Director British Council India meets HRD Minister British Council Master’s Scholarship awardee Bisha

Gangtok, 16 Jun:

As part of British Council’s 70 years celebration in India, British Council Director for India, Alan Gemmell OBE, and Director British Council East and North East India, Dr Debanjan Chakrabarti, today met with Minister for Human Resource Development Department, Government of Sikkim, RB Subba.

The meeting reaffirmed British Council’s commitment to be a knowledge partner to support the Sikkim government’s ambitions through education, art and culture and sports-related opportunities for the youth of Sikkim and the entire North East, a press release informs.

The British Council is now working to realize a proposal with the Sikkim Government on a Teacher Training project which will train 100 Master Trainers who will in turn train 3,869 Primary school teachers in the state in specified learning-centred approaches and techniques, for developing learners’ English language proficiency.

As part of its 70th anniversary celebrations, British Council awarded fully-funded scholarships to 100 Indian women to study Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics [STEM] subjects at UK’s premier, higher education institutions.

Minister for HRDD, Mr Subba, also felicitated Bishalta Pradhan from Gangtok who was among the six women from NE India to have been awarded the British Council Master’s Scholarships. Through the scholarship programme, Bishalta will pursue Master of Science [Data Science] at Liverpool Hope University.

Last month, the British Council unveiled India’s first garden at the prestigious RHS Chelsea Flower Garden in London. The cricket-themed garden included the Himalayan blue poppies, a signature Sikkim flora. At the Garden, the poppies reflect the blue of the Indian cricket team’s jerseys, a nod to the UK and India’s shared love of cricket. The garden also marked the launch of Changing Moves Changing Minds, an international education programme devised to enrich the lives of thousands of children in India through integrated dance and sports lessons that encourage equal participation by girls and boys in the classroom.

Earlier this year, British Council launched Mix the City Northeast, showcasing 14 Northeast based musicians and bands and featured the Sofiyum band from Sikkim.

British Council’s global partnership with English Premier League, “Premier Skills”, builds capacity among community leaders and coaches through face-to-face football coaching, English language and leadership skills.

Earlier this year in March, the Council brought Premier Skills to the NE in partnership with the Sport Authority of India. In Guwahati, 62 coaches and referees from the eight states of NE India received expert training from qualified Premier League coaches from the UK, giving them the skills and support to develop their own community football projects. Five of the coaches were from Sikkim.

Director of the British Council in India, Mr Gemmell, said, “We’ve been inspired every day of the last 70 years by the artists, students, scientists and policy makers we’ve worked with in India. This year we want to inspire young people across India to build a relationship with the UK for the next 70 years. I’m delighted to have an opportunity to meet the Chief Minister to discuss the British Council’s work to train teachers across Sikkim and see how our work in education can support his ambitious vision for the State.”