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French aid raining

This year scholarships worth around Rs 5 crore have been awarded to Indian students who are going to France for higher studies, says Pranab Ghosh

education Updated: Jul 14, 2010 10:49 IST
Pranab Ghosh

The French government offers several scholarships disbursed through the Embassy of France in India to Indian students who undertake higher studies in France.

This year scholarships equivalent to Rs 5 crore (8,62,00 Euros approx) have been awarded to Indian students by French and Indian organisations, the French Embassy in India, the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, as also Regional Councils of France. In all around 300 Indian students have got scholarships this year.

Three new organisations — BNP Paribas, Air Liquide and the Neemrana Foundation — have joined the group of companies and foundations that contribute to the French government’s effort to enhance student mobility towards France.

Jerome Bonnafont, Ambassador of France to India, inaugurated the pre-departure orientation session for students going to France this academic year and the scholarship award ceremony last Thursday at the French Embassy in Delhi. It may be recalled that every year, in order to help prepare France-bound Indian students, in all, nine pre-departure sessions are held across the country in the month of July.

The organisations that awarded scholarships to students on Thursday at the French Embassy are as under:
BNP Paribas, a European leader in global banking and financial services with operations in 84 countries, awarded scholarships to 15 students from the IIMs of Ahmedabad, Bangalore, and Calcutta, going on exchange programmes to the ESSEC management school. “This initiative is to mark our 150th year of operations in India,” said Jacques Michel, CEO and country manager, BNP Paribas.

Air Liquide, a world leader in gases for industry, health and the environment, with presence in 75 countries, awarded scholarships to three bright young engineers, who will pursue Master degrees at the Ecole Polytechnique, France. Philippe Roujon, MD of Air Liquide in India said that his organisation is interested in offering scholarships to three Indian students every year in the fields of energy, engineering, industrial engineering, economics and finance and “it will also boost our massive recruitment programme that we are going to launch to double our turnover in the Indian operations”.

The Neemrana Music Foundation, promoting and imparting classical music in India, awarded scholarships to two remarkably talented young singers who wish to specialize and train in music in France.

Orange Business Services, the global leader in integrated communications, operating the world’s largest seamless voice and data networks and providing local support in 166 countries, gave away scholarships to 13 young engineering graduates who have chosen to pursue specializations in IT networks, IT for value-added services, telecommunications engineering and management information systems at Institut-Telecom, ISEP or ESIGELEC engineering schools in France.

“The company is spending Euros 10,000 per year, per student, as part of the scholarship scheme and the objective is to encourage talented Indian students to go for higher studies to France,” says Sandeep Kumar Murgai, head, Major Service Center, India.

Thales, with operations in 50 countries and a world leader in mission-critical information systems for defence and security, aerospace and transportation, presented scholarships to eight outstanding students. Thales chooses students who apply to programmes in material behaviour, structural design, logistics systems, management of information systems, aerospace engineering, computer science, material science, management, strategy consulting, innovation technologies, etc. The Thales group was the first French group to initiate scholarships for Indian students.

Krishnakriti Foundation, Hyderabad conferred scholarships on two gifted budding young artists to study art and painting in France at Ecole Nationale des Beaux Arts in Paris. Krishnakriti Foundation is the first Indian foundation to encourage artists to study in France in a joint effort with the French Embassy.

The French Embassy and Alliance Française (AF), jointly gave away scholarships to 12 meritorious students of the Alliances Française. Every year, the Embassy and AF choose the best 12 AF students, based on the strength of their study project and academic levels to pursue higher studies in France. The AF students are required to have a basic level in French, although for other scholarships knowledge of French is not mandatory. This year’s students from the AFs are thus going to France to pursue courses in various public universities in automobile engineering, political science, language and translation studies, hospitality and tourism, etc.

The Embassy of France-AF scholarships alone account for about Euros 1,12,000, or Rs 67 lakh, worth of scholarships over and above the amount granted through co-financed scholarships.

Additionally, some of the other important programmes to aid academic mobility include the scholarships offered by the French Regional Councils, such as the Ile-de-France scholarships providing a grant of Euros 1,05,000 euros (Rs 63 lakh approx) for 10 students in 2010; the Eiffel excellence scholarship programme under the aegis of the French Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs for an amount of Euros 2,88,000 (Rs 1.7 crore approx) for 20 Indian students. These apart, there are the Erasmus Mundus European Union scholarships.