Cambridge launches Manmohan Scholarship
In a unique honour accorded to Prime
Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, his
Cambridge alma mater, St. John's,
launched a scholarship in his name, in New
Delhi on November 27, to help spot and
develop potential Indian leaders in the
fields of science and technology, economics
and the social sciences.
Speaking at a function at his residence
where Professor Christopher M. Dobson,
Master of St. John's, announced the scholarship
scheme, the Prime Minister said it
was a sentimental journey for him as he
recalled his days as a young student in
"As I said at St. John's last year,
'Cambridge made me.' The values, the
ideals and the discipline instilled in me at
Cambridge have lasted through my life," he
said. The Dr. Manmohan Singh
Scholarships have been instituted by
St. John's, one of the pre-eminent colleges
of Cambridge University, in areas such as
science, technology and social sciences.
Singh studied economics at St. John's in
the late 1950s.
Recalling the heady days of intellectual
ferment when he was a student at St. John's,
Singh said that Cambridge will have "a special
place in the hearts and minds of
The Prime Minister recalled the illustrious
company of his fellow students like
Nobel laureate Amartya Sen and the late
Mehboob-ul-Haq, former finance minister
of Pakistan, during his Cambridge days.
"To be honoured in this manner by such
a great institution is more than I can ask for
and certainly more than what I had dreamt
of," the Prime Minister said.
Always proud of his humble origins,
Singh did not miss the chance to mention
the inclusive vision that animates his government.
"Scholarships are an important
means of making education available to all
sections of society," he said.
"My life is a living example of what scholarships
can do for those who come from
less privileged sections of society," he said.
"I spent the first 10 years of my life in a
village without electricity, without any modern
infrastructure," he recalled.
The Prime Minister spoke about raising
the number of scholarships, especially for
children and youth from the less privileged
sections of society.
Continued on page 2
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London Mayor visits India
Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London,
arrived in New Delhi on November 18,
on a six-day visit to India, to strengthen
bilateral ties between India and Britain,
especially in business, tourism, education and
Accompanying the Mayor, was a group of
top business, tourism and sports executives,
which included Sebastian Coe and Paul
Deighton, the main organisers of the 2012
London Olympic Games, NRI businessman
Raj Loomba and TV presenter Myleene Klass.
Peter Kenyon, chief executive of Chelsea Football Club and
Jitesh Gadhia, the ABN Amro banker who advised Tata Steel on its
$8-billion acquisition of Britain's Corus Group Plc in 2006,
Christopher Rees, partner and co-head of the TMT Group and
Phillip Bouverat, director of Major Accounts, JCB, were also part
of the Livingstone's delegation.
Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of Film London, Peter Hendy,
Commissioner for Transport, and James Bidwell, Chief Executive of
Tourism, also accompanied Livingstone.
At New Delhi, Livingstone lauded the efforts of Delhi Chief
Minister Sheila Dikshit in the tree plantation programme, which he
said, "is transforming the local environment".
"In London, where we face catastrophic hot summers, where
thousands of people die of heat, we need to actually see similar
programmes there," he said.
Livingstone said that he was planning to introduce an "air quality
zone" that would cover the whole of London, to reduce and
gradually stop polluting vehicles from coming in.
On the issue of global security, Livingstone said, "Both Delhi
and London will always be target for terrorists, huge security issues
that we share."
Continued on page 2
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Kamalesh Sharma is new
India's High Commissioner to the
United Kingdom, Kamalesh Sharma,
was elected Secretary-General of the
53-nation Commonwealth on November
24, in what is seen as a major diplomatic
coup by India. Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh, who participated in the process with
other heads of state, said he was delighted
at the decision and expressed confidence
that Sharma would acquit himself well in
his higher responsibility as the first servant
of the Commonwealth.
Sharma's main contender for the post was the Foreign Minister
of Malta, Michal Frendo.
Outgoing Secretary-General Don McKinnon, a former New
Zealand foreign minister, announced that Sharma was the unanimous
choice of the Commonwealth, a grouping of English-speaking
countries that works on the principle of consensus. Sharma
takes over on April 1, 2008.
"I would like to express my gratitude to all the leaders for the
responsibility and trust they have given me to carry forward the task
of the commonwealth," said Sharma. "It is an honour and privilege
to serve this great institution."
Addressing a press conference after his election, Sharma said as
Secretary-General at the Commonwealth, he would vigorously pursue
collective solutions for collective global problems, especially
those affecting the developing nations.
Sharma said he would attempt to build further solidarity among
developing nations and work towards a consensus on some of the
most pressing issues faced by them.
Continued on page 2
KP world's richest property czar
A booming stock market is propelling
Indians into the list of the world's richest
people. With a net worth of $35 billion, K.P.
Singh, CEO of the New Delhi-based DLF
Group, is the world's richest real estate
developer, according to the Forbes list of 40
richest Indians. L.N. Mittal of ArcelorMittal
remains the richest Indian with a net worth
of $51 billion. Mukesh Ambani comes a
close second with $49 billion, while
younger brother Anil is the third-richest
Indian with $45 billion. Among the four of
them, their combined wealth is $180 billion.
If the Indian stock market had reached
the levels it is at today in March 2007,
when Forbes compiled its annual list of the
world's richest people, then, says the magazine,
these four people would have been
among the Top 10.
14 world-class varsities to come up
With a thrust on improving the standard
of higher education, the Indian government
is working on a proposal to set up 14 "world
class universities" across the country as
soon as possible. A blueprint is being prepared
by the HRD Ministry and the
Planning Commission to set out the criteria
for such universities, which will have a business
management school, an engineering
college, a medical college and a law college
in a single campus.
500 new airports planned
Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel has
said that the government has plans to touch
up 100 operational airports by 2008 and
create at least 500 small and big airports
across the country. During Patel's tenure,
the number of operational airports in the
country has gone up from close to 40 in
2004 to 81 at present. Calling the aviation
sector a 'sunrise economy', Patel said
around $150 billion was expected to be
invested in the aviation sector.
124 mt steel output by 2011
Steel production in the country is set to
go up to 124 million tonnes (mt) by 2011-12,
beating an earlier official estimate of 80 mt
by a wide margin. The new estimate does
not include capacities being planned by two
of the biggest global names in the steel sector
- ArcelorMittal and Posco. India's
steel production, which stood at 50.8 mt in
2006-07 against a production capacity of
56.8 mt, has been growing at 15 percent in
the first half of the current year.
YRS lays stone for uranium plant
Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S.
Rajasekhara Reddy on November 20 laid
the foundation stone for a Rs. 11.06-billion
uranium mining and processing plant in
Thummalapalle in Kadapa district, which is
expected to boost nuclear power generation
in the country. This will be the second
uranium plant in the country, after
Jaduguda in Jharkhand.
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