New Delhi, September 17: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has launched a full-fledged Ph.D. fellowship programme at IITs for students from Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries. He hoped that the platform will lead to the generation of “new business ideas” and “exciting technological breakthroughs”. As many as 1,000 students will be selected in three phases for the programme billed as “the largest of its kind”.
Application portal also launched
Inauguration of the programme was done by S Jaishankar at the Jawaharlal Nehru Bhawan. A portal for receiving applications from students has also been launched.
A senior official of the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry said that a total of Rs. 300 crore will be spent by the government on this fully-funded Ph.D. fellowship programme for students from the ASEAN.
The coordinating agency for this programme that will select 1,000 students in the next three years is IIT Delhi. “This year 250 students will be selected, 300 the year after and 450 in the subsequent year,” Secretary, HRD Ministry, R Subrahmanyam, has been quoted as saying to a national daily.
The HRD Ministry is funding the programme fully, a senior MEA official said. To popularise it through outreach to ASEAN countries, the External Affairs Ministry is a partner in it.
“This is the launch of a platform for the largest capacity building programme in the ASEAN-India partnership so far. Through the launch of this portal, we open our celebrated Indian institutions, the IITs, to a 1,000 brilliant students from ASEAN partner countries for doctoral research,” Jaishankar told a news daily. The external affairs minister also said that along with mutually benefitting ASEAN countries and India, this programme will also “enhance the global reputation of IITs”.
“Through this fellowship programme, we hope these bright students will help transform the world by doing research in cutting-edge areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, smart materials, advanced manufacturing, target drugs and bio-engineering,” he added.
About Association of Southeast Asian Nations
ASEAN is an intergovernmental organisation in Southeast Asia. Its ten member countries are Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.