Kochi: As part of British Council’s 70 Years celebrations in India, British Council Director for India, Alan Gemmell OBE along with Dominic Asquith British High Commissioner and Janaka Pushpanathan, Director British Council South India, met with Shri. Pinarayi Vijayan, Hon. Chief Minister of Kerala, at his office. The British Council signed a MoU with the Government of Kerala to strengthen educational cooperation in the coming months which will reaffirm British Council’s commitment to be a knowledge partner to support the Kerala government’s ambitions in education. The MoU’s areas of impact will support the work of the British Council over the last 70 years, which was referenced by Hon’ble Prime Minister Modi during his visit to London. Young researchers and students from Kerala have been travelling regularly to UK for higher education and professional development.
As part of its 70th anniversary celebrations, British Council awarded fully-funded scholarships to 100 Indian women to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) subjects at UK's premier, higher education institutions. Shri. Pinarayi Vijayan, Hon. Chief Minister of Kerala felicitated the 9 women from Kerala who were awarded the British Council Master’s Scholarships, earlier this year. The scholars pursued degrees in STEM fields including astronomy and astrophysics, immunology, biomedical sciences, robotics, theoretical chemistry, molecular biology, data science and cyber security. They will be studying at universities of Sheffield, Bristol, Cambridge, Hertfordshire, Southampton, St. Andrews, York, Cardiff and the Kings College London.
The areas of potential collaboration include developing further initiatives to improve English teaching and enhance employability skills in schools and training institutes, building capacity in higher education and research. Along with this, The British Council will be donating/providing 750 books to the government library, in line with the knowledge sharing objective.Alan Gemmell OBE, Director British Council India said: “We look forward to partnering with the government of Kerala, which sets out our shared ambitions for co-operation in the future in the year my organisation is celebrating its 70th anniversary in India. Every day in those 70 years we have been inspired by India. And, with the rest of the world, we continue to be inspired by Kerala’s young people, its teachers and educational institutions. Through the MoU we will sign, we hope to support the Hon’ble Chief Minister’s vision for the youth of the State to be more employable nationally and internationally, have better learning outcomes for school students and seek greater cooperation in the education sector and enable them to have access to 114000 digital resources through our online library membership”
Dominic Asquith, High Commissioner, British High Commission said “I am delighted by the MoU between the Government of Kerala and the British Council. The MoU will improve students’ access to quality education, skills and employability, by providing them the training to pursue better career options and helping them achieve their ambitions. Our objective is to partner with Kerala’s ambitions and economic growth by increasing knowledge sharing, enhancing employability and building capacity in higher education and research. Through its various initiatives, I am confident that the government of Kerala, the British Council, the government of UK and will be able to build a brighter future for Kerala’s students.”