How India’s love story of 2023 began at NISAU

Published 23/02/2024

As excitement builds for the India UK Achievers Honours 2024, it has been revealed that one of India’s most famous couples actually met at last year’s awards.

Bollywood actress Parineeti Chopra and political leader Raghav Chadha were married last September in Udaipur – and there has been plenty of speculation online about how their relationship actually started.

The celebrity duo both studied in the UK, with Chopra graduating from the University of Manchester with a triple honours degree in business, finance and economics, while her husband completed his executive education at the London School of Economics.

Now, Sanam Arora, chair of National Indian Students and Alumni Union UK, has spoken out for the first time about how the couple actually met at the 2023 NISAU achievers honours – where both were nominated as outstanding young Indian graduates in their field.

While speaking to The PIE about the upcoming event, which takes place on February 28, Arora said: “they’ve just confirmed this [Chopra and Chadha] so finally after a year of being harassed about it I can say it!

“They did meet at the achievers [ceremony], they did get married out of achievers.”

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This high-profile relationship has captured the hearts of Indians across the world, with intense national media coverage of the courtship and wedding.

“We’ve had this huge wedding that has been viral in India throughout the course of the year,” explained Arora.

“I don’t know how we are going to beat that as a KPI but we have had some phenomenal stories come through the achievers honours this year.”

The NISAU honours this year includes a parliamentary reception to highlight the important ‘human bridge’ between India and the UK in all areas of society.

A higher education conference also precedes the awards themselves, with speakers including the assistant secretary general of the commonwealth, Luis Franceshi; director of the British Council India, Alison Barrett; and former universities minister Lord Jo Johnson.

The focus on critical debate as well celebration of achievement comes at a time when the UK is experiencing a fall in interest from India due to changes in migration policy.

The NISAU organisation was originally created in the aftermath of the government removing the post-study work visa along with plenty of institutional sponsor licences over a decade ago.

The Indian students and families affected need to somewhere to turn for support and the association was born.

“This [conference] is an opportunity to truly understand what Indian students want and need,” explained Arora.

“We’ve had this huge wedding that has been viral in India”

“From the skills agenda to employability, from AI to TNE, we hope this strategic forum will enable the sharing of knowledge and leading practice to shape the future of international education in the India-UK corridor.”

The PIE will be reporting on all the winners of the 2024 Achievers Honours as usual – but this year we will be keeping a closer eye on the afterparty, as you never know what might happen…

There might not be a romance quite as high-profile as this one on the cards – but no doubt there will be plenty of love in the room as we celebrate the achievements of the UK’s young Indian diaspora.

Will you be attending the NISAU Achievers Honours this year? Did you find love at university or while studying abroad? Have your say in the comments below or email us at [email protected]

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