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Scholar Rescue award for Art scholars

NEW YORK  : The first-ever award to rescue scholars in the arts from parts of the world where they are oppressed and denied freedom of expression was announced on February 27 by the Institute of International Education (IIE).


Established with gifts from IIE Trustees Robert L. Dilenschneider and Mark A. Angelson, the Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in the Arts will provide life-saving fellowships to 10 threatened scholars in fields such as painting, dance, music, architecture, and the performing arts.


Candidates apply through IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund, which provides fellowships of up to $25,000. Each selected scholar is then placed at a host university, which matches the fellowship and provides a safe place for the scholar to continue to advance his or her work.


The Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in the Arts becomes part of IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund, which for more than a decade has rescued 525 scholars from more than 50 countries.


"Scholars of the arts are among the most threatened during war and by oppressive regimes. Ancient treasures and new works of art alike are being destroyed in conflict zones, especially in the Middle East and Africa," said Mark A. Angelson, Chair of IIE's Scholar Rescue Fund.


"The Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider Scholar Rescue Award in the Arts will be the first major effort to focus specifically on saving threatened scholars in the arts. IIE is extremely grateful to the Dilenschneider family for establishing this unique program that will help assure that scholars who represent these essential creative endeavors can continue their work in freedom and safety," he added.


"Scholars of the arts are an extremely important part of the intellectual fabric of open societies and, sadly, are too often neglected in the face of emergencies or persecution from tyrannical regimes," said Dr. Allan E. Goodman, IIE's President and CEO. "We lose their creative work, which includes teaching the next generation of artists. This new program will protect free expression and creativity, so essential to any country's growth and development, and to fostering peace and prosperity."


"The world is in turmoil and we are in danger of losing the creativity contributed by artists, writers, musicians, if we don't rescue them from oppression. The record of our time should be from the arts and not the computer chip," said Janet Hennessey Dilenschneider.

www.scholarrescuefund.org for more details.


AIU pact with Taiwan higher edu body on scholarships


WARANGAL : On June 22 Taiwan expressed keen desire to collaborate with India and to expand its scholarship programme, particularly for professional and vocational courses.

Taiwan Vice-Chancellor Cheui-An Bi signing an MoU at the National Institute of Technology in Warangal on Saturday. Andy Cheu-An Bi, Director General, Department of International and Cross-Strait Education, Taiwan Ministry of Education said the move will go well with the Skill India programme.

He was speaking at the ‘2019 India-Taiwan Vice-Chancellor/ Presidents/ Directors Forum’ organised at the National Institute of Technology-Warangal in collaboration with the Association of Indian Universities (AIU).

Twenty-eight delegates headed by Prof. Cheu-An Bi, and about 60 Vice-Chancellors of Central Universities, public universities, private universities, directors of Central institutes and other institutions in India took part in the event. During the inauguration, an MoU was signed between AIU and Foundation for International Cooperation in Higher Education of Taiwan (FICHET) on cooperation in the field of technology, education, medicine and agriculture.

This forum will include talks by Indian and Taiwanese speakers, which will be combination of top-down and bottom-up as well as inside-out and outside-in approaches concerning policies, regulations and educational operations. The pact would enable opportunities for collaboration between Indian and Taiwan, and facilitate alliance and exchange.

AIU president Dr Sandeep Sancheti, in his address, stated that Taiwan has sought to increase cooperation with India in areas such as technology, medicines, manufacturing, agriculture, education, culture and tourism. He highlighted the functions of Taiwan Education Centre (TEC) in India, which has been established by National Tsing Hua University, with the backing of the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Taiwan; and said the proposed Educational Entrepreneurship Program will prepare the workforce system with knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to lead an organisation.

Charles Li, director general Taipei Economic and Cultural Centre in Chennai, said the collaboration will offer international opportunities to Indian students and improve the industry and academic cooperation between the two countries.

Dr K.K. Aggarwal, chairman of National Board of Accreditation, in his inaugural address, highlighted the issues of talent shortage and armies of the unemployed in India, and insisted that creativity and innovation should be the way of life.

NIT-W director Prof N.V. Ramana Rao presented a report on the accomplishments of the institute. Mr B. Janardhan Reddy, Secretary of Higher Education, Telangana, emphasised the need to generate employability and encourage dignity of labour, considering the taboo attached to vocational training.

Prof K.V. Jayakumar, dean-IRAA, NITW, announced the opening of the Taiwan Education Centre at the institute.

Fulbight-Nehru fellowships

NEW DELHI : United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) has announced Fulbright-Nehru master’s fellowships for Indian students who wish to pursue a master’s programme at select US colleges and universities in areas of art and culture management such as heritage conservation and museum studies, environmental science/studies, higher education
administration, public health, urban and regional planning, and women’s studies/gender studies.

The fellowship will provide J-1 visa support, round-trip economy class air travel, tuition and fees, living costs, accident and sickness programme for exchanges as per the US government guidelines.

The applicants should have completed an equivalent of a US bachelor’s degree from a recognised Indian university with at least 55 per cent marks. He should either possess a four-year bachelor’s degree or a completed master’s degree, if the bachelor’s degree is of less than four years’ duration.

The applicant must have at least three years’ full-time (paid or voluntary) professional work experience relevant to your proposed field of study and should have demonstrated experience in leadership and community service.

The deadline for application was July 1, 2014.

For details, visit www.usief.org.in/ Fellowships/Fulbright-NehruFellowships

British Council scholarships

MUMBAI: The British Council is offering 370 higher education scholarships to Indian students starting this year.

The Council has tied up with 36 universities in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to back scholarships worth Rs100 million which will be granted to 260 undergraduate and postgraduate courses of various disciplines.

“The scholarships, worth a total of £1 million [approx Rs10 crore], were borne out of an association with the prominent varsities. The process of awarding these and the amount would depend on the institution,” said an executive at the central office of the British Council.

We launched the first batch of scholarships at Cochin in February and plan to expand to the other centres in the coming months,” the executive added.

Offered across various disciplines, including engineering, law, business, art and design, biosciences and information technology, the minimum scholarship is worth £750 for undergraduate and postgraduate courses at the University of Bedfordshire and the maximum award is worth £15,000 f or a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Reading.

Post-Doc research fellowships

NEW DELHI : The University Grants Commission has invited applications from permanent teachers in a university or an institution to award Raman Fellowships for Post Doctoral Research in the United States.

The applicant must be a permanent (confirmed) teacher in a university or an institution recognized by UGC under 2 (f) and 12B of UGC Act.

The objective of the Fellowships is to provide the teachers with an opportunity to have international collaborative research, training in advanced techniques and technologies in emerging fields.


1. The applicant should be a permanent teacher in a university/institution recognized by UGC under 2(f) and 12B of UGC Act.
2. The applicant should possess at least 60 per cent marks or equivalent in the post-graduate degree.
3. The applicant should possess a Ph.D. degree in respective academic discipline (Humanities, Social Sciences, Natural Science, Engineering, Technology, Agricultural Sciences) or MD/MS/Ph.D. in Medical Sciences.
4. The Applicant must provide proof of having carried out independent research work published in peer reviewed journals preferably indexed.
5. The applicant should be of age up to 40 years as on 31 December 2012.
6. The reservation will be available in accordance with the national norms.

The UGC notification issued on June 31 says that the nominee should have been accepted by an eminent US university/ scientific/ technological/ research institution, where major work in the area of study identified by the nominee is in progress. The US institution should be willingness to accept and extend support to the candidate for the work proposed. No bench fee will be charged by host institution in US.

The candidate should himself/herself correspond with the proposed host institution of US for placement. Candidate is required to produce evidence for this minimally, in the form of electronic communication, with the US institution to be visited along with merits/uniqueness of that host institute in the proposed area which satisfies the selection panel about the acceptance of the candidate if he/she is selected.

The notification said that the Fellow will be entitled to fellowship amount of US $ 3000 per month. The minimum period of the fellowship would be 6 months and maximum period of fellowship would be 12 months.

The notification said that the Fellow will also be entitled to a one time personal contingency grant of upto a maximum of Rs. 50,000 to cover for visa, airport transfer, medical insurance etc. Medical insurance
expenses, visa fee, airport transfer charges will be met by the fellow from out of this personal contingency grant.

It said that the Fellow will also be permitted to travel within USA to attend conferences or visit other institutes of interest with the approval of the advisor at the host institute. The Fellow will be entitled to avail one of the following grants for this purpose.

i) Grant of $ 600 for fellowship period upto 6 months
ii) Grant of $ 1200 for fellowship period beyond 6 months
Air-tickets for all the selected Fellow would be purchased by the respective university/institution by economy class for shortest route from their place of work in India to the place of the American host institute and back. The actual ticket amount would be reimbursed by UGC to the institution for the same on submission of all relevant documents duly certified by the competent authority of the institution.

Rules governing payment of salary, leave, medical, gratuity, GPF and pension etc. of the organization/ institution/ university to which the fellow belongs would continue to be applicable. No liability on any of these accounts will be borne by UGC.

The candidate selected for the award for this fellowship should commence their research within six month period from the date of award announcement. Failure to do so would render the fellow to forfeit the award.


Fulbright scholarships tripled

KOLKATA : The number of Fulbright fellowships offered to applicants from India and scholars from the U.S. coming to the country tripled after the Union government started funding the programme, Adam J. Grotsky the Executive Director of the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF) said here on May 14.

In 2008, the government of India became a full partner of the programme as a part of a new agreement between the two countries and the Fulbright-Nehru fellowships were introduced. The very next year saw a doubling in the size of the programme and later the figures tripled, Mr. Grotsky said on the sidelines of an orientation programme organised for Fulbright scholars who will be travelling to the U.S. in the coming academic year.

In the 2008-09 academic year — the last year that the programme was completely funded by the U.S. authorities — 46 applicants from the U.S. travelled to India and 41 Indian scholars had gone there. In the coming academic session, fellowships were offered to 150 scholars in the US and 131 Indians, he added.

Mr. Grotsky said: “Traditionally, Fulbright was geared for the humanities, social sciences and the arts. But over the last decade we have seen an overwhelming response from applicants in applied science and the hard sciences.”

Science and Technology, Public Health, Environment Energy and Climate Change were some of the areas identified as priority areas by the USIEF and accordingly there had been an increase in the grants allotted to scholars from these disciplines, he said.

According to the USIEF data, 27 percent of the Fulbright-Nehru Fellows this year were from Science and Technology, 14 percent from Environmental studies and sciences and seven percent from Public Health.

Debal Ray, an employee of the West Bengal government who will be conducting research on environmental issues at Cornell University, also spoke of the need for greater diversity among the applicants and expanding the programme beyond the metropolitan cities that provide the bulk of the applicants.

Mr. Grotsky said the organisation was trying to address the issue and started an outreach programme to create awareness about the scholarships in the tier-II and tier-III cities in India.

He said the USIEF “made a big push in the north-east” as well as other towns. Of the 131 Fulbright-Nehru fellows from India, five were from the north-eastern States.

40% qualifiers reject JRF, NET

NEW DELHI : Nearly 40 per cent of the students qualifying the CSIR-UGC NET examination have not taken up the fellowship primarily because they prefer to go abroad for higher studies, says a study published in the Current Science issue dated February 25.

Data pertaining to CSIR- supported Junior Research Fellows (JRFs) indicates that around 41 per cent students who qualified for CSIR–UGC NET — conducted from December 2008 to June 2010 — did not avail the fellowships offered.

The study — ‘Are CSIR–UGC NETqualified Junior Research Fellows going away from science?’ — reveals that lack of interest is attributed to awardees’ preference to go abroad for higher studies. Employment in academics, R&D institutes and other fellowship offers were some of the other reasons why the students were not availing the fellowship.

But a sizeable percentage of NET-qualified students also took up the fellowship by clearing NET again and only a small percentage of these students opted for a career in non-scientific institutes.

So, the concerns that NET-qualified students are moving away from science are unfounded, the study notes. CSIR director general Dr Samir K Brahmachari said the students were interested in inter-disciplinary research.

Mechanical Engg Scholarships in US

Despite economic slowdown the US universities still draw a large number of students from India – cost being the only hurdle. Courses in popular subjects such as mechanical engineering tend to be especially expensive and any external financial aid is usually welcom. Some leading universities in the USA offer international scholarships to support overseas students pursuing undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in mechanical engineering and related disciplines. A few independent organisations such as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) also offer scholarships for international students. Here’s a quick look at a few of these: 

John Hopkins University 

The Charles R. Westgate Scholarships in Engineering are merit-based scholarships offered by John Hopkins University. They provide engineering students full tuition per year and also a stipend to meet living expenses for four-year undergraduate study. Up to two scholarships are available each year for entering students with outstanding high school records and achievements in various areas.  

Link: http://www.uniguru.co.in/studyabroad/international-scholarships/us-usa/qn/engineering-technology/211/qid/g/scholarship1.html

Illinois Institute of Technology 

Undergraduate international students applying to Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) are automatically considered for institutional scholarships once they gain admission at IIT. The scholarships, awarded by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions can be renewed as long as students maintain a 2.0 cumulative GPA on a 4.0 scale.  

Fulltime international students applying to Master's Programmes in mechanical engineering who have strong academic records may also be eligible for a one-year, half-tuition academic scholarship. Fulltime students applying to M.S. and Ph.D. programmes also stand the chance of qualifying for fellowships and assistantships. International students are eligible for up to $12,000 per year in scholarships. Students are considered automatically for these scholarships and fellowships at the time of admission, but need to ensure the funding deadline mentioned in the admission application is met.  

University of Wisconsin-Stout

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) at University of Wisconsin-Stout offers scholarships to deserving Indian students pursuing undergraduate STEM courses. This is a merit-based scholarship and internship programme restricted to AISES members. They partially cover tuition and other educational expenses. 

American Society of Mechanical Engineers Scholarships

ASME offers several scholarships to encourage international students pursuing mechanical engineering in the USA. 

Three Willis F. Thompson Memorial Scholarships, valued at $5,000 each are awarded annually to mechanical engineering students who are interested in the field of power generation. 

The $4500 Garland Duncan Scholarships are awarded to students enrolled in ABET accredited programmes or mechanical engineering and related courses. The winners are selected based on many factors such as leadership, scholastic ability, financial need and potential contribution to the mechanical engineering profession. 

Two $4,000 Melvin R. Green Scholarships are awarded on similar basis by ASME. 

The ASME Foundation Hanley Scholarship of value $2,500 is for students pursuing ABET accredited undergraduate degrees in mechanical engineering or related baccalaureate programmes.  Preference is given to applicants demonstrating financial need or scholastic ability.  

This is a guest blog by Priya from Uniguru. Uniguru is India’s largest study-abroad website hosting information on more than 5,00,000 courses, 11,000 scholarships and 4700 universities and colleges across USA, Europe, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand.

ICHR to triple JRF amount

NEW DELHI : Faced with the dwindling number of applicants for Junior Research Fellowships (JRF), the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR) has decided to increase the fellowship amount three-fold

The ICHR is also initiating steps to amend the bylaws to encourage senior historians to apply for the Senior Academic Fellowship (SAF).

ICHR member secretary Ishrat Alam told The Hindu on December 28 that the Union Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) has approved, in principle, the proposal sent by the ICHR to revise its JRF amount and to bring it on a par with similar fellowships offered by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Orders are likely to be issued in this regard soon, he said.

Though the ICHR is one of the most prestigious bodies having all the expertise and infrastructure, the number of applicants for JRF began dwindling.

At present, the remuneration is as low as Rs 5,000 a month which was fixed in 1988-89, whereas UGC offers Rs. 15,000 per month for a similar kind of fellowship.

The selection process in the ICHR is comparatively strict, which young researchers are wary of. The ICHR has been receiving applications from provincial universities but not from Central universities where the UGC fellowship is available.

The ICHR has been requesting the MHRD to revise the amount since 2006 and finally it has agreed, he said.

Mr. Alam said a clause in the ICHR bylaws discourage the historians from applying for the SAF. The clause has it that the fellowship amount should not exceed the pension amount of the applicants. But ever since the 6th Pay Commission recommendations were implemented, this clause has become a hurdle in awarding SAF, he said, and added that the ICHR has sent
a proposal to the MHRD to amend this clause.

The number of JRFs doubled

NEW DELHI : On January 21, 2011 the Union cabinet decided to double the number of CSIR-UGC Junior Research Fellowships (JRF) in the remaining plan period so that the benefits can be extended to more students pursuing their career in science and engineering.

The annual number of Junior Research Fellowships (JRF), open to students with MSc in any science discipline or a B.Tech in engineering, will increase from 1,200 to 2,400 each year, leading to a total of 12,000 fellowships over the next five years.

Science policymakers have been worried about the slow growth in the number of science and engineering doctorate-holders in India. “This will boost the number of Ph.Ds from India,” said Samir Brahmachari, the Director-General of the CSIR.

The number of science and engineering doctorates from India last year was a little more than 9,000, about half of an estimated 18,000 from China, Brahmachari said. Even Brazil had more than 10,000 PhDs, he said.

The total cost of providing fellowships for 12,000 more students in the 11th Plan period – up from 6,000 fellowships offered in the 10th Plan period – has been estimated at Rs 444.34 crore.

The additional fellowships are required because the number of students opting for a career in science has been rising for two years.

“In December, 2009 almost 1.12 lakh students appeared in the NET as compared to 87,000 students who sat for the examinations in June 2009 and December, 2008,” Brahmachari said.

The University Grants Commission (UGC) too has enhanced the number of fellowships. The UGC will now offer 600 fellowships every year compared to 300 it used to give out in the past, he said.

Combining with CSIR’s planned increase in the number of Junior Research Fellow (JRF) to 2,400 every year, the new cabinet decision will ensure that every year 3,000 students can carry out their doctoral research.

Currently, a CSIR-UGC junior research fellow receives Rs 12,000 per month whereas a senior research fellow gets Rs 14,000. Both receive an annual contingency of Rs 20,000.

This is set to change as the Department of Science and Technology (DST) has initiated a fresh proposal recommending Rs 17,500 as the JRF amount and SRFs expecting to receive more than Rs 20,000 per month. The amount of contingency will be enhanced.

However, senior faculty are concerned that the best doctorates will continue to leave India for post-doctoral research positions until India finds a way to absorb and retain Ph.D-holders in institution, universities, and colleges.

“Indian science will only improve when our best Ph.Ds remain and work here,” said Subhash Lakhotia, a senior biologist at the Banaras Hindu University. “Some of the most productive research emerges during the post-doctoral years,” he said.

Researchers believe poor faculty is one reason why India’s second-tier institutions have been unable to improve research productivity while top-ranking institutions have contributed a steady 30 per cent of research papers.

The CSIR officials said the increase in the number of applicants for its JRF exam— from 70,000 in 2007 to 87,000 in 2008, 116,000 during 2009 — is evidence of growing demand from students.


Recognizing the need to identify and nurture young scientific talent who could be enrolled for Ph.d. programmes the Council of Scientific & Industrial Research (CSIR) launched a research fellowship scheme in 1983. In 1989, NET was recognized by UGC as pre-qualification for Lectureship and was renamed as CSIR-UGC National Eligibility Test for Junior Research Fellowship and Eligibility for Lectureship. Since 1990, NET is being conducted twice a year in the month of June and December.

NET is held across the country in 25 cities and at 125 exam centers in five subject areas viz. Life Sciences, Chemical Sciences, Earth Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematical Sciences. Selection is made through two paper system.

Currently more than 1,50,000 students have been writing the NET each year. The CSIR-NET has established an enormous credibility in the country and it has become a bench mark for selecting candidates for pursing Ph.D. programme, appointment either as a lecturer or a project research fellow or for employment in various R&D organization all across the country.

In the recent times serious concern has been expressed by educationalist, scientists, policy markers etc. over declining interest of students to take up careers in basic sciences. There has been an emphasis on enlarging the pool of scientific manpower to contribute towards S&T development in the country which is the reliable benchmark to become a developed nation.
In order to achieve this goal focused efforts are required to be made to identify and nurture bright young students who can take up scientific research as a career. The present programme is one such focussed effort in this direction.


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