New Delhi, March 16 (IANS) As many as 100 Indian women will be awarded the British Council’s 70th Anniversary Scholarships to mark the organisation’s 70th anniversary in India here on Saturday. It is the organisation’s largest investment in a scholarship programme in India, according to a top official.
The UK-India Year of Culture saw many new concepts and digital ideas coming to life. The 71st year of British Council will witness a heightened focus on placing Indian women from different fields on the global map, as a step to support Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s shift to women-led development, said Alan Gemmell, Director, British Council India.
“The investment in women scholars supports Prime Minister Modi’s shift to women-led development and the British Council’s own focus on women and girls and Sustainable Development Goal 5. It is also part of the organisation’s drive to partner the economic growth and knowledge ambitions of states across India,” Gemmell told IANS in an email interview.
The programme, costing almost Rs 18 crore, is the organisation’s largest investment in a scholarship programme in India, he said.
Together, they will be aiming to fix global problems — from climate change to drug discovery — all the while building the societies everyone wants to live in.
“We’re already inspired by them (the women) and by what we will do together. The scholarships, which are the first British Council scholarship programme solely for women, will cover tuition fees for a one-year master’s course in science, technology, engineering or mathematics during the 2018-19 academic year,” Gemmell said.
British Council – partner to India’s knowledge ambitions – has been consciously working towards increasing the participation of women in science, across multiple phases of the education and career span.
The year will also see new digital ideas and activations to augment its digital presence, enhancing relevance and engagement for the Indian millennial.
The 71st year of the British Council will begin on Saturday with a celebration of Indian talent and creativity through a multitude of programmes including a line-up of Indian musicians for Mix The City Soundfest and The Selector Pro-Woman workshops, apart from the scholarships.
“We’ve been inspired by India everyday of the last 70 years – by its artists, students and its teachers. This year we want to say thank you for 70 inspiring years. We want to share the stories of the great things we’ve done together, tell new stories, and inspire millions of young people to develop connections for the next 70 years,” said Gemmell.
The organisation will even train 30,000 teachers across India to improve their proficiency in the English language through the myEnglish online course. This apart, there will be a training programme to support 120 women in their ambitions to make it in the music industry. Participants will learn to DJ, sound engineer and venue manage and get to apply their skills at professional events across India.
On their plans to promote talent from the northeast, he said: “We’re inspired by young people, artists and musicians across the northeast.
“Mix The Northeast is our digital celebration of their unique fusion of contemporary and tradition. With performers like DJ Sagar and the Tetseo Sisters and content from all eight states, Mix The Northeast will inspire people all over the world with a unique introduction to a unique part of India.”
(Nivedita can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)