Shah Rukh Khan on Wednesday termed the importance of education as a tool to enhance progress and make the world a better place.
The actor was speaking at an event organised by the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne as a part of the Shah Rukh Khan La Trobe University PhD Scholarship, which was named after the Bollywood superstar last year when he visited the Australian university.
The scholarship was awarded to a young female researcher, Gopika Kottantharayil Bhasi, from Thrissur (Kerala), working on farming practices through animal science, ecology and molecular studies.
Chosen from over 800 Indian women, she was awarded the four-year scholarship at the ceremony.
"I am a staunch believer in education. I truly believe that the way forward for any country, any family, city, state is by educating itself more and more. There is never an end to education. I've come to realise the more I know, I figure out, the less I understand. It's very important to keep educating ourselves for the rest of our lives.
"I've always believed education in India and elsewhere in the world, is the most important step forward for any nation," he said.
The scholarship will offer "a unique and potentially life-changing opportunity for an Indian woman to conduct research in a critical area affecting the world such a cyber security, health or engineering."
Shah Rukh, a passionate advocate for women’s equality and empowerment, said what also would help move the world forward is educating women.
"If you are able to empower women with education, the world goes even further forward. I admire Gopika's dedication and determination. This scholarship will enable her to pursue her dreams of helping improve India's agriculture sector," he added.
This comes before the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne will enter its eleventh year. The team had organised a prelude event in Mumbai before the main event in Melbourne.
On the work front, Shah Rukh is in final talks to star in filmmakers Raj Nidimoru and Krishna DK's new project. When officially announced, the project will be Shah Rukh’s first film after his box office debacle, Anand L Rai’s Zero, which also starred Katrina Kaif and Anushka Sharma.