Lanka): India will extend more scholarships to
meritorious Sri Lankan students in high schools and universities
in the island, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna announced
"The number of scholarships and self-finance slots for
undergraduate, master's and post-doctoral courses will be enhanced
to 270 from 113 from the new academic year," Krishna said at a
public function in this port city, 116 km from capital Colombo.
The scholarships will cost the Indian exchequer Rs.114 crore,
which will be equivalent to Sri Lankan Rs.2.50 billion.
The scholarships, which will have three-year duration, will cover
fee, cost of books, lodging and boarding of the bright students.
Scholarship support to deserving students at GCE (General
Certificate Examination) A level and university degrees will also
be extended to 500 from 400 annually.
The scholarships symbolise the spirit of the India-Sri Lanka
knowledge initiative unveiled by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
during the visit of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse to
India in June 2010.
The Indian government will also offer 50 scholarships annually in
the name of Maulana Azad, a freedom fighter and prominent Muslim
leader, for master's degree (post-graduate) in agriculture,
science and engineering.
"To share the benefits of India's successful growth story in IT
with Sri Lanka, 25 Rajiv Gandhi scholarships will be granted to
under-graduate students of engineering courses in IT in some top
ranked institutes," said Krishna, evoking thunderous applause from
Bright students will gain experience from world-class faculty and
benefit from campus placements held by reputed IT firms for
The Indian government will also double scholarship scheme for Sri
Lankans, rechristened the Nehru Memorial Scholarship Scheme, to
120 a year to enable students to pursue under-graduate courses in
engineering, science, business, economics, commerce and
Slots under the self-financing scheme have been doubled to 40 in
medicine, dental science and pharmacy and engineering courses.
"The expanded scholarship will benefit all segments of Sri Lankan
society, including school students to university researchers and
teachers." Krishna said.