The University of Cambridge will establish a new scholarship programme in honour of India’s Prime Minister. The Manmohan Singh Undergraduate Scholarship programme will enable more Indian students to study at Cambridge and was announced today in New Delhi by Vice-Chancellor Professor Alison Richard. Professor Richard has returned to India following her visit last January.

The Manmohan Singh Scholarships will provide full funding, covering fees and means-tested maintenance, for undergraduate study at the University of Cambridge. As the programme develops there are expected to be up to ten Manmohan Singh undergraduate scholars studying at the University at any one time. More than £1.5 million has already been committed to support the scholarships over the long term.

The scholarships have been named in honour of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who graduated from Cambridge with a First in Economics in the late 1950s and who was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University in October 2006.

The Manmohan Singh Undergraduate Scholarship Fund will be launched with gifts from Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild through the Eranda Foundation, and from the Mr Sunil Bharti Mittal-led company, Bharti Airtel (through the Bharti Foundation). The fund will be underpinned by substantial funding through Cambridge Assessment, a department of the University and the parent of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). CIE is the world’s largest provider of examinations for 14 to 19 year olds and more than 200 schools throughout India currently take Cambridge examinations.

The Manmohan Singh Undergraduate Scholarships will complement the Manmohan Singh Scholarships for post-graduate students at St John’s College, Cambridge, announced in New Delhi fourteen months ago.

"It is a humbling experience to know that these scholarships for the undergraduate students have been named in my honour. I express my gratitude towards the University of Cambridge for giving an opportunity to the youth of India to study at one of the most prestigious institutions in the world. India is a nation of young and talented people where scholarships such as these will play a pivotal role in encouraging them to pursue higher education and contribute to the overall social and economic development of the country. I am confident that this programme will not only help strengthen relations between people of India and the UK but also serve our shared objective of creating a better world based on equity and justice", said Dr. Manmohan Singh, Hon'ble Prime Minister of India

On her first overseas visit in the University’s 800th anniversary year, the Vice-Chancellor said at a press conference: “The University is honoured that the Prime Minister has generously agreed to lend his name to this important initiative. This is another great example of the breadth and depth of the partnership between Cambridge and India. We are grateful to Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynn Forester De Rothschild and to Bharti Airtel, through the Bharti Foundation, for their recognition that world-class education requires global reach and we look forward to welcoming the first Manmohan Singh Undergraduate Scholars to Cambridge in 2010.”

Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynn Forester De Rothschild said: “We are very moved by the life of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. He proves that if students from any background achieve a world class education they can use it to vastly improve their nation and the world. We believe he is a beacon of hope for students in India who do not have the financial means to attend the University of Cambridge but have the skills and intelligence. We make our contribution for those students so that they might one day return to India to serve their country inspired by the path of Dr. Singh. We are very grateful to the University of Cambridge for enthusiastically supporting this effort and trust that it will be of interest to the most qualified students throughout India.”

Sunil Mittal said: “We are delighted to participate in creating this inspirational initiative to honour the leadership and example of our Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh. I was a proud participant at the impressive ceremony to award the honorary doctorate to our Prime Minister by the University of Cambridge in October 2006.”

Professor Richard is on a ten-day return visit to India travelling to Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai. A key theme of her visit will be how Cambridge and India can work in partnership to address crucial environmental and economic challenges.

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