Namit Makhija of Vasant Valley School, Delhi, was this week announced as the winner of our international student essay competition, an initiative developed by our Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences and the Department of Economics.

He was presented with the award by our Chancellor, HRH The Earl of Wessex at a ceremony held on Wednesday 7 February at the British Council Delhi. For his prize winning essay, Namit will receive a bursary towards his studies when he joins us later this year.

Assessing the benefits of open trade

As the first time it's run, the Young India Student of the Year competition set Year 11 and 12 students across India the challenge of writing 2,000 words on the topic 'Would India benefit from more open trade - for example with the UK?'.

The judging panel were impressed with the economic arguments developed by Namit in his essay, as well as his understandings of the trade-offs with poverty reduction and social mobility.

Commenting on winning, Namit said: “The debate between open trade and protectionism is a burning topic in every economic forum today and I am deeply honoured to have received the recognition from the University of Bath for my essay on the subject.

“Researching for this work was enlightening as it helped me enhance my understanding of the subject. I consider myself fortunate to get the opportunity to be a part of this institution, known for its quality, research-based education programme. I am excited and now look forward to my undergraduate experience at University of Bath.”

Compelling economic arguments

Dr Peter Postl, Head of our Department of Economics, added: “We were impressed with Namit’s winning essay as it provides compelling economic arguments for India to be an open and outward-looking economy, while acknowledging that the distribution of the gains from trade needs to be managed carefully so as to help alleviate poverty and facilitate social mobility through education and equality of opportunity.

“His themes of growth, innovation, governance, and economic development are amongst the core interests of the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences at the University, and so we are especially thrilled that Namit’s winning essay and his academic interests as a prospective Bath student link closely with the research interests of our academics.”

When he arrives in Bath in autumn 2018, Namit will study our combined BSc International Development with Economics.

The joint runners-up for the Young India Student of the Year 2018 competition were Apoorv Goyal of Dehradun’s Welham Boys School and Vaibhav Gupta of Gurgaon-based Delhi Public.

Read the The Times of India's coverage of the event.