TODAY -

My Chevening Journey in the United Kingdom

Dr Konthoujam Khelchandra Singh *

Chevening Scholarships



I have been undertaking a postgraduate research programme on the Integrated Management of Freshwater Environments at the Queen Mary, University of London for a duration of one year since September 2015, with scholarships provided by the Chevening secretariat. After having worked as Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Science, Pachhunga University College, Mizoram University, Aizawl for more than four years, I decided to avail one year study leave for studying the above said course to expand my knowledge base in my focal research theme.

I always aspire to continuously further enlarge the spectrum, knowledge of my interest in the management of freshwater environments. So, I have selected the Queen Mary University of London because of its uniqueness, central location and vibrant campus activity. It is also one of the global leading international centres for excellence in teaching and research. Let me highlight some of the important features of Chevening Scholarships.

Chevening Scholarships are the UK Government's global scholarship programme, funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations. The scholarship supports study and research at UK universities for individuals with the demonstrable potential to become future leaders, decision makers and opinion formers in their domain field.

The Chevening programme began in 1983 and has developed into a prestigious international scheme. Chevening offers scholarships in 160 countries and territories worldwide and major exceptions to this are US nationals or nationals of EU countries. Most of the Chevening Scholars (96%) are from the countries eligible for official development assistance (ODA).

There are over 44,000 Chevening Alumni around the world who together comprise an influential and highly regarded global network.

Chevening offers a unique opportunity for future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers from all over the world to develop professionally and academically, network extensively, experience UK culture and build lasting positive relationships with the UK. During our stay in the UK, as a Chevening scholars, we get different opportunities to take part in academic as well as non-academic related events in Britain.

I want to share one of the interesting events, I took part as a Chevening Scholar from India. On 21st March 2016, I got an official invitation from Justine Allan, Deputy Head of India Foreign and Security Policy, Nepal and Bhutan Team, South Asia Department, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, UK. The invitation was regarding a reception to mark the forthcoming official visit to India and Bhutan by Their Royal Highness the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at Kensington Palace to be held on Wednesday 6 April 2016 at 5.45 pm.

In the mail, it was also mentioned that Their Royal Highnesses are keen to meet us and learn about India and Bhutan ahead of their Official visit to both countries. They will also be interested to hear about our work, studies or charity work and how that helps people in India, Bhutan and the UK. I was one among the lucky 7 to be invited to this event out of the total 50 Chevening Scholars from India. Initially, I was thinking that about 150 plus people might be attending the programme, but to my utter surprise, there were only a handful of about 23 people invited.

At the Kensington Palace reception hosted by the Royal Couple Prince William and Kate Middleton- the group of people included India's High Commissioner to the UK Navtej Sarna, members of the business, charity and academic sectors and key figures from Prince Charles' Britain Asian Trust. The group also includes some Indian and Bhutanese students enrolled on the FCO's Chevening Scholarship Programme, the UK's international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders.

One interesting component of Their Royal Couple visit to India is the inclusion of Northeast India in their itinerary. After visiting Mumbai and Delhi, they are visiting the Kaziranga National Park- a World Heritage Site in Assam. This will have a lot of significance to the conservation efforts being taken up by India.

I got an opportunity to interact with Prince William, where I was able to highlight some of the unique features of Northeast India as a whole in comparison to mainland India. Northeast India comprising of the 8 states (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim), constitutes only 8% of the total geographical area of India and 3.1% of the total Indian population. And the region shares about 90% of its international border with the neighbouring countries like China, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The region has a unique landscape and is very rich in biodiversity. Out of the 34 biodiversity hotspots in the world, the region is endowed with 2 of them namely the Eastern Himalayas and the Indo-Burma.

The Duke of Cambridge was amazed to hear these exceptional features about the Northeast India. I also got a chance to give a small briefing about the Kaziranga National Park to the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton. The Kaziranga National park hosts more than two-third of the Indian Rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) also known as Greater One-horned Rhinoceros.

According to the census report carried out in March 2015, the current rhino population in Kaziranga National Park is 2,401. Rhinoceros is a huge animal, where a full grown adult will weight in the range of 2260 kg to 3000 kg and has a single horn, which measures between 20 cm to 57 cm. Among the protected areas in the world, Kaziranga has the highest density of tiger population and was declared a Tiger Reserve in 2006. But the sighting of the tiger is very difficult due to the presence of tall grasses. Some of the other important wild animals found in the Kaziranga includes asiatic elephants, wild buffalo and swamp deer.

Kaziranga is also recognised as an Important Bird Area (IBA) by Bird Life International for conservations of birds. I mention to them about the excitement of sighting the animals in the wild. So, I gave suggestion to enjoy the elephant ride inside the park so as to improve their probabilities of sighting the wild animals. They were also keen to sight especially the rhinos in the wild. The Duchess knew about the famous Assam tea and they are looking forward to tasting it during their trip to Assam. From Assam the Royal Couple will fly to Bhutan.

My Chevening journey in the United Kingdom has been a fantastic experience and this is one of such instances for which I would always love to cherish. Overall, the Chevening provided the magnificent platform for networking, acquiring new skills and knowledge well taught my world renowned academicians.

In the UK, teaching and learning process allows you to develop critical thinking approaches to any issues and tackle it from global perspectives. Studying in the UK is a wonderful experience, where it allows you to strengthen your career path, meet new friends and explore the beauty of Great Britain.

(The author is a Chevening Scholar on Integrated Management of Freshwater Environments at the Queen Mary University of London, United Kingdom. He is also serving as Assistant Professor at the Department of Environmental Science, Pachhunga University College, Mizoram University, Aizawl, India )


* Dr Konthoujam Khelchandra Singh wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer can be contacted at k(DOT)k(DOT)singh(AT)hss15(DOT)qmul(DOT)ac(DOT)uk
This article was posted on April 14 , 2016.


* Comments posted by users in this discussion thread and other parts of this site are opinions of the individuals posting them (whose user ID is displayed alongside) and not the views of e-pao.net. We strongly recommend that users exercise responsibility, sensitivity and caution over language while writing your opinions which will be seen and read by other users. Please read a complete Guideline on using comments on this website.


LATEST IN E-PAO.NET
  • Lafoi Shamda puthorkpa #2 : Gallery
  • Sangai Fest: Commercial Stalls #3: Gallery
  • The joy of living :: Poem
  • Bamboo a tree or grass ?
  • SELF Workshop on Leadership & Fulfilment
  • The Killing Fields :: News Timeline
  • Fight against corruption; we need Lokayukta
  • Hailing the role of drivers
  • Nangna Helli Nungshiba #2 :: eRang
  • Pung Chollom : Gallery
  • Wakhal Seireng :: Book Review
  • Imphal Jamboree by Global Shapers
  • Importance of regular health check-ups
  • Meetei demand for ST is Constitutional.. #2
  • Weapon Display organized at Moreh
  • Ex-Servicemen Rally organized
  • AR helps Orphanage & Old Age Home
  • Search of comprehensive culture & identity
  • List of MLA (Jan 2018) #1 : Gallery
  • Manipur Gas Today :: Android App
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #3: Gallery
  • GNRC media fellowship announced
  • The Meiteis- Festival & celebration maniacs
  • How to make bridal mehndi long lasting
  • Governor's attention drawn to RIMS
  • Scientist develops prototype of electric car
  • Stereotypes about NE make people living..
  • Light Show at Loktak Lake #5 : Gallery
  • Candlelight vigil for Pravish : Gallery
  • Imbroglio of ethnic identity of Ranglong
  • Foundation For Excellence scholarship
  • Time Table - Class XII Exam 2018
  • Mail spoofing- Trickery by deception
  • Trial by fire
  • Call for solution before election
  • Villagers along Myanmar border get pass
  • Meetei Chanu 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Tonreimung, Willubuibou: eMing
  • Art and Artist, A Creative Space
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #2 : Gallery
  • Ode to Thy Mellow Light :: Poem
  • Xmas with Meitei eche at Phaijol
  • Time Table - Class XI Exam 2018
  • Indo-Naga Talks 2017 :: News Timeline
  • IMC , now another hurdle to traffic mgmt
  • Setting aside two days for the people
  • Maring: Kummui Chaa-um : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #5 : Gallery
  • Statehood Day Women's Polo Tournament
  • Time Table - HSLC Exam 2018
  • Bananas: Beauty's best friend
  • DPC for Follower at Manipur Police
  • Job Openings at JCRE Skill Solutions
  • The lost treasure
  • Nagas' Interests : Stand of NPF MSU
  • Nagaland polls on schedule: HM
  • Mukna Kangjei Tournament #2: Gallery
  • Keisham Manihar : Natyabhusan(Leela)
  • World Tourism Day #3: Gallery
  • Responsibility of protecting the environment
  • Phishing vs Vishing: The Verbal Challenge
  • BNHS Bi-monthly Program for Jan-Feb
  • Managing weight for preventing diabetes
  • Making democracy peoples' participatory
  • Progressing from media to SC
  • Manipur to set up modern food lab
  • Gaan Ngai @ Kakhulong Khun: Gallery
  • A trip to Moreh #2 : Gallery
  • How long catchy slogans keep hopes alive
  • Recycling of hospital waste-water
  • I am sometime or somewhere : Poem
  • Angami Zapu Phizo's Surreal 2017 AD
  • Film "Legacy Of King Narak" awarded
  • Of PM and our CM
  • Patronising the killing machines ?
  • Deferment of polls unlikely: Ravi
  • PM may visit Manipur in March
  • Emoinu Khoiramba @Koubru #2: Gallery
  • NEROCA FC Vs East Bengal #2: Gallery
  • Transform Colleges into Innovation Centres
  • New Delhi: World Book Fair 2018 :: Review
  • Cry Of A Dying River...12 :: Poem
  • Workshop on National Pension for NE
  • Law enforcers action - Well & good
  • Final pact yet to see light of day
  • Cold wave hits Manipur
  • Take out the cymbals, Manoharsai to stay
  • Indo-Naga Peace Process :: Articles
  • MaiOn - Scenes #2 :: eRang
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #2: Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #4 : Gallery
  • Is Global Warming Natural or Anthropogenic
  • Prof Gangmumei Kamei: Legendary hero
  • Common Education System rally organized
  • DAMMS launched 2018 calendar
  • Chorus for 'Solution Not Election'
  • NEROCA FC Vs Indian Arrows #1 : Gallery
  • Gaan Ngai @Moirangkhom : Gallery
  • I was born healthy, I wanna die healthy
  • Practice peace & change the life
  • TSA Moreh Block installed
  • Cycle Rally: common education system
  • Ethics, medical profession & soaring fees
  • Meetei Chanu 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Inner Line Permit (ILP) Demand :: Timeline
  • Meira rally for Pravish : Gallery
  • Accelerate momentum to endTB for SDGs
  • The call that can't be turned down
  • Live@MDU: New act with same old vibes
  • 1st Centre of Excellence- Electronics Skill
  • LED Lights installed by Loktak Station
  • NE tragedy: Policy failures & influx
  • Angaoba - Scenes #3 :: eRang
  • 51st Mr Manipur Contest 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Result: Manipur Sangai Intl Digital salon
  • Use Swachhata App to Make Imphal No. 1
  • Career @ events and celebration
  • Night nourishing
  • Indo-Nepal Friendship: 25 yrs of Don Bosco
  • Understanding the indices of life
  • Poppy cultivation & drug cartels
  • Emoinu Khoiramba @Koubru #1: Gallery
  • Day 10: Closing of Sangai Fest #4 : Gallery
  • The creation of the universe, matter...
  • Mumbai: The city of dreams
  • Let this new year kill your new fears
  • Asian Waterbird Census: Count waterbirds
  • Looking for a better inclusive alternative
  • Coaching & commercialisation of education
  • New Year picnic @ Singda Dam : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #3 : Gallery
  • Despite Stolen Dreams :: Book Rvw
  • Handloom Training @Hojai : Gallery
  • The Perfect timing
  • IGAR (south) meets Chief Minister
  • Communique from Neiphiu Rio on NDPP
  • Discussion on 'Rohingyas' at Delhi
  • In the process of making change- Manipur
  • Looking ahead from vantage point 2017
  • NEROCA FC Vs East Bengal #1: Gallery
  • World Tourism Day #2: Gallery
  • Immediate Manipur
  • Easter Peace :: Poem
  • You are what you eat
  • Goals for Girls: Leadership Summit @Delhi
  • Imoinu Erat Thouni #1: Gallery
  • Eyek Tamba :: Learn Manipuri script
  • Front Page Photo #6: Gallery
  • LUCIFER-X released debut EP
  • ..on the ocean of despondence :: Poem
  • Happy new year to State lovers
  • New year, new me: Re-designing self
  • Quiz Competition & Career Awareness
  • Calendar for the Year 2018 :: e-pao Tools
  • Gaan Ngai : Zeliangrong festival :: Flash
  • 51st Mr Manipur Contest 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Crowd @ Flower Festival @Mao #4: Gallery
  • Gaan-Ngai Festival of Zelianglong
  • Goodbye 2017, welcome 2018
  • Cry of a dying river- 11 :: Poem
  • Free Heart OPD & Echocardiogram
  • Peoples' mandate: what next?
  • Understanding Manipur and its history
  • Kwatha (Indo-Myanmar Border) #2: Gallery
  • Thang Ta @Parlimentary : Gallery
  • A Hymn for Goddess Emoinu
  • Bamboo for poverty alleviations
  • A costly peace deal
  • The song of the speech-impaired : Poem
  • Opportunity for NE Youth @Delhi/NCR
  • Chief Of Army Staff visits Manipur
  • Waiting for another begining
  • NE: Little change albeit promises galore
  • Flower Festival @ Mao #3 : Gallery
  • Miss Manipur 2017 #2 : Gallery
  • Why the Ngamu Fish ?
  • Unsung heroes
  • Wishing a goa in Manipur!
  • Handloom Weaver at Nagaon, Assam
  • Reminder on role of media & political party
  • Hospital death: Deliver justice if delivery ..
  • Restricted Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Lourembam Bedabati : Sangeetbhusan
  • Culturals @ Mera Houchongba #3 : Gallery
  • Handloom Training @Assam : Gallery
  • Ras Leela @Parliment committee: Gallery
  • List of RIST popular talks during 2014-2017
  • 'Good Governance Day' & Manipur
  • Christmas eve @ CCpur #2 : Gallery
  • Public Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • Pui Thangamliu #2 :: eRang
  • Christmas Carol @ Lamphel : Gallery
  • Royal Crematorium at Bangkok #2 : Gallery
  • Christmas Carol at Namdulong : Gallery
  • General Holidays 2018 : Govt of Manipur
  • 3rd Flower Festival @ Mao #2 : Gallery
  • Lafoi Shamda puthorkpa #1 : Gallery
  • Nupilal Ningsing Lamjen : Gallery
  • cYK_rb TwaI :: Seireng
  • Manipur Sangai Festival 2016 #7 : Ooba
  • Manipuri Calendar for 2018 : Download it
  • Old Manipuri Movie #1 :: eRang Classic
  • SPONSORED ADS