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India announces largest scholarship programme for ASEAN students

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with leaders of ASEAN nations. (File photo) Photograph:( Zee News Network )

WION New Delhi Sep 16, 2019, 09.21 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

With 1,000 PhD scholarships for ASEAN students in India's Indian Institutes of Technology(IIT), New Delhi on Monday formally announced its largest capacity development initiative for ASEAN countries

The total budget outlay of the scholarship programme is Rs 300 crore with the first batch of ASEAN students to be admitted in January 2020.

India's external affair minister S Jaishankar said: "Our partnership with ASEAN is built on the foundation of shared values. The most fundamental of which is the priority our civilization attaches to education and science. Our partnership with ASEAN has historically developed through a shared quest for knowledge."

The maximum tenure of each fellowship is 5 years with Rs 31,000 stipend for the first two years and Rs 35,000 for the next three years. A research grant of Rs 170,000 will be given for travel, books etc. The funding covers the entire cost of study and living expenses for up to 5 years of the PhD programme.

ASEAN envoys have lauded the initiative. Thai Envoy to India, Chutintorn Sam Gongsakdi speaking to WION said, "it's a great initiative and also very generous. It comes at the right time, I just came from Bangkok where we were talking about IIT campus in Thailand and next week I am going to Israel. So IITs fit very well in the modern context, adding, "India is one of the leading countries in technologies."

Indian PM Modi had first announced the initiative at 25th Anniversary ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit in New Delhi in January 2018. 

IIT Delhi has been designated by the ministry of human resource development as the coordinating IIT for the fellowship programme.