Bollywood's Baazigar aka Shah Rukh Khan has always been seen laying emphasis on the importance of education. Being a proud winner of 'Sword of Honor' during his schooling from St Columba's School, Delhi, he has always said that education is a crucial aspect of his, as well as his children's life.

Today, Shah Rukh Khan awarded the La Trobe University PhD Scholarship, which is named after him, to a young female researcher from Kerela, amounting to $200,000 (AUD). Gopika Kottantharayil Bhasi, a PhD research student from Thrissur in the southern state of Kerala, was chosen for this award from over 800 Indian women.

Shah Rukh Khan to support a young female researcher from Kerela for higher studies

Praising Gopika, who is working on farming practices through animal science, ecology and molecular studies, Veer Zara fame Shah Rukh Khan said that he admires her determination and dedication and she's going to have a great time studying at the La Trobe University in Australia. SRK emphasised on the importance of education and said, "I'm a big believer of education and I truly believe that the forward to any country, any family, any city, any state is by educating itself more and more."

SRK on women empowerment

Shah Rukh Khan to support a young female researcher from Kerela for higher studies

While talking about women empowerment SRK stated that educating more and more women will empower the nation. Through this scholarship, Gopika will get an opportunity to travel to Australia, study there pursue her dreams of helping to improve India's agricultural sector. She also received the four-year scholarship to LaTrobe University at a ceremony in Mumbai attended by La Trobe Chancellor, John Brumby AO, Shah Rukh Khan and other dignitaries.

Talking about the scholarship, Gopika said, "I can't wait to travel to La Trobe and start my studies. Through my research, I know I will be contributing to improving agricultural science in India. Protecting our honey bees is vital to food production and I'm so excited for the opportunity to be working with leading scientists conducting cutting-edge research."

As per the sources, she will be teaming with the La Trobe's research team who are exploring new techniques to protect the world's honey bee population from viruses, pollutants and declining diversity in flora. She will research a field-deployable diagnostic test for honey bee viruses and with the aim of developing therapies to aid honey bee health.

The young researcher from Kerala, Gopika, is a graduate from the University of Calicut. Helming from a family with agricultural background, she's passionate about animal health and has researched the management of Asian elephants in Kerala. Till now, she has been managing her family's poultry farm, while her father recovered from heart by-pass surgery. During this time Gopika researched the impacts of feed, water, diseases and climate on livestock for food production.