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Jharkhand expands study-abroad scholarships to SC, OBC and minority candidates

After sending the first group of scheduled tribe (ST) students in the Overseas Scholarship Scheme in September last year, the Jharkhand government has expanded the program to include scheduled castes (SC), other backward classes (OBC) and minorities as well.

The government issued a notification on June 4 with a provision to select a maximum of 25 students.

The government said the United Kingdom through the Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office and the British High Commission in New Delhi would sign a three-year memorandum of understanding to launch a jointly funded Chevening-Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Munda Scholarship starting in September 2023. The students can pursue one year master’s or two-year MPhil program across 31 disciplines in top universities in the UK. The deadline for the applications is June 25 this year.

“Last year, seven students were part of the inaugural cohort of the scholarship and are currently pursuing postgraduate programs in SOAS, Loughborough University, University of Warwick, University of Sussex and University College London in a wide range of practice areas such as climate change, creative writing and architecture,” said a statement from the Information and Public Relations Department.

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Among the seven, one worked for seven years at his father’s stationery shop in Ranchi, using his spare time to apply for scholarships in universities abroad. Another grew up listening to stories of how his father sold goats to be able to get an education. Inspired by his father, after his BTech, he worked as a researcher at the International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad. Another student’s father was a construction laborer in his early years. All seven had their stories of struggle, along with a fierce determination to make the most of an opportunity that has opened up for them in the form of a scholarship scheme. Government sources said that they were on the look out for similar talents this year too.

The scholarship is named after Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Munda, one of the state’s most famous names — a tribal boy who tended to cattle but went on to become an Imperial Civil Service officer and, later, captain of the Indian hockey team that won gold in the 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games.

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