ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Need for Doctoral Scholarships

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In 2020, the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission, United Kingdom (UK) did not offer full-time doctorate of philosophy (PhD) scholarships for scholars from 42 countries designated as “lower or upper middle-income” that includes Ghana, Kenya, India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This step drew the curtain on a 59-year-old uninterrupted programme that has annually welcomed the brightest of scholars from the Commonwealth nations to pursue a full-time doctoral degree at a university in the UK. The Commonwealth PhD scholarships for low- and middle-income countries were part of the larger Commonwealth and fellowship plan that was initiated at Oxford in 1959 by the conference of education ministers. Between 1960 and 2015, over 30,000 Commonwealth scholars have been bestowed one of the many scholarships and fellowships, and over 7,150 were awarded PhD scholarships. The doctoral scholarships like the other awards of the Common­wealth plan were instituted with a core development impact potential along one or more of the six themes, namely developing science and technology, improving health systems and capacity, promoting global prosperity, strengthening global peace, security and governance, strengthening resilience and response to crises, and increasing access, inclusion and opportunity.

Naturally, the alumni of the Commonwealth scholarships and fellowships have become leaders in various fields as heads of states and the judiciary, diplomats, prize-winning academics, journalists, artists and entrepreneurs. Previous awardees of the Commonwealth scholarship and fellowship from India include a number of illustrious recipients who have immensely contributed to the socio-scientfic and cultural landscape of the country such as Raja Ramanna, former chairperson of the Atomic Energy Commission of India;
B N Suresh, director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre; Shyamaprasad, Indian film director; and Shailaja Fennell, economist, University of Cambridge.

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Updated On : 16th Jan, 2021

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