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ASEAN PhD scholars to receive well funded Indian scholarships in IITs

India will offer 1,000 fully funded scholarships for students from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries to do PhDs at the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). According to, a senior Human Resource Development Ministry official said the government will spend INR 3 billion (about US$42 million) on these scholarships. The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi will act as the nodal agency for the programme, and  will select the students over the next three years. The funding covers the entire cost of study and living expenses for up to five years of their PhD programme.

the scheme will begin by January 2020 with the first applications coming in this month. "This year 250 students will be selected for the first batch, while 300 and another 450 students will be selected for the second and third batches respectively," a ministry official told  “The idea is to position India’s educational institutions as centres where people come and get premium education at affordable rates,” said R Subrahmanyam, secretary for higher education in the Human Resource Development Ministry. 

Such collaborations were important between countries in Asia as “there are serious consequences for societies which are not able to keep abreast with the pace of technological change, let alone to be at the forefront of innovation,” said India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar at the launch of the initiative in New Delhi on 16 September, together with Human Resource Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’. The minister said PhDs and collaboration would be in cutting-edge areas of technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, advanced manufacturing techniques, smart materials, energy-efficient storage, targeted drugs and other fields. 

This ASEAN PhD initiative extends beyond funding 1,000 students, to much broader international collaborations. ASEAN envoys hailed the initiative. Chutintorn Gongsakdi, Thailand’s ambassador to India, said at the launch that it showed India’s commitment to further its ‘Act East’ policy to sustain the engagement with ASEAN nations and India’s rising power in an evolving Indo-Pacific.  "It's a great initiative and a very magnanimous one. It comes at the correct time. IITs are among the best engineering and technology institutions in the world. They are also among India's most well-known brands,” he said. 


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Posted on : Sep 22, 2019