Pran Nath Bahl Memorial scholarship

Richard Toppo - Pran Nath Bahl Scholar 2012-13

This scholarship is open to graduate students who are Indian nationals residing in India and demonstrating exceptional academic merit merit and/or potential, commencing the MSc in Contemporary India. It is anticipated that scholars will return to India on completion of the degree. One scholarship of £25,000 will be available in the academic year, 2013-14.

The Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme (CSASP) at Oxford University spoke to the donor, Mr Raghav Bahl about his motivations and hopes for the scholarship. The following is an edited version of that conversation….

The scholarship has been instituted by Mr. Raghav Bahl, Founder & Editor of Network18 in the memory of his father, the Late Mr.Pran Nath Bahl.  Network18 Group is one of India’s leading media and entertainment companies with interests in television, internet, filmed entertainment, e-commerce, magazines, mobile content and allied businesses.  The scholarship is open to graduate students of Indian nationality demonstrating exceptional academic merit and/or potential commencing the ‘MSc in Contemporary India’ course at the Contemporary South Asian Studies Programme in Oxford.  The award covers the scholar’s University and College fees for the 9 month programme and provides a generous contribution to living expenses.   The scholarship is both in memory of a single individual and the recognition of the deep connection between Oxford and India over many generations.  This rich legacy has been embellished by the achievements of many of Oxford’s Indian alumni and deepened by years of long-standing academic partnership.  Needless to add, as both Oxford and India prepare for new leaps in the 21st century, this unique relationship is poignant with possibilities in the future. We hope that the Pran Nath Bahl Scholarship will help to shape a new breed of leaders in contemporary India, who are not only well versed with its complexities but are also equipped to meet its opportunities with integrity and resolve.

Mr Richard Toppo:  Pran Nath Bahl Scholar 2012-13

The holder of the Pran Nath Bahl scholarship for 2012/13 is Mr Richard Toppo.  Richard completed his Bachelors in History from Loyola College, Chennai. Before coming to Oxford he also worked as a Research Intern and Research Assistant at the Institute of Defence Studies and Analysis (IDSA). Richard has a wide variety of interests relating to Contemporary India, from International Relations to internal politics and he has a long-standing association with the on-going tribal movements in areas of central and eastern India. He chose the MSc in Contemporary India for its wide ranging curriculum.  It was the first such degree in the world and now offers India-focused courses in Anthropology, Political Economy, Human Development, International Relations, Anthropology, Politics and Research Methods.

Dr Matthew McCartney, Director of the Contemporary South Asia Programme -

“The MSc in Contemporary India is delighted to be able to offer this wonderfully generous scholarship.  We were very happy to be able to offer Richard a place on the course entirely in relation to his outstanding academic record and potential without consideration of his financial means.  The deadline for the first round of applications for entry in 2013 is almost upon us (Friday 16 November 2012) and we have two further rounds (Friday 18 January 2013 and Friday 8 March 2013) and are looking forward to receiving applicants and making offers to students of equally high calibre to Richard.”