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University of Cambridge announces the prestigious Manmohan Singh Undergraduate Scholarship Programme

New Delhi, January 12, 2009: The University of Cambridge today announced a new scholarship programme for Indian students in honour of India’s Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh. Professor Alison Richard, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, unveiled this scholarship programme at a press gathering in New Delhi. The Manmohan Singh Undergraduate Scholarship programme will provide full funding, covering fees and means-tested maintenance, for undergraduate study in any subject at any of the colleges that are part of the University of Cambridge. 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 Bharti Foundation). The fund will be underpinned by substantial funding from 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 an important participant in the development of India’s education provision. A 1.5 million pounds fund has been set up to support the Indian students; this includes a half million pound endowment in perpetuity. As the programme develops, there are expected to be up to ten Manmohan Singh undergraduate scholars studying at the University at any one time. This initiative will enable more Indian students to study at Cambridge.

"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."

“The University is honoured that the Prime Minister, who is such a distinguished Cambridge alumnus, has generously agreed to lend his name to this important initiative. This is another great example of the breadth and depth of the Cambridge India Partnership. We are grateful to Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild and to Cambridge Assessment for their recognition that world-class education requires global reach. We look forward to welcoming the first Manmohan Singh Undergraduate Scholars to Cambridge in 2010.” said Professor Alison Richard, Vice-Chancellor, University of Cambridge; while addressing the Indian press in New Delhi during her first overseas visit in the University’s 800th anniversary year.

“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. Manmohan 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,” said Sir Evelyn and Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild.

“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,” said Sunil Mittal.

The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh graduated from Cambridge with a First in Economics in the late 1950s. The Manmohan Singh Undergraduate Scholarships will complement the three Manmohan Singh Scholarships that were launched for post-graduate students at St John’s College, Cambridge, and were announced in New Delhi in November 2007. The £35,000 post-graduate scholarship covers all costs, including tuition, maintenance, and cost of living for Indian students to read for PhD & MPhil degrees at St John’s College in areas such as science, technology and social sciences.

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. On her last visit to India the Vice-Chancellor visited New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore and signed important Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), with Tata Sons and with Astra Zeneca. These have resulted in a number of collaborative projects and exchanges related to Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Social Enterprise. In Bangalore this time she will sign an MOU with Infosys for collaboration across several areas including management, architecture and engineering.

About the University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge was established in 1209. For 800 years, the University and its Colleges have provided education, scholarship and research at the very highest level, transforming tomorrow. The University of Cambridge’s reputation for outstanding academic achievement is known worldwide and reflects the intellectual achievement of its students, as well as the world-class original research carried out by the staff of the University and the Colleges. The modern University is an international centre of teaching and research in a vast range of subjects: about half of the students study science or technology. Members of the University have won more than eighty Nobel Prizes.

About Cambridge Assessment

Cambridge Assessment is the brand name of the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate, a department of the University of Cambridge and a not-for-profit organisation. Eight million candidates a year sit Cambridge Assessment’s examinations, in over 150 countries. Cambridge Assessment employs over 1400 people and has an annual turnover in excess of £221 million. Cambridge Assessment plays a leading role in researching, developing and delivering assessment across the globe, by offering qualifications through three examination boards including University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) which offers qualifications including International GCSEs, A and AS Levels and business qualifications in a variety of disciplines. CIE advises a number of governments on education issues.