Going back to my roots with the “Know India Program”

In 2011, I took part of the best trip to India I could’ve made. I was a part of the “Know India Programme” or “KIP” for short.

What is it?

The “KIP” is organized by the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs in partnership with Indian State Governments, and directed towards youth of Indian origin from ages 18 to 26.

Each programme is formed by 35 youngsters from all around the world and lasts for 3 weeks. During this time, they are taken around different places in India, from villages to historical sites, taught about the progress made by the country, take part in important conferences for diaspora and more.

The Ministry takes care of all expenses, including a 90% refund of plane tickets upon completion of the programme.

What are the requirements to apply?

To be a part of a “KIP”, you must be of Indian origin, excluding those who fall on the category of rone-resident Indians, between the ages of 18 and 26. Also, you must either be studying at the under-graduate level or have completed it.

How to apply?

Complete the application available atΒ www.moia.gov.inΒ and submit it at you local Indian Consular Post.

My Experience.

As I said before, it was the best trip to India I have ever made. Before taking part in the programme I had been to India several times, I even went to boarding school for a semester in the state of Tamilnadu. But this trip was different, it started off with my birthday celebration, I was just turning 19 and was the youngest of the group. We had only known each other for 3 days, yet they organized a surprise party for me in the hotel’s restorant.

I was the only Chilean in a group of people from Peru, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago Zimbawe, South Africa, Israel, Canada, England, New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. A group of people that during those 3 weeks became great friends. For most of them it was their first time in India, and for me it was the first time meeting Indian diaspora of my age, that shared the same background and interests, from whom I learnt about religion, traditions, food and just life in general.

We had long bus journeys during which we bonded and turned the bus into our own club, conferences in which we would get to know each other better when the speaker was boring, nights at the hotels were all of us would hang out in one room, and just endless memories that we made together and that I’m sure none of us will forget.

Playing cricket with local kids

Playing cricket with local kids

Monkey business

Monkey business

Snake charmer

Snake charmer

Bharatanatyam dancers

Bharatanatyam dancers

Fancy dinner, at a fancy hotel

Fancy dinner, at a fancy hotel

Canada,Chile, Suriname

Canada,Chile, Suriname

Ready to meet the president

Ready to meet the president

The best roommate I could've had from Trinidad.

The best roommate I could’ve had from Trinidad.

A few of the many highlights that this amazing, intense, fun and memorable trip had were; meeting the Indian President at the Presidential Palace in New Delhi called “Rashtrapati Bhavan”, going to the Taj Mahal and taking a river cruise on the Ganges river.

Lotus Temple, New Delhi

Lotus Temple, New Delhi

IMG_2427

On the Ganges river

On the Ganges river

At the Taj with the girls

At the Taj with the girls

Presidential Palace

Presidential Palace

With the President, the woman in the middle.

With the President, the woman in the middle.

To anyone who has the requirements to participate on this programme, I encourage you to apply as it’s much more than just visiting India. Β Till this day we keep in touch and some have travelled to visit one another (I had a Canadian friend visiting me in Chile last year πŸ™‚ ) and I know that it will continue to be the same way for the years to come :).

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21 thoughts on “Going back to my roots with the “Know India Program”

  1. Hi I am interested to participate. Called the indianembassy in the netherlands where I live and they claim not to know about this program. Any advice?

      • Thanks for the advice, decided to call the indian emassy again since they happen to advertise it on their website. They said to send over the application form. So hoping for good news soon. Thanks for your reply. I loved your blog about this programm. Cheers Radha

  2. Dear Nafinathan,
    I am happy to inform you that I have finally heard back from them. I have been accepted for the 28th Know India Programm. We will be going to Jammu & Kashmir. I have never been to India and don’t know what to expect. Can you give me some advice on what to take with me and what to expect? importants things I should know or remember?
    P.s if it is easier for you my email is youngprofessional21@gmail.com
    Thanks
    Radha

      • great! No problem. I am also worried about how will you arrive at the accomodation, will they pick you up. and was 90% of your ticket eventually reimbursed. So if you could let me know some of that would be really appreciated. Its exam week for me as well. Best of Luck with your exams. look forward to hearing from you soon.

  3. Hi! I’m taking part in the KIP programme to Jammu & Kashmir as well and your blog has me very excited! I would also appreciate if you’d be able to give me advice on how to prepare for the trip and also things that I should keep in mind. Thanks a million. πŸ™‚
    Sarah Chadee
    sarahchadee15@gmail.com

  4. Hi Just want to know how long prior to the travel date do they inform you? I applied for the 29th KIP and the travel date is 29th August but i havent heard from them yet. Also do they inform you through Email or Phone call? Thanks πŸ™‚

    • Hi Nissy,
      I was informed by phone about 2 weeks prior to the trip. But I suggest for you to call your consulate next week to check if they have any information about the selection process.

      Thanks for reading, and hope you get to go on the 29th kip trip πŸ™‚

  5. Hey! I hope you’re still active on this blog…
    I’ve sent in my application to my local Indian HC, but along with my application form I didn’t provide of my enrollment in a university, and since my family is from Fiji but I live in Australia, would I have had to send in evidence proving that my family is from Fiji?
    I’d really love to get in! I’m so nervous.
    Thanks!

    • Hi! Yes, i’m still active here πŸ™‚
      When I applied, I didn’t have to send any evidence of my family’s background other than answering the questions on the form about that matter.

      I don’t know how things have changed since I did the program almost 4 years ago. So I would recommend you give them a call and ask about the status of your application.
      Hope it goes well for you and that you get in!
      πŸ™‚

      • Hey, I applied for the 31st KIP which is to start on the 2nd of January, I have not heard from the MOIA yet. I’ve also rang the consulate many times and they have not received information regarding the status of any of the applications from Australia. The KIP begins in just over a week, should I be worried?
        I really would like to take part in it. 😦

      • Hi!
        Well, from what I understand the people who applied for the 30th KIP just left to their trip a couple of weeks ago.
        So maybe, they haven’t gotten around to selecting the people for the 31st.

        Also when I applied, I only got a reply about 2 weeks before the trip. I was pretty anxious about it too.
        You can try emailing the KIP organizers directly, and ask them if they have selected the participants for the 31st kip.

        Goodluck! Hope you get to go!

  6. Hi there!
    I have been accepted for the 30th Know India Programme and am even more excited after reading your article on your experiences! Would you perhaps be able to give me some advice on what to take with me and what to expect? It is my first time to India, so I am a bit worried! I hope you are still active on this blog and look forward to hearing from you soon!

  7. Pingback: The Sunday Night Market in Chiang Mai | RESTLESS FOOTPRINTS

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