Busting, Learning Languages and Poetry and Resume Building and how to write a cover letter were conducted. Philosophy workshops on arguments and logical fallacies were a big hit with the students. With a combination of counselor presentations, hands-on activities and small group interactions, YSP Atelier became an active learning space to deep dive into new concepts and facilitated stimulation of imagination and creativity. 

“All the workshops were good but I particularly enjoyed the Myth Busting and Interactive Creative Writing workshop the most. Myth Busting introduced a whole new angle of viewing the daily life events that we experience and widened my perspective that what we think is right could not always be right. Interactive Creative Writing workshop also introduced a novel idea of making the skill of writing more interesting and fun and introduced me to the concept of tropes. Working as a team in small groups also helped me interact with people and developed team spirit in me” Ananya Aggarwal, Class 12, DPS Jaipur.

Students also attended writing sessions. Through diverse themes the students explored various forms of critical writing and thinking including creative writing, composing dialogue and poetry. 

“The writing sessions helped me discover my skill of story writing. I learnt how to build up a story or any other writing forms like poetry, play etc out of the provided information. My writing instructor was quite supporting, interactive and inspiring. I gained an insight of how to be imaginative as well.”

– Tarini Thakur, Class 12, DPS Gurgaon 

The connections students built were made possible by the emphasis on engagement at various levels in the programme. Various YSP traditions like the naming of their cohort groups, Wobble dance, Kabootar Ja made space for informal interactions amongst the students. During YSP Unwind a number of planned events were held to engage the whole cohort like Open Mic and Treasure Hunt to small group events like listening to music, making pancakes and playing games like Pictionary, Mafia, Among Us, Codenames and Jeopardy. 

YSP Unwind gave students a chance to connect with their peers and counselors from other cohorts and thus forged a sense of community and belonging. In planning and managing various aspects of the programme YSP Counselors themselves made new friends within and outside Ashoka. A counselor from ASP22 acknowledged his YSP experience was instrumental in, “learning about participating, coordinating, organizing and hosting different sessions.”

“I have garnered deep respect for teachers and educators who nurture young minds into competent young adults.”

 – Aniket Sharma, ASP 22 Student, YSP Counselor 

Guest Sessions 

YSP also featured Founder Talks by Ashoka founders who presented sessions for the young students. Sanjeev Bikhchandani enlightened the students on how students should prepare themselves for higher education and careers ahead, while Ulka Kelkar who is currently the Director at World Resources Institute held an interactive session on climate change and reducing one’s carbon footprint. A final session by Pramath Raj Sinha involved a game through which he imparted essential life lessons for the students. 

Student Testimonials – YSP 2022

The experience and exposure I had at YSP is worth remembering a lifetime with lots of beautiful memories! Looking forward to being at Ashoka University soon :)”

Tarini Thakur, Modern School Barakhamba Road – New Delhi, Class 12

“My biggest takeaway from YSP has been that I can study my favorite subjects without having to compromise because of stream selection.”

Pratyush Mishra, Elpro International School, Class11 

“The fact that various interdisciplinary programs were being held caught my attention as not many universities offer such programs to humanities students.”

Jeeya Arora, Kulachi Hansraj Model School , Class 10

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