Space Cafe India Launches With Dr KC Scholarship Awards to Top Indian Women Scholars

STRASBOURG, France, Aug. 06, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Dr. Kalpana Chawla Scholarship project announces the selection of four top women scholars to the 2020 Interactive Space Program (ISP) Space Studies Program (SSP) at the world renowned, International Space University (ISU), by providing postgraduate scholarships.

The Kalpana Chawla Project for Innovation, Entrepreneurism and Space Studies at the International Space University (also known as the Dr. KC Scholars) has been established to honor the Indian-American Astronaut Dr. Kalpana Chawla. The scholarship project is focused on developing strong technical and leadership qualities with talented Indian women. The scholars selected for this year’s ISP include:

Kritee Mahanti is a final year graduate student at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, aiming to build a strong foundation in spacecraft dynamics and wishing to pursue a career in Deep Space Navigation and Control. She is currently writing her Master thesis in “Operation and Planning of the Attitude Determination and Control System of the Beyond Atlas CubeSat.”

Vinita Shinkar received her M. Tech from Indian Institute of Remote Sensing - Dehradun, Uttarakhand Urban Planner with expertise in Geographic Information Systems, and Remote Sensing domain and allied software. She is adept at conducting research and technical analysis, long and short range planning, data analysis and report writing.

Priyanka Roy Chowdhury is currently a PhD student at Warsaw University of Technology, Poland. She is working on a project within the STAR experiment (Brookhaven National Laboratory, USA).  Previously she was a summer trainee at Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC), Government of India, Department of Atomic Energy. Her present research area is Particle Physics (d-meson). She is an alumnus of National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, India.

Kavindi De Silva is finalizing her Master’s degree in Space Studies at the International Space University. She has a background in Astronomy & Physics, International Business and Education.  Kavindi has been a Teaching Associate for the Southern Hemisphere Space Studies Program ‘19, the External Relations Assistant and Coordinator for the Space Studies Programs, respectively in ‘18 and ‘19, the Co-Organizer for TEDxISU ‘19  and is now an IT Operations Officer for the Interactive Space Program!
Since 2017, the Dr. KC Scholars has been funding young Indian women of talent to attend the ISU. There has been a total of 11 KC Scholars to date (the first scholar in 2017, two scholars in 2018, four scholars in 2019 and four scholars in 2020). (

The goal is to attract talented Indian women who are postgraduate students with backgrounds in science, medicine, materials, arts, policy, business management, satellite technology, and other space-related areas of focus, who also share Dr. Chawla’s selfless and passionate pursuit of education and excellence.

ISU - Space Cafe  India

The vision of ISU Space Cafe India is to promote space studies and to enable individuals and students to recognize and appreciate they are part of a larger community of space professional, and to help create a path for their individual interests and efforts to be connected with the larger space community, both in India and globally.

The mission of Space Cafe India is the hosting of interactive and interdisciplinary space speaker sessions with influential professionals that represent all sectors of the global space community.  Space Cafe India provides a platform where space issues are examined from multiple perspectives, to promote dialogue and to focus attention on critical space topics. In order to promote similar discussion amongst our younger audience and general space enthusiasts, Space Cafe – India, inspired by a learning community model, will host informal interactive events at periodic intervals so that the next generation can be inspired and educated by ISU alumni, space educators and executives. We further plan to promote the Dr. KC Scholarship project that offers select, but extremely talented Indian women to attend ISU’s Space Studies Program.

The ISU-Space Cafe India hosts monthly candid conversations with prominent space community leaders from India and around the globe to discuss issues of the day impacting our nation, our world and all humanity.

Space CafeIndia is supported by the International Space University, the largest postgraduate school in the global space industry. Space Cafe India will actively provide guidance for participants and seek partnerships and sponsorships that will enable future Indians to attend educational programs offered by ISU as well as The Kalpana Chawla Scholarship for Innovation, Entrepreneurism & Space.

Scholarship Funding

The Scholarship project for the ISU Space Studies 2021 (SSP21) is currently seeking funding to send talented women scholars to the ISU Space Studies program that will be held in Granada, Spain next year. We are seeking to raise the remaining €20,000. We welcome and are grateful for your support to help these scholars attend the Space Studies Program at International Space University together. The Geeks Without Frontiers’ WomenConnect! initiative has been an early supporter of this project. A modest donation from you can contribute in a meaningful way towards this achievable goal,and help change the lives of talented young women.

Donation Link

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at

Contact:  Géraldine Moser
External Relations, International Space University +33 (0)3 88 65 54 49


Dr. KC Scholarship Top Indian Women Scholars Dr. KC Scholarship Top Indian Women Scholars