St. John’s College of Cambridge University is all set to announce scholarships in the name of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, an eminent alumnus.
Singh already has an honorary doctorate from Oxford University. “This scheme has been named after one of our most notable alumni — and we are very proud of our association with Dr Singh and of what he has done for India,” said Stephen Teal, development director of St. John’s College.
A young Singh read economics at St. John’s and won the Wright’s Prize for distinguished performance in the mid-1950s.
The scholarship will be formally announced jointly by St. John’s Master Christopher Dobson on November 27 in New Delhi. Cambridge is also planning an India Chair, the formal announcement of which will be made in January 2008.
The scholarships, sponsored by British Petroleum, Tata and Rolls Royce, will initially fund three Ph.D places beginning January 2008, but seek to take the number up to at least four by 2009. The closing date for the first year’s applications is end-January 2008.
The main objective of the scholarships will be to help identify and nurture potential Indian leaders in the fields of
science and technology, economics and the social sciences.
Singh visited Cambridge in autumn 2006. In a moving speech, he had said: “Before the First World War, a young man from Allahabad came up to Trinity via Harrow. After the Second World War, a simple young Indian came to St. John’s from an obscure university in Punjab. Cambridge embraced both.” The former was Jawaharlal Nehru, the latter Manmohan Singh.
“It was then that we realised just how fond Dr Singh was of the place,” said Teal.