The awardees are entitled for a full coverage of tuition fees, living, journey and other expenses required for the courses. (Image source: @HemantSorenJMM )
Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren and state welfare minister Champai Soren on September 23 felicitated six students who have been selected for the prestigious ‘Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Munda Overseas Scholarship Scheme’.
The fully-funded scholarship, started by the Soren-led state government, helps students from the scheduled tribe category to pursue higher studies in the universities of England and Ireland. The awardees are entitled for a full coverage of tuition fees, living, journey and other expenses required for the courses.
Here is all you need to know about the scholarship:
Announced in December 2020
The scheme by state government’s department of scheduled tribe, scheduled caste, minority and backward class welfare was approved by the government in a cabinet meeting on December 28, 2020.
Under this scheme, 10 students will be selected every year from the Scheduled Tribes (ST) category residing in Jharkhand. For the first cohort of the scholarship, six students have been selected, who are going to begin their study programmes in five universities of England this year.
The scheme was inaugurated by the chief minister during the first year anniversary programme organised at Morabadi Maidan, Ranchi on December 29, 2020. Applications were invited from prospective students of the scholarship scheme on March 7, 2021.
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The Soren government claims that Jharkhand is the only state to run a state-funded initiative for only ST students for taking up higher education in the United Kingdom. The Centre provides 20 scholarships under an overseas programme for SC and ST students.
"Today Jharkhand has become the first state in the country which is sending its youth abroad for higher education. Under the Marang Gomke Jaipal Singh Munda Pardeshi Scholarship Scheme, 6 promising tribal youth of the state are going to the United Kingdom for education. My many best wishes and blessings to all of you young people," Soren said after the felicitating students in Ranchi on September 23.
22 courses offered 15 universities of United Kingdom
The scholarship helps students from ST communities of Jharkhand intending to do a one-year Masters or a two year MPhil in 22 courses in select 15 top universities of the United Kingdom.
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The universities where the awardees can study include University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Imperial College London, University College London, London School of Economics and Political Science, University of Edinburgh, King's College London. SOAS, University of London, University of Manchester, University of Bristol, University of Warwick, University of Reading, University of Sussex, Bournemouth University and Loughborough University.
Six students selected in the inaugural year
Among the selected students, Hercules Singh Munda is going on to pursue an MA at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Ajitesh Murmu is going to study for an MA in Architecture at the University College of London, Akanksha Mery has been selected for an MSc in Climate Change Science and Management at Loughborough University and Dinesh Bhagat will pursue MSc in Climate Change, Development and Policy at the University of Sussex
Other students include Anjana Pratima Dungdung has been selected for MSc at the University of Warwick and Priya Murmu will pursue an MA in Creative Writing and the Writing Industries at Loughborough University.
“I believe that it is a very important step by the government to help tribal students pursue higher education through this scholarship. This will not only allow tribal students to showcase their talent on the global stage, but also pave the way for progress for others around,” Anjana Pratima Dungdung, one of the six students selected for the scholarship, told news agency PTI. Dungdung is a resident of Gumla district.
Who was Jaipal Singh Munda?
Born in an ST family on January 3, 1903, at Takra Pahartoli hamlet in undivided Bihar, Jaipal Singh Munda used to look after cattle before missionaries to England recognised his exceptional talent. He graduated with Honours in Economics from St John’s College, Oxford between 1922 and 1929. becoming the first tribal student to study overseas, at Oxford University in England.
Munda had left the coveted ICS and later went on to become the captain of the Indian Hockey team in 1928 Amsterdam Olympic Games
, where India won the gold medal. Hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand was a member of this team.
After taking up teaching assignments abroad, Munda returned to India in 1937 and became a voice for the rights of tribal people. Though married into the family of Indian National Congress President WC Bonnerjee, Jaipal dared to go against his own in-laws and formed 'Jharkhand Party' in order to lead his 'Adivasi' people to statehood, according to his biography by Santosh Kiro. He formed the Adivasi Mahasabha in 1938, raising the demand for a separate Jharkhand state for STs.
Known as ‘Marang Gomke’ (great leader) in Mundari, a regional language in Jharkhand, Munda was also a part of the Constituent Assembly, responsible for drafting the Indian constitution.
Munda died at the age of 67 on March 20, 1970 in New Delhi.