London, 15 Nov (IANS): Raghav Bahl, the Indian media baron who is the founder and managing director of Network18, is funding a new scholarship for academically outstanding Indians to study at the University of Oxford.
Bahl, is providing the financial support for one scholarship per year in memory of his father, the late Pran Nath Bahl, university sources told IANS.
The scholarship is open to graduate students of Indian nationality who have an outstanding academic background and are taking the one−year MSc in Contemporary India course at the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme in the University's School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies (SIAS).
The award covers the graduate student's full living costs for the academic year, as well as college and University fees. The 'Pran.Nath Bahl scholarship' is in recognition of the deep connection between Oxford and India over many generations.
The holder of the Pran Nath Bahl scholarship for 2012−13 is Richard Toppo, who completed his graduation from Loyola College, Chennai. Before coming to Oxford, he worked as a Research Intern and Research Assistant at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA).
Toppo said: "After completing the course, I intend to enter politics to work for the rights of the tribal movements of India in a more efficient way, and if possible give their movements a new direction. I envisage myself to be a part of the policy−making body that could realise a more socialistic understanding of development in India."
Dr Matthew McCartney, Director of the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme in the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies, said: "We are very grateful to Mr Raghav Bahl for his most generous support. It means that Indians who have an outstanding academic record are able to study a range of subjects specific to India and gain a world−class
education at Oxford, regardless of their financial background. It is another milestone in the longstanding relationship that Oxford has enjoyed with India.'
The deadline for the first round of applications for entry in 2013 is Friday 16 November 2012, with two further deadlines on Friday 18 January 2013 and Friday 8 March 2013.
The MSc in Contemporary India is an interdisciplinary course, which examines India's achievements and challenges, as well as providing high quality training in research methods.
This innovative degree admitted its first cohort of students in October 2008 and takes about 20 students a year.