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King's hosts Chevening scholarship programme for Indian Parliamentarians

Posted on 25/11/2014

Indian Parliamentarians are joined by Professor Evelyn Welch, Professor Sunil Kilhnani and Dr Rudra Chaudhuri from King's.

NINE upcoming Indian Parliamentarians were hosted by King’s College London as part of the Chevening Parliamentary Leadership programme this month.
The bespoke programme was designed to give the group of distinguished Indian MPs the opportunity to engage in discussions regarding key international issues impacting the world, Europe and the UK today. The group met with top UK opinion formers and decision-makers within academia, government, politics, industry and civil society.

They joined in in lectures by King’s academics, and talks by representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, the Financial Times, and the Royal United Services Institute. As part of the programme, delegates visited the House of Lords, the Royal College of Defence Studies, the British Library and the House of Commons. The MPs spent time with both the faculty at the India Institute, War Studies, and across King’s, whilst attending a lively interactive session with students and Student's Union representatives from across the country.

The Parliamentarians attended a ceremony at King’s to receive their certificates of attendance from Professor Evelyn Welch, Vice-Principal (Arts and Sciences). The event was hosted by Dr Rudra Chaudhuri, Senior Lecturer in South Asian Security & Strategic Studies, and Director of the Chevening Parliamentary Leadership Programme for King’s, and Professor Sunil Kilhnani, Director of King's India Institute.

The UK government’s global scholarship programme is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and was developed by the India Institute together with the Professional & Executive Development team.

'A crucial historical moment'

Dr Chaudhuri said: ‘This is a unique programme. There is no better way to be involved in knowledge-transfer than to work with parliamentarians in an academic environment for over a week. After all, it is parliamentarians such as those that attended the King's-Chevening Programme that seek to legislate and debate matters of import on issues from education, health care, urbanisation, and climate change, to security and foreign policy. The world class research at King’s and across disciplines were made available to these MPs. Our hope is for better informed legislation based on comparative aspects of research and awareness of the key academic debates and practical applicability of the same.’

Professor Khilnani said: 'The King's India Institute's key mission is to connect independent academic research with pressing policy issues and debates - and our Chevening Parliamentarians programme perfectly demonstrates that aim. For a week, our academic faculty across King's, along with a variety of important UK leaders and institutions, were able to engage in productive and illuminating dialogue with a cross-party group of young Indian parliamentarians - a dialogue that exemplified at once the vigour of India's democracy and what the UK can both contribute to and gain from sustained engagement with India at this crucial moment in its history.'

The parliamentarians said regular contact between Indian MPs and King’s would be useful and welcomed.
One said: ‘The course was excellent. Perfect content, perfect duration, perfect opportunity to bond with experts at King’s and in London.’

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