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Indian-origin peer launches new Gandhi scholarships in UK

Press Trust of India  |  London 

Well-known British Indian academic and peer Lord Meghnad Desai on Wednesday announced the launch of scholarships in memory of Mahatma Gandhi to coincide with the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of the Father of the Indian nation.

In his role as Chair of the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Trust and in keeping with its mandate of spreading the message of Gandhi, Desai announced that the Trust will donate a sum of 100,000 pounds as an endowment towards a number of Mahatma Gandhi scholarships to be set up at the London School of Economics (LSE).

The scholarships would go towards supporting Indian students in their educational journey at the prestigious London-based UK educational institution, with which Lord Desai has a long association as an economist.

"This is the seed money which would then be added to by others so that a large corpus would be built up in time," Trustee Lady Kishwar Desai said in a statement.

"This would enable deserving Indian students to study at the LSE and has been welcomed by the Director of the LSE, Minouche Shafik, who is at present on a visit to India," the statement noted.

Shafik believes the scholarships are reflective of the LSE's very strong India connect, which counts Dr B R Ambedkar the architect of the Indian Constitution among its many Indian alumni.

Mahatma Gandhi had delivered a well-attended lecture at the LSE in the Old Theatre of the university during his 1931 UK visit.

The Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust was set up to raise funds for Indian Independence Movement leader to be recognised with a statue in Parliament Square, which was inaugurated in 2015 by then British Prime Minister David Cameron and the late Arun Jaitley, then Finance Minister.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also paid his respects at the statue in the heart of London on his subsequent visit to the UK.

In the past four years, the Gandhi Statue Memorial Trust has supported charities in the UK which are working on themes close to the vision and legacy of Mahatma Gandhi.

It is commemorating the year 2019 as the 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi with a series of initiatives including the new scholarships, details of which will be further unveiled over time.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Wed, September 11 2019. 19:45 IST