St. John’s College announces “Dr. Manmohan Singh Scholarships-2008” for doctoral studies
NEW DELHI: “My life is a living example of what scholarships can do for those who come from less privileged sections of society. I spent the first 10 years of my life in a village without electricity, without any modern infrastructure,” said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday.
He was speaking at a function organised at his residence to announce the “Dr. Manmohan Singh Scholarships-2008” for doctoral studies at St. John’s College in the University of Cambridge.
“That a person like me, with my modest background and means, was able to study at all, not to mention at Cambridge, is testimony to the role scholarships can play in social and economic empowerment.”
Dr. Singh is a graduate and Honorary Fellow of St. John’s College, where he was awarded a B.A. in Economics in 1957. He visited the college in October and was awarded an Honorary degree by the British University.
Expressing his gratitude to his alma mater for the honour, the Prime Minister said: “As I said at St. John’s last year, ‘Cambridge made me.’ The values, the ideas and the discipline instilled in me at Cambridge have lasted through my life. The University of Cambridge has a special place in the hearts and minds of Indians. Jawaharlal Nehru studied there and so did Rajiv Gandhi. Sarojini Naidu studied there and so did P. C. Mahalanobis.”
“Scholarships extended to students from different countries are also an important means of strengthening relations between people across nations and societies. Thousands of Indian students travel abroad for education. I would like to see a similar inflow of students from our region and across the world into India.”
Reminiscing his days at Cambridge, Dr. Singh mentioned the names of some of his fellow students like Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and Jagdish Bhagwati.
The scholarships, up to four each year, will be for research aspirants with outstanding academic and leadership credentials. The scholarships will focus on subjects like science, technology, economics and social sciences. In accordance with the Prime Minister’s wishes some preference will be given to research areas in sustainable development.
The scholarships will cover all costs, including tuition, maintenance, cost of living and travel expenses to and from India. The first batch of scholarships will be awarded for entry in the autumn of 2008.