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Deadline: 11 April 2011

The Chevening Gurukul Leadership Programme at the London School of Economics (LSE) is the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s premium scholarship scheme for India. The selected candidates are offered an intense, all expenses-paid, 12 week residential course at the LSE. Through a combination of closely supervised project work, academic courses, field visits, seminars, debates and interactions with some of today's top public figures, this is a unique opportunity for up to 16 Indian leaders.

The British High Commissioner to India, Sir Richard Stagg said:

“Prime Ministers David Cameron and Manmohan Singh have set out an ambitious vision for how the UK-India partnership should become ‘stronger, wider, deeper’.  Chevening Gurukul scholars will play a critical role in this by making their mark, not just in the next few years but over the coming decades.  The unique programme at the London School of Economics is tailored to equip high-flying Indian professionals in mid-career with new skills and perspectives so that they can spot, seize and shape opportunities in the complex and inter-connected world in which we all live.”

Essar is the corporate sponsor for the programme.

This scheme is designed for working professionals who already have substantial experience in their career fields and are looking for a short-term, full-time, intensive, advanced training programme for top leaders - to build on their experience, knowledge and skills. These programmes provide a unique opportunity to Indian men and women to establish networks of contacts in the UK of direct value to their work and career development in India.
Applicants should not apply directly to the LSE. Simply complete the Chevening application.

Last date to apply is 11 April 2011.

Each scholarship covers the following:

(a) Full Programme fees
(b) Accommodation and living expenses for the duration of the scholarship for a maximum period of 12 weeks
(c) Return airfare from India to UK
(d) UK Student Visa and Schengen visa (for study visit)

The Chevening Gurukul Programme

Chevening Gurukul is a unique 12-week, advanced leadership programme, created by the renowned London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) specifically for India’s future leaders. It was launched in 1997 to mark 50 years of India’s independence.
Each year, this Programme enables twelve exceptional Indian men and women to participate in an intensive exploration of the challenges of top leadership in a globalising world through a programme of academic studies, field visits and seminars, debates with practitioners, and individual projects of direct personal relevance.

The Chevening Gurukul Programme addresses the issues faced by leaders in all fields – “how to lead more effectively” – by analysing changing ideas and practices of leadership and exploring the implications of globalisation for Indian leaders. It provokes critical thinking and provides unique opportunities for scholars to test their own hypotheses with policy makers and practitioners as well as with academics and opinion leaders.


The Programme offers each scholar a learning opportunity:

  • to gain a global comparative perspective - by comparative analysis and by exploring the UK’s distinctive culture - and thus to sharpen understanding of India’s global roles and of external perceptions of India
  • to explore in depth some of the major global challenges to leaders
  • to study new theories of leadership and innovative practices
  • to hone appropriate leadership skills in notably in team-building, and negotiating
  • to explore a UK leadership success story and thereby make contact with professional peers
  • to re-assess his/her own career trajectory

Programme Content

A personalised ‘learning partnership’ approach:

Throughout the 12 weeks, each scholar follows a Personal Development Plan with identified goals, under the guidance of an integrated supervision team including the Programme Director, the Coordinator of Leadership Studies, and an LSE supervisor. The Plan includes taking an optional graduate course and work on a special project - an analysis of the strategy underlying an UK ‘success story’ – based on research and interviewing, and completed by drafting and presenting a report. The process gives each scholar the unique opportunity both to build a network of UK peers and to gain in-depth understanding of the UK. Project work is carried out throughout the twelve weeks, with time set aside during weeks 5 and 11 for completing research and drafting the reports and each scholar presents his/her project report to the others in week 12.

The Core Course

A unique course, geared for mature, post-experience scholars, open only to the ‘Gurukuls’: learning takes place through participation in seminars, discussions, debates, in situ conversations with practitioners during study visits, or in individual or team-led case studies. There are no formal lectures. Time-slots are specifically allocated for the Scholars to read and to think alone and to discuss amongst themselves

Within the 12 week Programme, nine weeks for the core course seminars, debates, discussions, and study visits (the other 3 weeks are for individual work on projects). Some study visits take place at weekends and some study sessions are organised during evenings in the residence where all scholars have individual rooms.

In each week of the Core Course, there are 6 study sessions: one focuses on the ‘theory and practice of leadership’; the other five sessions and a study visit explore one of the other nine themes:

1.  Understanding the UK experience (visits to Parliament)

2. Development in a comparative perspective (visit to BBC/British Library)

3. Globalisation: processes, drivers and leadership challenges (visits to FCO, Amnesty International)

4.  Emerging global norms and standards for leaders? (visit to EBRD)

5. Negotiation in theory and practice (visit to Basingstoke Council)

6. Towards good governance: transparency, regulation and public service reform (visit to Scottish Government and Parliament, Edinburgh)

7. Building effective, legitimate international institutions – regionally and globally (visit to NATO and EU, Brussels)

8. Leadership for sustainable and low-carbon economic growth

9.  Social integration: dealing with causes of extremism and violence (visit to community development group)

About LSE

The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is a world class centre for its concentration of teaching and research across the full range of the social, political and economic sciences. Founded in 1895, LSE has an outstanding reputation for academic excellence. LSE is  exceptional in its international student body, its international faculty and its international teaching and research. The study of social, economic and political problems covers not only the UK and European Union, but also countries of every continent. From its foundation LSE has aimed to be a laboratory of the social sciences, a place where ideas are developed, analysed, evaluated and disseminated around the globe.

Thirteen Nobel Prize winners in economics, literature and peace have been either LSE staff or alumni: George Bernard Shaw (1925), Ralph Bunche (1950), Bertrand Russell (1950), Philip Noel-Baker (1959), Sir John Hicks (1972), Friedrich von Hayek (1974), James Meade (1977), Arthur Lewis (1979), Merton Miller (1990), Ronald Coase (1991), Amartya Sen (1998), Robert Mundell (1999), and George Akerlof (2001). Christopher Pissarides (Nobel 2010) is currently Professor of Economics.

The School has more than 70,000 registered alumni. Around 30 past or present heads of state have studied at LSE, and 30 members of the House of Commons and 34 members of the House of Lords have either studied or taught at LSE.  LSE details

Level and Duration

Advanced intensive training programme, including individual project work, of twelve (12) weeks

Corporate Sponsor

The Essar Group is an Indian-based multinational conglomerate with a commitment to Innovative growth. Based in Mumbai, Essar is a conglomerate with diverse interests ranging from steel to communications to logistics. Recently listed on the London Stock Exchange’s FTSE 100, the Group operates in more than twenty countries across five continents, including the USA, Canada, UK, the Middle East and South East Asia.

Founded in 1969 by successful entrepreneurs Shashi and Ravi Ruia, Essar has grown into a conglomerate with revenues of 15 billion US dollars and employing 60,000 people. Committed to innovative growth, the Group continues to pursue success through judicious investment in commodity, annuity and service businesses around the world. With an impressive list of firsts and largest – such as first independent power producer in India – the company invests heavily in technology to achieve its aims, also focussing on in-house research and innovation to produce high quality products and services.

In addition to its ambitious business pursuits, Essar Group is also committed to its social responsibility, running community outreach initiatives in all its plant locations by providing education, healthcare, environmental and agricultural development.

Programme Dates

12 weeks beginning late 24 September 2011

Criteria for Eligibility

Applicants for this programme should be

  • Outstanding mid-career professionals with at least five years of work-experience
  • From any field e.g. media, public/private sector, NGO's, politics
  • Able to demonstrate leadership in their chosen field or profession (to be assessed from the personal statement provided with the application form and the references)
  • With an inner drive to make a difference and looking to form networks & strengthen their opportunities
  • Recent graduates may apply but must be able to demonstrate exceptional and outstanding leadership experience through either academic or extracurricular activities

General Eligibility Criteria

  • An Indian national with a valid Indian passport
  • Conversant with written and spoken English

You are not eligible if you

  • have in the past received a British Government funded scholarship
  • work for the British Government (including the British Council, DFID and PAG's) or have worked with them in the past two years
  • apply from another country
  • Are not planning to return to India after the course for at least 2 years

Application Process

Full information on the scholarship, the application criteria and process.  Only online applications will be considered.

Last date to apply is 11 April 2011.

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Chevening Gurukul Scholarship for Leadership and Excellence

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