The new awards are dedicated to Dadabhai Naoroji, the first Asian Member of the UK Parliament and the man who brought the first Indian business to the UK. The Awards will be open to anyone who wishes to apply and will have three categories - people who have furthered UK-Indian relations in the fields of commerce, culture and education.
The awards will be presented by the Deputy Prime Minister at a Foreign Office ceremony in the Autumn. Nominations will open on 1 September: anyone who would like to nominate an individual, either in the UK or in India, whose achievements have furthered UK-Indian relations in the fields of commerce, culture and education, will be able to do so online.
In addition, a new exchange programme will see thousands of young people from the UK travel to India to work and study. The Deputy Prime Minister announced a new British Council scheme that will see 25,000 young people from the UK visit India over the next five years. This will unlock new opportunities for young people in the UK, benefitting British students whose experience of living and working in India will help equip them for jobs in the global marketplace.
Commenting Nick Clegg said: "It is a great honour to name the awards after Dadabhai Naoroji. The Grand Old Man of India is one of my political heroes, having broken down enormous barriers by entering the British Parliament as the first Asian MP and challenging European prejudices about Indians. He is celebrated for his achievements in India and in the UK, and it is fitting that we should name these awards after him.
"Combined with the huge expansion of exchanges for young people between the UK and India, this award shows the real importance we in Britain attach to our relationship with India. There is no limit on the number of Indian students who can come and study in the UK. We welcome them with open arms because in many ways our education sector is the engine room of our friendship. That is why I was so keen to bring universities and colleges with me as part of my delegation so they can extend the unique experience of a British education to more Indian students."
Other universities and education establishments in the delegation also announced new links with India today:
- The Deputy Prime Minister celebrated the achievements of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative, which today launched a new initiative which will see Indian community colleges partner with further education institutions in the UK. The colleges will receive £25,000 for innovative partnerships that could include teacher training, engagement with the local community and new curriculum materials.
- A new Education UK Alumni Award, which will open for nominations in October to recognise Indians who studied in the UK and made an impact on their return to India. The awards will demonstrate the benefits of a British university education, both to the students themselves and to their wider communities.
- In addition, he announced today that 25 Chevening Scholarships will be reserved for young Indian entrepreneurs. These scholarships will offer highly enterprising individuals - Indian's future business leaders - the opportunity to study a one-year Master's at any UK university.
- British company Global Education Management Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding with Amity University School of Hospitality. This will mean more students moving in both directions to undertake internships and work experience in the hospitality industry. Ultimately, GEM estimates this will mean that it will bring around £250,000 more business with India every year, with greater benefits for both economies as the workforce becomes more adaptable and better trained.
- Bournville College in the West Midlands will open a £500,000 Centre of Excellence in Kolkata at the end of the year to train local people in "soft skills", technical education and healthcare.