Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Fellowship: Enabling J&K students for global leadership

With the objective to provide global opportunities to the best and brightest minds from the state and develop them into global leaders, the Jammu and Kashmir government on Friday launched Mufti Mohammad Sayeed Global Leaders Fellowship, under which over 20 students will be sent abroad to study in leading universities.

“Named after former chief minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, this fellowship is aimed at reaching out to the educated youth in the state,” an official spokesman was quoted as saying by a news agency.

Constituted under the chairmanship of the Advisor to Chief Minister, Amitabh Mattoo, the fellowship was launched by the State Knowledge Initiative Platform (SKIP) in collaboration with J&K State Sports Council.

“The fellowship seeks potential leaders who have the acumen to make a difference and aims to provide a select group of outstanding young men and women from Jammu and Kashmir the opportunity to study at some of the world’s finest institutions for up to 12 months beginning in the academic session in 2019,” the spokesman said.

Modelled after the well-known Rhodes Scholarships at the University of Oxford, this fellowship is inspired by the vision of Mufti Mohammad Sayeed.

“The selection to this prestigious fellowship shall be done without prejudice to gender, marital status, religion, social background or disability,” he added.

According to reports, the SKIP has identified six universities for the fellowship in 2019 — Oxford and Cambridge (UK); Harvard, Yale and Princeton (US); and Melbourne (Australia).

“All applications received by the SKIP will be vetted by a committee and eligible candidates will be invited for an interview,” he said, adding, “The short-listed candidates will be finally screened by a jury chaired by a Nobel-laureate.”

However, a candidate has to apply separately at the individual level for admission to a university. Depending on the courses opted for by the applicants, the universities will provide degrees, diplomas or certificates.

“All selected fellows will have to serve Jammu and Kashmir for at least 12 months,” he added.

As part of the fellowship, there shall be a maximum of 20 Fellowships for the year 2019 which shall cover international economy class return travel, tuition fees, and a modest allowance to cover boarding and lodging.

To be eligible for this scholarship, candidates should be born no later than December 31, 1994, and should be below 25 years of age as on the last date of application submission. Applicants should have completed an undergraduate degree from any university in Jammu and Kashmir with at least 60 per cent marks or equivalent CGPA grade. Applicants need to hold a Permanent Residents Certificate (PRC) of the state and should also fulfil the eligibility criteria as required by the identified university to pursue the course/programme. Last date to send in the applications is June 20, 2018.