Press Release

Pioneer inspires scholarship winner

Published on 26 May 2021

A Business student from the University of Dundee has been named as the inaugural winner of a scholarship launched in memory of Scotland’s first non-white local councillor.

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Pic of Shaima Khan

A Business student from the University of Dundee has been named as the inaugural winner of a scholarship launched in memory of Scotland’s first non-white local councillor.

Shaima Khan (19), originally from Lucknow Uttar Pradesh, has been awarded the Jainti Dass Saggar Memorial Scholarship for Excellence worth £5,000.

Born in the Punjab in 1898, Jainti Dass Saggar undertook a 26-day sea journey to study Medicine at University College Dundee, the forerunner of the University, in 1919.

After graduating, Dr Saggar became a GP in the city. He served on the boards of various education and welfare bodies and was elected to Dundee Town Council in 1936, serving as a Labour councillor for eighteen years until his death in 1954. His many contributions to social and political life are evident from his inclusion in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and the city’s Saggar Street is named in his honour.

Shaima, a BSc Business Management student, says she has been inspired by the way Dr Saggar helped transform lives and also hopes to help others after completing her degree.

She said, “I want to make a difference and make a positive change to people’s lives. I want to help those who aren’t as privileged as I am. If nothing else, I’d like to provide basic medical help, education, and food to poorer parts of my home country. Everybody deserves that.

“Being awarded the Jainti Dass Saggar Scholarship has given me confidence and belief in my ability to achieve anything I put my mind to, including following in the footsteps of Dr Saggar.”

The new scholarship will be awarded each year to an Indian domiciled candidate who shows remarkable potential to study at undergraduate level and who has already received one of the University’s existing scholarships for international students.

Shaima was awarded the scholarship after demonstrating many of Dr Saggar’s own qualities. In addition to her significant academic potential, Shaima’s achievements include participation in the Junior Youth Empowerment Program and speaking at the International Chief Justice’s Conference and The World Parliament whilst at school.

Wendy Alexander, Vice Principal (International) at the University, said, “Dr Saggar was a truly inspirational character who worked to improve the quality of school meals well ahead of his time. He also helped open a psychiatric clinic for early mental health treatment and argued for the provision of 20 communal canteens for Dundee’s poor. He was a true example of a global citizen, who chose to study, live and improve the city he came to.

“I am delighted that we have been able to award a scholarship in his name to a student whose own ambitions are to transform lives, locally and globally. Shaima has already shown exemplary values of helping others during her volunteer work at the Junior Youth Empowerment Program where she taught her younger peers about moral concepts and peace and provided guidance.

“I look forward to seeing how she too will continue to make an impact throughout her time at the University of Dundee and beyond.”

Applications for this year's Jainti Daas Saggar Scholarship close on Saturday 31 July 2021. For more information, or to apply, please visit


Grant Hill

Press Officer

+44 (0)1382 384768