Alison Richards returns to the East

News Reporter 15 January 2009

Cambridge University’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Alison Richard, announced the launch of the Manmohan Singh Undergraduate Scholarship earlier this week. The announcement was made whilst the Vice-Chancellor was on a ten day visit to India that aims to reinforce the university’s ties with the country.

The Manmohan Singh Undergraduate Scholarship will provide full financial support for undergraduate study at any college in Cambridge and, in the future, will have the capacity to fund the study of up to ten undergraduate scholars at any one time. The creation of the scholarship has been financed through Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynn Forester De Rothschild of the Eranda Foundation and through the Bharti Foundation of the Bharti Airtel company.

“This is another great example of the breadth and depth of partnership between Cambridge and India,” Professor Richard said at a press conference in New Dehli.

“The scholarship is to help needy students get quality education. A £1.5 million fund has been set up to support the Indian students…world-class education requires global reach and we look forward to welcoming the first Manmohan Singh Undergraduate Scholars to Cambridge in 2010.”

Cambridge University has a long history of academic partnership with India and many notable Indian figures have studied here, including the Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, who lends his name to the scholarship, and entrepreneur Lord Karan Bilimoria, the founder of Cobra Beer. There are 210 Indian students currently engaged in study at the university.

This trip, a celebration of Cambridge’s ongoing partnership with India, is set to repeat the success of the visit made last year, which paved the way for the creation of both the Jawaharlal Nehru Professorship of Indian Business and Enterprise and the Manmohan Singh Graduate Student Scholarship.

Visits to Kolkata, Bangalore and Mumbai are also listed on the itinerary, where the envoy from Cambridge aim to develop existing links with business, institutes of higher education and alumni.

The trip will investigate the ways in which India and Cambridge can deal with environmental challenges through their partnership and Professor Richard is to give a lecture on this topic at the British Council in Mumbai, according to a university press release. Plans have also been announced for a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to be signed by Cambridge and Infosys, a successful software company based in Bangalore, which will be in operation for a three year period and will focus on architecture, bio-engineering, business and economics.

Alice Baghdjian

News Reporter