Education Brief Education

Education Brief

General Brief on Education  

General:        Education is an important plank of India-UK bilateral relationship. The UK government attaches importance to developing a special relationship with India in the field of education. During the visit of UK PM Cameron to India in February 2013, the delegation accompanying the Prime Minister included Universities and Science Minister David Willetts and representatives from leading UK universities, colleges and institutions, who met their counterparts to discuss ways to further deepen the education links. According to the Department for Business Innovation & Skills of UK, the British Universities have hugely increased the level of collaboration with their Indian counterparts and the new links.  

2.         UK Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. Nick Clegg visited India from 25-27 August, 2014. Higher education was one of the agendas for bilateral cooperation between India and UK.  PM and Nick Clegg talked about further cooperation in an area where India and UK already have very strong and historic links.  Prospects of bringing teachers from the UK’s top institutions to teach in India and the opportunities for cooperation in vocational training were discussed. UK aims to attract more international students in the near future. Approximately 34 UK Universities have opened offices in India and are approaching students even from small towns in India besides the four metropolitan cities. 

3.         Prime Minister’s visit to the UK:  During the visit of the Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi to the UK on 12-13 November 2015, the following announcements relating to education were made :

  • 2016 would be the UK-India year of Education, Research and Innovation. This will highlight the strengths of the bilateral relationship, drive further collaboration, including a range of digital technology enabled education and training initiatives, so that both countries create a new 21st century framework as partners in education, research and innovation partners, in the global context.
  • It was agreed to initiate virtual partnerships at the school level to enable young people of either country to experience the school system of the other country and develop an understanding of the culture, traditions and social and family systems.
  • The two Leaders welcomed UK’s plans for 25,000 UK students to go to India through the Generation UK-India programme by 2020, including 1000 UK interns with Tata Consultancy Services in India by 2020.
  • The two Prime Ministers also welcomed the 3rd phase of the UK India Education and Research Initiative.
  • The two Prime Ministers welcomed the commitment to achieving mutual recognition of UK and Indian qualifications.

4.         Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Sajid Javid and the Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, recently visited Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Bangalore from December 9-11, 2015, accompanied by a large academic delegation including Vice Chancellors of Universities of Birmingham, Warwick, Nottingham and Leicester. The visit was aimed at conveying messages about the quality and employability benefits of a UK university education; demonstrated to Indian students that the UK warmly welcomes India’s brightest and best students to UK’s world-class universities; and promoted the impressive range of partnerships on education, science, research and skills that are now key pillars of the bilateral relationship.   The Ministers met HRM, Minister of Science & Technology, Minister of Skills and the Finance Minister.  During the visit, an event to launch 2016 UK-India Year of Education, Research and Innovation was held which was attended by HRM, senior Indian officials and faculty, school and college principals, education agents, students, business organizations and media.  In other events, the Ministers re-confirmed the announcements made during the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to the UK on November 12, 2015.

5.         Indian Students: The UK has traditionally been a favourite destination for international students.  Management, computing, engineering, media studies, art and design are the preferred courses of the Indian students. The number of Indian students in the UK from 2003-04 to 2013-14 for higher Education, are as below:



























Source : Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)

6.         Presently, there are approximately 18-19,000 Indian students pursuing Undergraduate and Postgraduate courses in the UK.   However, in recent past, the number of Indian students enrolling in the UK Universities has come down by around 50%.  One factor is the closure of the old Tier 1 Post Study work route in 2012.  Changes introduced by UK mean foreign students (non-EU) will only be able to remain in UK, if they get a graduate level job with a salary of at least 20,000/- (or the going rate for the job).

7.         PM Cameron during his visit to India in February 2013 reaffirmed that “Britain warmly welcomes Indian students to the UK”.  Both sides expressed interest in further enhancing the mobility and exchange of students between India and the UK.  In his address at the Commonwealth Games Business Conference in Glasgow on July 23, 2014, PM Cameron defended the Government policy of keeping “no cap” on number of students and control over immigration but allowing work study visa only for those with “Graduate level jobs”.

8.         The Minister for Immigration, James Brokenshire, in his written statement in the House of Commons on Immigration Rules on July 13, 2015 stated “The Government are reforming the student visa system to reduce net migration and tackle abuse.  These changes will help achieve this, while ensuring the UK maintains a highly competitive offer and continues to attract the brightest and best international students.”

9.         High Commissioner has held regular meetings Minister for Universities, Science and Cities Greg Clark and Minister for Security & Immigration James Brokenshire to discuss issues related to Indian students in the UK particularly w.r.t. sponsors suspension of institutions, support for students at institutions with license revoked, student visa requirements (IELTS), immigration issues and post study work visa.   During the Meetings, UK side has admitted that the repeal of the post-study work visa has been the most important reason for the drop in the number of Indian students coming to the UK.  HC had suggested options of refining the post-study work visa. 

10.       Subsequently HC met with Ms Nicola Dandridge, Chief Executive, Universities UK  and it was agreed to work together to push for some positive changes to the UK’s immigration system for the benefit of Indian students coming to study in the UK.     A joint paper setting out some of the major issues for Indians students and some recommended actions is being drawn up to summarize  the existing issues and outline the meaningful action needed to address the stark decline in the number of Indian students coming to the UK. 
11.       Bilateral mechanisms:      The partnership between UK and India cuts across all segments of the education sector.  The following mechanisms have been set up over the years.

  • India-UK Education Forum

12.       The bilateral cooperation in the education sector got a platform with the setting up of India-UK Education Forum in pursuance of the India-UK Summit between Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh and Prime Minister Gordon Brown.  Major aims of the Forum are to promote links between British and premier educational institutions in India, including collaboration for the establishment of  IIT Punjab, Indian Institute of Science Education & Research (IISER) Pune, one IIM and one Central University. 

13.       India-UK Education Forum holds regular meetings at Ministerial-level; the last Meeting was held in New Delhi in November 2014 and the seventh meeting is scheduled to be held in London in the near future.  The Joint Statements signed by the two sides laid emphasis on strengthening of cooperation in school sector, further education and skills development, higher education, research and innovation and policy & reform challenges.

14.       The Seventh India-UK Education Forum will be held in London in the near future.

  • Joint Working Group on Education :

15.       The 6th India-UK Education Forum Meeting held on 13th November, 2014 in New Delhi, decided to constitute a Joint Working Group consisting of officers from both sides to deliberate and work on modalities of future collaborations in education. The first meeting of the JWC on Education met on July 16, 2015.        The decision to celebrate 2016 as the UK-India Year of Education, Science and Technology was the key outcome of the Meeting. 

  •    UK-India Education Research Initiative (UKIERI)

16.       UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) Phase 1 (2006-2011) started in April 2006 with the aim of enhancing educational links between India and the UK.  UKIERI has been recognized as a key multi stakeholder programme that has strengthened the educational relations between the two countries and has been successful in covering all segments of the education sector.    

17.       UKIERI is supported by Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Foreign and Commonwealth Office, British Council, Scottish Government, Welsh Government from UK side and from Indian side, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department for Science and Technology, All India Council for Technical Education and University Grants Commission.

18.       UKIERI Phase-2 (2011-16) narrowed the focus by working on thematic areas of national concern to both countries.  It supported partnership under leadership, innovation, skills development and mobility with the aim to drive through strategic and system driven projects.

19.       The four main focus areas of UKIERI are:

a) Leadership Development across Higher and Further Education, and Schools is a key area for collaboration for both India and the UK. This provides opportunities to teachers, faculty and senior staff and schools for capacity building and focus on building and implementing a strategic plan to transform leadership and management in Indian schools, Higher Education and Further Education institutions. 

b)Innovation Partnerships focuses on enhancing the innovation capacity between universities and higher education institutions in India and the UK by promoting partnerships with focus on innovation. The strand has also set up an India UK Taskforce on  Qualification Recognition apart from establishing trilateral partnerships for collaborative research and development activities between the US, UK and India.

c) Skills Developmentfocuses on capacity building for vocational and technical education, enabling an increase in the level of engagement between the skills sectors of the two countries, backed up by research to inform the development of innovative, viable and sustainable partnership models.

d) Enhancing Mobility aims to foster mobility of students across India and the UK and to work on key areas like mutual recognition of qualifications and credit transferability. Through these student mobility programmes, students would gain experience and greater understanding of culture, education and economy of both countries.

20.       The Key Achievements of UKIERI are as follows:

  • 142 Higher Education Partnerships involving over 280 institutions to undertake joint research and programme delivery
  • 26 Skills Partnerships to support curriculum development and deliver industry relevant training
  • 216 Facilitation travel grants for partnership development, sharing of best practices on curriculum  & pedagogy and professional development
  • Opportunity to 325 British Students to visit India under the Study India Programme
  • Constitution of the India –UK Qualification Recognition taskforce
  • 18 events in policy dialogue and networking

21.       UKIERI – Phase 3 (2016-2021): Formal agreement between the two Governments for Phase 3 was signed at Ministerial level in March/April, 2015.  Phase-3 will comprise of four strands of collaboration on both higher education and further education. These areas have been developed in collaboration with the Government of India.  Progress on the UKIERI programme is reported directly to the UK-India Education Forum. The next UKIERI Board Meeting is scheduled on 6th September, 2016, where it is expected that the programmes under UKIERI Phase III would be chalked out.

22.       Key events and activities since 2012 are given below:

India-UK Roundtable on Innovation:India UK Round table on Innovation was jointly organized by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India and UKIERI in April 2012 to discuss opportunities for collaboration and partnership through UKIERI.

India-UK Roundtable on Skills Development:          India UK Round table on Skills Development was jointly organized by Ministry of HRD and UKIERI in April 2012 to collaborate on various aspects of Skills Development and grow together through mutually beneficial collaborations.

Progress and Monitoring Visits by BIS:           UKIERI organized two monitoring and progress visits for Department of Business, Innovation and Skills in Delhi in April 2012. The Secretariat provided comprehensive detailed documentation on the programme implementation.

Visits under the Higher Education Leadership Development programme: Representatives from Leadership Foundation, UK participated in a 4 day long series of visits and meetings in New Delhi and Haryana in June 2012 to devise a sustainable, scalable leadership programme linked with India’s national objectives for higher education.

Visits under the School Leadership Development programme: Under UKIERI and in partnership with NUEPA, representatives from National College for School Leadership, UK participated in a week-long series of visits, workshops and meetings in New Delhi in July 2012 to devise a strategic programme that will in future contribute to the establishment of regional centers of excellence for school leadership development across India.

British Council Interface with UKIERI Study India Programme participants: In August 2012, UKIERI commenced its four week Study India Programme (SIP) which gives UK undergraduate students an opportunity to visit India and to gain experience of Indian culture, way of life, people, arts, politics, economy and language.

Consultative Discussion Meeting for School Leadership Development: UKIERI participated in an open session in Delhi in August 2012 on School Leadership Development organized by National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) on issues and challenges in school education and exploring synergy with the National Centre for School Leadership development.

Thematic Project Review workshop: UKIERI organized a project review workshop for thematic partnerships awarded in 2011. 30 institutions recently participated in the two day workshop held on 22-23 August 2012 to share research progress and best practices of sustaining these partnerships.

Study India Farewell Event:UKIERI Study India Programme (SIP) started in 2009. In 2012, 165 UK undergraduate students arrived in India. The four week stay of UK students culminated with a grand farewell event at Mumbai and Delhi in September 2012.

Roundtable discussion on School Leadership Development Programme: In this series of activities in the scoping phase, UKIERI also organized a round table discussion in partnership with MHRD in Sep 2012 as the next consultative step in bringing all the stakeholders together and review the progress made so far.

UKIERI Partner MoU agreed: The UKIERI partner MoU was signed off by all UK funding partners in September 2012 confirming the financial support to the UKIERI programme for 2012. The MoU was signed between Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, British Council, Northern Ireland, Scottish Government and Welsh Government.

FICCI HE Summit 2012:FICCI Higher Education Summit was organized on November 5-6, 2012. UKIERI in partnership with FICCI is supporting Session on “Corporate Engagement in Higher Education” which aims to capture various participation models and explore the role, responsibilities and implementation strategies to adequately leverage corporate sector engagement.

India-UK Joint Working Group on Innovation   &  India UK Joint Working Group on Skills Development: These two have been constituted by MHRD and BIS to bring together key stakeholders working on the agenda of Innovation and Skills development in India and the UK to discuss opportunities for collaboration and partnership through UKIERI. The first meeting of the JWG members was organized over a teleconference on 16 November 2012 to discuss JWG recommendations for the next call to be announced under UKIERI. 

Study India Programme (SIP) Dissemination Events: Dissemination event for the Study India Programme was organized from 25th – 27th November 2012 in London.

UKIERI School Leadership Discussion meeting: On 6th December 2012, UKIERI hosted a school leadership development programme discussion meeting. On recommendation of MHRD, National College for School Leadership (NCSL) and NUEPA have been working together for initial scoping and design for a national framework for school leadership in India.

4th India UK Qualification Recognition Taskforce Meeting:The fourth India- UK Qualification Recognition taskforce meeting was held on 28 January 2013 in London. The meeting focused on addressing key action points of the last meeting; and explores a framework for working together for equivalence and recognition of degrees.

Senior Indian Ministerial visit to UK: Senior ministerial delegation led by Honourable Indian Minister Shri Pallam Raju- Union Minister of Human Resource Development, Government of India visited the UK from 28-30 January 2013 to engage with policy makers to reaffirm the India-UK Educational relationship and to forge newer ties.

MHRD International Conference on Community Colleges-Mainstreaming Skills in Education:UKIERI associated with MHRD for this international conference organized on 6 February 2013 in New Delhi. The conference provided an opportunity for panelists to discuss the Community College Systems of various countries.

UK Minister visit to India: On behalf of UKIERI, two MoU were signed by visiting UK Minister David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science and Shri Jitin Prasada, Indian Minister of State for Human Resource Development under UKIERI on 20 February 2013 to support activities regarding Community Colleges and School Leadership Development Programme. 

National Workshop on Quality Assurance and Accreditation: UKIERI in partnership with MHRD, Government of India and National Board of Accreditation organized a two day workshop in May 2013 to provide a road map for using accreditation as tool for ensuring quality in Indian Higher and Technical Educational Institutions.


FICCI Global Skills Summit 2013: FICCI Global Skills Summit was on 4 - 5 September 2013. UKIERI project awarded on developing “National Occupational Standards in Dental & Nursing” was showcased as a case study. The project partners Coatbridge College and Kuravackal Educational and Charitable Trust have developed 4 NOS and they are in discussion with Healthcare SSC for approval.

Showcase of UKIERI Partnerships for Scottish Minister: UKIERI showcase event focused at opportunities for Scotland through UK India partnerships was organized on 14th October 2013 in New Delhi. The Scottish Minister acknowledged the excellent work being undertaken by UKIERI and also supported the strengthened linkages between Scottish and Indian institutions through UKIERI.

Education World Forum - 2014: Senior Ministerial level delegation led by Minister of HRD, Dr. M.M. Pallam Raju visited London and participated in the Education World Forum held on 19-22 January, 2014. On the sidelines, Minister had extensive bilateral talks with his UK counterpart. Minister also visited Somerville College, Oxford. 

Study India Programme (SIP) In July, 2014, UKIERI commenced its four week Study India Programme (SIP) which gives UK undergraduate students an opportunity to visit India and to gain experience of Indian culture, way of life, people, arts, politics, economy and language.  The UKIERI Study India programme started in 2009 and till date over 900 UK students have got a chance to travel to India and learn about new culture and enterprise skills.

UK Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Dr Vince Cable, visit to India: During his visit to India from October 10-15, 2014,   Dr. Vince Cable announced the following measures to encourage more Indian students to come to the UK:

• The largest ever number of scholarships for Indian students through the GREAT Scholarships programme. The 2015 intake will offer 396 new scholarships at 57 institutions across the UK to study a variety of under-graduate and post-graduate courses such as engineering and IT.

• The opening of the Education UK Alumni Awards which will reward Indian alumni of UK institutions that have made a significant impact upon their return to India.

  • Dr Vince Cable highlighted the valuable contribution Indian students make by studying at UK universities. UK universities have produced some of India’s most eminent and talented graduates.


23.       (IV) Generation UK-India programme :             Generation UK-India Programme was launched on 13 November 2014 by the Education Ministers of both the countries during the 6th India-UK Bilateral Education Forum in New Delhi.  The programme will support up to 25,000 young people going to India from UK between 2015-2020 to gain exposure, experience and skills. The programme has five strands – Teaching Assistants, Internships, Cultural Immersion/Study placements, Think India and the existing programmes, under which placements will be made.

24.       In the pilot year (2015) of the programme, placements were made under Cultural Immersion Placements (400 places) and Teaching Assistants (100 places).   Funded by UKERI, 400 cultural immersions placements are being done across three different programmes, i.e. Study India, Make India and Digital India. During the two-week programme in July 2015, 60 participants took part in Make in India visiting Mumbai, Ahmadabad, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Delhi.  This placement has a focus on India’s manufacturing industry and fashion from high-end technology to rural artisans.   Under the Teaching Assistantship programme, 84 British nationals (Under Graduates and Graduates) visited India between July-September, 2015 to complete a mixture of two-five months placements.  They were hosted by 55 private schools in 18 States across India.  2500 UK nationals are expected to visit India during the second year (2016-17) of the programme which would be coordinated by British Council, London. As announced during PM Modi’s UK visit in November 2015, British Council and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) are partnering to offer 1000 paid internships in India for UK graduates as part of the Generation UK India Programme.

  • Scholarship Schemes

25.       There are 25 National Overseas Scholarship (NOS) students from Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment and 6 NOS students from Ministry of Tribal Affairs, who are studying in UK for PhD and MSc courses for 4 years and 2 years respectively.    Based on the financial sanctions issued by these Ministries, Mission releases payments on account of tuition fees, maintenance allowance and other expenses. For 2016-17, Mission has confirmed the admission of one NOS awardee under the Disability category, Mr. Roshan Kumar Sahu who is due to join Oxford University in October 2016.   

26.     ICCR offers two annual scholarship slots to meritorious nationals from the UK to pursue under-graduate, post-graduate, doctoral and other research courses in Indian Universities in general courses (except medicine and dentistry) under the Commonwealth Scholarship/Fellowship Plan.

27.     ICCR has introduced two short term scholarships to SOAS scholars under Commonwealth Scholarship scheme in current financial year to study in India. Mr. Nikheel Gorelay and Mr. Tingxi Ma are selected candidates for the above scheme.

28.       Ministry of Human Resource Development also administers award of Ms. Agatha Harrison Memorial Fellowship (one fellowship) instituted by GoI at St. Antony’s College, Oxford (U.K). The Fellowship, tenable for one year, carries an amount of £ 29,347/- per annum.    The Fellowship is meant for scholars who have specialized in Modern Indian Studies in the subject fields of History, Economics and Political Science.  Dr. Sanghamitra Choudhury who has specialized in Political Science was awarded Ms. Agatha Harrison Memorial Visiting fellowship at St. Antony’s College, Oxford for the year 2014-15.However, no candidate has been nominated by MHRD for academic year 2016-17.  

29.       Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan (CSFP): The Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the United Kingdom (CSC) manages the UK Government’s contribution to this plan. The CSC supports over 900 awards annually, funded by the Department for International Development, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, and the Scottish Government, in conjunction with UK universities. With a budget of around £25 million per annum, Commonwealth Scholarships are a major UK government scholarship scheme. India is offered 65 slots and the nominations are done by MHRD.


31.     Cambridge Judge Business School has strong ties with India. Government of India had established Jawaharlal Nehru Professorship through a grant of £3.2 million to University of Cambridge. Prof. Jaideep Prabhu is the first Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business & Enterprise joining in September 2008.   Also, Cambridge Judge Business School is home for the Centre for India and Global Business (CIGB). The Centre acts as a platform for research and engagement with key partners in industry, academia and policy in India, the UK and across the world and aims to examine India’s current and future role in the global knowledge economy.  High Commissioner visited Cambridge Judge Business School in October, 2014 and had a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor of the University. Professor Jaideep Prabhu, Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business & Enterprise and Director of the Centre for India & Global Business (CIGB), chaired a roundtable discussion where key activities and research in relation to India were discussed.Lord Karan Billimoria has been selected as Chairman of the Advisory Board, Cambridge Judge Business School.

32.       Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Trust (JNMT):  JNMT was founded in 1969 by Lord Mountbatten of Burma in memory of the first Prime Minister of India Jawaharlal Nehru.  The initial endowment was provided by HM Treasury and is managed today by Cazenove Capital Management on behalf of the Governor.  The High Commissioner of India is the ex-officio Governor of the Trust which also includes some of the prominent British and Indian academicians. The Governors meet, as a board, twice a year. The Trust has two objectives: (i) to give Indian scholars, the benefit of post-graduate studies (fully funded PhD courses) at Cambridge; and (ii) organize an annual memorial lecture by a speaker of international stature. Between 1968-2010, 99 scholarships (updated figures are being obtained) have been awarded to the Indian studies, of which 21 became members of Trinity College.  Generally, one BA (affiliated student; two MPhil and one PhD student have been offered scholarships.The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Trust (JNMT) and the Cambridge Commonwealth, European and International Trust (CCEIT) have worked together since 1995 on the joint funding of Indian students on PhD courses at the University of Cambridge.  In recent years CCEIT has contributed financially to the scholarship programme, to enable up to two PhD scholarships in each academic year, leading to a cohort of up to six students in Cambridge each year.   However, the signed agreement for co-funding by JNMT and CCEIT ends with the award of scholarships to applicants starting their PhDs in the academic year 2015-16.

33.       The meeting of the Trustees on March 30, 2015 passed a resolution that JNMT should merge with the CCEIT and to transfer the annual Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Lecture to King's India Institute with an endowment of £150,000 from JNMT to provide income for the lecture costs.

34.       Tagore Centre for Global Thought, King’s India Institute:  Established in the 150th anniversary year of Rabindranath Tagore’s birth, and formally inaugurated by Minister of Culture in April, 2013, the Tagore Centre for Global Thought, is dedicated to exploring India’s diverse intellectual, cultural and philosophical traditions, and bringing them into dialogue with wider global debates and issues.

35.     The Centre has developed into a vibrant intellectual hub, building on King’s extensive cultural links in the capital and beyond.  The Government of India funding has made it possible to award PhD Scholarships to young Indian researchers, and to host visiting fellows and lecturers, who have brought Indian ideas and debates to wider International audiences. The 4th Implementation Committee Meeting of the Tagore Centre for Global Thought was held at India House on 15 February 2016, under the Chairmanship of Shri Virendra Paul, Deputy High Commissioner. During the meeting, Prof. Khilnani stated that they are overdrawn on the first funding and would like to move to the second part of funding. It was noted that the release of the Second Tranche of Centre’s funding was being coordinated directly by the Centre with Ministry of Culture, New Delhi. An assessment on Centre’s activities based on which recommendations for a extension of funding beyond the initial three years will be made in the next Steering Committee Meeting.

36. Indira Gandhi Centre for Sustainable Development (IGCSD): Somerville College, a constituent College of the University of Oxford, is establishing the Centre for India and Sustainable Development at the University of Oxford, with a mission to educate, innovate and collaborate on India's leading role in global sustainable growth and development.  The MOU was signed by the Secretary (Higher Education) and the Principle of the Somerville College in the presence of Vice Chancellor, Oxford University on May 20, 2013. The Indira Gandhi Centre for Sustainable Development (IGCSD), established at the College with Government of India providing seed money of Rs. 25 crores   (GBP 3 million) – has begun work.  The Centre is now called Oxford India Centre for Sustainable Development (OICSD). The Centre would be housed in a new building on Oxford University’s Redcliff Observatory Quarter adjacent to Somerville College. The Centre would be fully established in time for the centenary celebrations of Smt. Gandhi’s birth on November 19, 1917.

37.       The Centre runs a number of seminars, workshops and round table events through the year, covering inter-disciplinary areas of research and activities.  The Centre is overseeing a series of research projects that aim to reveal the synergies and trade-offs between social, economic and environmental impacts for a number of important sectors viz milk, marine fisheries, inland fisheries, weaving, silk production, water and sewage systems, education.  Up to five fully-funded Oxford Indira Gandhi Graduate Scholarships, endowed in perpetuity, scholarships are available to Indian students at the Centre.  Post-doctoral positions and fellowships will also be established.  The first scholarships and fellowships were awarded in October 2013. At present, there are 5 Indian graduate scholars at Somerville doing Masters courses/D.Phils including in water security, the politics of the environmental movement in India and the education of Muslim girls.  Three postdoctoral researchers on sustainable development are attached to Somerville as Junior Research Fellows/Early Career Fellows. In 2015, a new scholarship – the Prem Suki Scholarship  was funded in the field of medicine. A further endowed scholarship is to start in 2016 (called an Oxford-De Zouche), to research within the area of sustainable development. The Centre is expecting to secure funding for at least 2 further scholarships through the Oxonian India Foundation. This will result in a total of 9 OIC scholars in 2016-17.  The Centre has appointed a Research Director, Dr Alfred Gathorne-Hardy, to drive forward interdisciplinary research in critical areas, for example food and water security, environmental conservation, clean energy and healthcare.

38. Launch of Cornelia Sorabji programme at Somerville : The Cornelia Sorabji law programme is now underway, enabling two female students from India to take up their Oxford law faculty places in September 2016. Cornelia Sorabji, who was Somerville’s first Indian student, was also the first Indian woman to study at any British University. Upon her return to India, Cornelia Sorabji became the first woman to practice law in India and worked on behalf of women living in purdah. The programme will be formally launched in London in November 2016, coinciding with Cornelia Sorabji’s 150th birth anniversary, and thereby build awareness and further support from the law community (Indian and otherwise) in London.

39.       Somerville College is building a global consortium of prospective donors (from India and from the Indian Diaspora world-wide) to raise £17m for the building and further funding for additional posts and scholarships. The Centre organized a fund-raising event in October, 2013, at the Indian Embassy in Oman. 

40.       Latest events/visits:

(i)         Visit of the Education Ministers of Gujarat, Maharashtra and Telengana for participation in the Education World Forum 2015 in London from January 19-23, 2015 :  Education Minister of Gujarat, Shri Bhupendrasinh Chudasama, Minister for School Education and Sports of Maharashtra, Shri Vinod Shreedhar Tawde and Education Minister of Telangana, Shri G. Jagadish Reddy and  Smt. Vrinda Sarup, Secretary, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India,  participated in the Education World Forum (EWF) 2015 held in London from January 19-23, 2015.   EWF coincided with the India Education Week which included interactions at the BETT Technology Show, UK-India English Partnership Forum and South Asia Round Table.  

            Mrs. Vrinda Sarup spoke at the panel discussion making a compelling case for investment in knowledge based learning.  Minister Tawde addressed the concluding session of India-UK Partnership Forum, an event that brought together stakeholders in English and skills education in India and UK.  The Indian delegation visited the ExCel Exhibition Centre, the City and Islington College, the Kings College and the King Solomon’s Academy and also participated in the South Asia Global Education Dialogue on High Education.

            The visiting Education Ministers met members of the Indian community at a reception hosted by the High Commissioner on January 21, 2015.  The Ministers in their address shared their experiences of various interactions with academicians and policy makers in the field of education and underlined the importance of accelerating teaching quality and improvement in education; balancing skills and knowledge-based education; prioritizing policy actions for education and innovative approaches for stimulating education to support new business development.  Shri Sudhir Lodha, Member of the State Minorities Commission, Government of Tamil Nadu briefed the gathering about “Padho Pardesh” – a Government of India scheme of providing interest subsidy on educational loans for overseas studies for the students belonging to the Minority communities. 

(ii)        High Commissioner’s visit to Somerville College [Indira Gandhi Centre for Sustainable Development (IGCSD)] on April 24, 2015:   High commissioner visited Somerville College, Oxford to meet and discuss the activities of the Indira Gandhi Centre for Sustainable Development (IGCSD) with Dr. Prochaska, Principal, Somerville College.  HC interacted with Indian scholars and other academicians at the Oxford University.  

(iii)       High Commissioner’s visit to West Nottinghamshire College :  HC visited the college on June 2, 2015.  During the visit, HC met Principal and Chief Executive of the College, Dame Asha Khemka, Mansfield’s Mayor Kate Allsopp, business leaders having curriculum links with the college – including Midlands Aerospace and Center Parcs.    The visit included a tour of the college’s Engineering Innovation Centre, the construction centre, and other facilities.

(iv)       Interaction with academics on the occasion of Teachers’ Day (September 4, 2015):  Teachers’ Day function was held on September 4, 2015 at India House for Indian origin academics in the UK.  There was a very fruitful exchange of views on issues such as Make in India, role of IT sector, need for social change in India, reduction in the number of students coming to UK, applied joint research projects, exchange of academics under GIAN, skills programme, digital India.

(v)        Interaction with Indian scholars, academicians and British stakeholders on October 22, 2015:  A reception was organized at India House on October 22, 2015 to recognize the contributions of various UK-India collaborations like Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Trust (JNMT),  Oxford Indian Centre for Sustainable Development. The aim was to bring together the Indian scholars from Cambridge, Oxford Universities and other Universities including the Commonwealth scholars, stakeholders in the UK-Indian education area and the academicians.  Lord Karan Bilimoria CBE and High Commissioner addressed the gathering.

(vi)       Visit of 50 research scholars on Study Tour to the UK  :   As part of the 125th Birth Anniversary Celebrations of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar,  Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Government of India in coordination with the High Commission of India in London organized Study Tours for 50 research scholars from India  to London School of Economics (LSE).   The tour programme was conducted in two groups of 25 scholars each from 24-31 October 2015 and 21-28 November 2015 respectively. The scholars were given access to LSE’s library and archival resources relevant to their research interests. The students were also made aware of the issues of social inequality, injustice & empowerment affecting contemporary Britain through lectures given by LSE Fellow Dr. Lisa McKenzie. They also attended lecture by Lord Meghnad Desai, Emeritus Professor of Economics at LSE on the Indian Constitution.  The students visited Westminster, the British Library, Oxford and Dr. Ambedkar’s house on King Henry Road in North London.  The students were given a farewell reception by the South Asia Centre at LSE.

(vii)      Secretary of State for BIS, Sajid Javid and Minister for Universities and Science, Jo Johnson, visited India (Delhi, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Mumbai) from 9-11 December, accompanied by a large education delegation including VCs of Universities of Birmingham, Warwick, Nottingham and Leicester. The visit was aimed at conveying messages about the quality and employability benefits of a UK university education; demonstrated to Indian students that the UK warmly welcomes India’s brightest and best students to UK’s world-class universities; and promoted the impressive range of partnerships on education, science, research and skills that are now key pillars of the bilateral relationship.

In Delhi, the Ministers met HRM, Minister of Science & Technology, Minister of Skills and the Finance Minister; addressed over 250 students and faculty at IIT Delhi; and launched the 2016 UK-India Year of Education, Research and Innovation at large events with the HRM,  senior Indian officials and faculty, school and college principals, education agents, students, business organizations, media and other key contacts.

At other events, including media engagements, the Ministers:

  • re-confirmed the commitment to the UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI) – which has already supported over 1,000 partnerships in education and research, and 25,000 exchanges of academics, researchers, staff and students – noting that it will be extended for a third, five year phase;
  • announced that the Newton Fund (science and research) will be extended to 2021, and that in India the Newton-Bhabha Fund and joint investment in UK-India research have grown from less than £1 million in 2008 to over £200 million today;
  • reconfirmed the announcement by the PM that the UK will be the partner country for the 2016 Technology Summit and KnowledgeExpo in Delhi;
  • announced that the FCO’s Chevening Scholarship Programme in India (now the largest in the world) will launch new, fully-funded fellowships in financial services, clean energy and health;
  • announced that the GREAT Education campaign will offer nearly 300 scholarships next year, supporting Indian undergraduates and postgraduates at more than 40 leading UK universities;
  • reconfirmed the announcement by the PM that UK universities’ plan to send 100 academics to India over the next two academic years as part of India’s Global Initiative for Academics Network (GIAN);
  • reconfirmed the UK’s commitment to send 25,000 UK students to India through the Generation UK-India programme by 2020, including placements for 1,000 UK interns with Tata Consultancy Services;
  • launched the “Midlands Engine for Growth” initiative together with the VC’s of Birmingham, Warwick, Nottingham and Leicester, to promote the region as a hub for innovation and manufacturing with Indian education, business and industry partners;
  • reconfirmed the commitment made by the PM to establish Joint Indo-UK Centres of Excellence in skills to train the trainers in key sectors, starting with Automotive and Advanced Engineering in Pune;
  • reconfirmed the PM’s announcement that UK Companies will commit to a “UK-India Skills Pledge” to offer Indian workers skills and qualifications to match the international workforce.

In Hyderabad, Sajid Javid engaged secondary school students about higher education opportunities in the UK; led an interactive session with senior students and alumni at the Indian School of Business, which highlighted the UK’s experience as an incubator of innovation; and had an informal interaction with the IT Minister of Telangana during a tour of India’s largest incubator for start-ups, the T-Hub. He witnessed the signing of a MoU between T-Hub and UK-based Ledmac, an associate incubator of London Business School.

In Bangalore, Jo Johnson discussed university choices with senior secondary students at an international school; attended a Research Councils UK showcase event at the Indian Institute of Science, where he launched the RCUK/India Impact Report “Shaping the Future” and announced new research partnerships. He also attended a Graduate Employability Skills event with the Karnataka State Education Minister; announced Christ and Jain Universities as partners in the 2016 Generation UK India Programme; and a launched new partnership between the Open University and Manipal Education Group on technology-enabled learning.

Both Ministers travelled to Mumbai. Sajid Javid met 350 students at a school, 100 researchers at the Tata Institute for Fundamental research and 120 students at a design college. At the design school, he took part in a roundtable to discuss UK-India partnerships in arts and creative education. Jo Johnson   separately met 300 pupils at another school, interacted with 200 students at a girls’ college and gave a short lecture to a further 120 at the Institute of Chemical Technology. Both Ministers showcased the UK as a study destination and India’s partner of choice for research and the announcements made.

(viii)Interaction between High Commissioner and Indian Academicians on India-UK Cooperation in Education Sector on May 4, 2016: The High Commissioner interacted with more than 75 Indian academics and students at India House on May 4, 2016 and discussed India-UK cooperation in the Education Sector. Dame Asha Khemka, OBE, DBE, Principal and Chief Executive, West Nottinghamshire College Group also addressed the gathering. The event included the Indian origin academics who have visited India under the Global Initiative on Academic Network (GIAN) programme.

(ix)Introduction of the 100 Foot Journey Club, collaboration between the High Commission of India and the London School of Economics (LSE) South Asia Centre: The Club hosts academic events and other activities of mutual interest. It plans to organize at least 6 events annually, including panel discussions, film screenings etc. either at LSE or India House/Nehru Centre. The Inaugural Event, ‘Rethinking the Global Monetary System’, public lecture by Dr.  Raghuram Rajan, former Governor of Reserve Bank of India was held as LSE on May 10, 2016. The second event, conversation with the Former Chief Election Commissioner of India, Dr. S Q Quraishi, led by Dr Mukulika Banerjee, Director of the LSE South Asia Centre was held at India House on May 13, 2016. The Third Event, public lecture by Sumit Guha was held at Nehru Centre on June 6, 2016. The Fourth Event was a book launch of Suhel Seth's new book India's Greatest CEOs by The Rt Hon. Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities and Science, followed by a panel discussion including H.E. Navtej Sarna, Hon'ble High Commissioner of India to the UK and the author.

(x) Launch of two year visa pilot scheme for master’s students:The UK Home Office launched a Tier 4 new pilot visa scheme on July 25, 2016 for overseas students. Under this pilot visa scheme, those applying for a Masters degree course in select 4 high-profile universities (viz. Imperial College London, Oxford, Cambridge and Bath Universities) would be allowed to stay in the country for up to six months after completing their course to seek or find work under Tier 2 visa.




Dec 1, 2016
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