The Chevening Award scheme is the UK Government’s initiative for developing global leaders in the spheres of politics-diplomacy, financial services, cyber security, science- innovation, environment and journalism. Chevening’s India scheme is the largest of the 160 participating countries, with a budget of £2.4million funded by UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, since inception in 1983 there are 2,400 Indian alumni.

The Scholarship programme is competitive, the typical applicant is an undergraduate aged between24-37 with minimum two years’ work experience, from over thousand applicants a shortlist of 200 are selected for interviews at the British High Commission, out of which upto 60 will be successful. The successful will proceed to any recognisedUniversity in the UK for a one year fully funded (includes visa fee, travel costs, accommodation, tuition and daily allowance) Masters study of their choice. Many take a sabbatical from current employment to enhance their skills, others become specialists in their chosen fields of urban development, bureaucracy, gender studies, the development sector both public and private; one Indian Chevening Scholar heads the National Institution for Transforming India, also called NITI Aayog, and another leads one of the largest private organisations in the country. There is a mandatory condition attached that the Scholar returns to work in India for a minimum of 2 years.

The 8-12 week Fellowship programme is exclusive to India, customised for upto 60 mid-career graduate-professionals with 7-10 years of work experience, the subjects chosen are priorities for India.

The 8-12 week Fellowship programme is exclusive to India, customised for upto 60 mid-career graduate-professionals with 7-10 years of work experience, the subjects chosen are priorities for India, the programme is currently run in conjunction specialist Universities and sponsors. The Chevening Science and Innovation programme at Oxford for 12 Indians and 2 Sri Lankans is sponsored by Rolls Royce and the Gurukul Leadership and Excellence programme familiarises India’s future leaders with best practise case studies of leaderships in government, health and industry. Cranfield Defense Academy’s programme for Cyber Security draws fellows from the India Government, the Police Service, legal profession and industry enabling them to mitigate cyber threat and fraud.Westminster University’s programmeis designed to develop a comprehensive and mutual understanding of international positions for journalists and future media leaders from India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Shri Lanka and the Maldives; with Standard Chartered Bank as a partner London’s Kings College provides a new Fellowship for expertise in Financial Services.

Chevening’s Parliamentary Programme partners with the Delhithink tank Centre for Policy Research and is hosted by The London School of Economics, providing an unique fully funded opportunity for 9 Indian MP’s to spend a week in London discussing international affairs, focussing on the mutually relevant issues of foreign policy, health, clean energy, education and development and interact with the Parliamentarians in the UK. Subsequently the Chevening Alumni Project Fund is available for Alumni to develop worthwhile projects related to welfare and development in India, such as clean water and energy;typically Alumni deliver 30 insightful lectures across India a year.

A quick search for Chevening people on Twitter shows the international reach and achievements of Chevening Alumni, the photographs of those on programmes bear testimony to the fun had and friendships made which will hopefully mature into co-operation between nations in the future.

Candidate applications for scholarships and fellowships open online in August.

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