India offers 1,000 PhD Fellowships to ASEAN students at IITs

The initiative will fund 250 scholars this year, 300 in 2020 and 450 the year after. The MHRD will provide scholarships to ASEAN students at par with Indian PhD scholars, along with a yearly research grant

September 16, 2019

IIT Delhi has been designated as the coordinating IIT for the fellowship programme, and has developed a web portal for applications and admissions

The first batch of ASEAN students will be admitted into the programme in January 2020, and admissions will be staggered over the next three academic years

The fellowship at a total budget outlay of US$45 Million is the single-largest capacity development initiative of India in its partnership with the ASEAN

This is only one of many initiatives launched by the Government of India to promote the nation as a destination for higher education under ‘Study in India’

In January 2018, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi had announced India’s offer of upto 1,000 integrated PhD Fellowships for ASEAN students in the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). To bring this commitment to life, External Affairs Minister, S. Jaishankar, and Minister of Human Resource Development, Ramesh Pokhriyal, formally launched the Fellowship Programme at a ceremony at the Ministry of External Affairs on September 16, 2019, in the presence of senior officials.

The Ministry of Human Resource Development designated IIT Delhi as the coordinating IIT for the fellowship programme. It has developed a web portal where ASEAN students can log in to apply for PhD programmes of their choice at various IITs. The first batch of the ASEAN students will be admitted in January 2020, and admissions under the programme will be staggered over the next three academic years. 

Higher Education Secretary, R. Subrahmanyam said that the initiative will fund 250 scholars this year, 300 in 2020 and 450 the year after. The MHRD will provide scholarships to ASEAN students at par with Indian PhD scholars, along with a yearly research grant, as applicable. Additionally, the IITs will make a small provision to cover living expenses of selected students from their own budgetary resources. While for ASEAN scholars it will be a win-win to study in one of the best technology schools, for IITs, it will bring diversity to campuses and enhance their global rankings.

The fellowship programme at a total budget outlay of around US$45 million is the single-largest capacity development initiative of India in its partnership with ASEAN. This announcement is not one off, as India is committed to strengthening its ‘Study in India’ programme through various initiatives. For example, in this year’s Union Budget, an amount of over US$58 million has been provided for FY 2019-20 to create “World Class Institutions” in the field of education. This is more than three times the revised estimates for the previous year.