"Leaders become great, not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others" is a famous quote by John Maxwell. And that sense of leadership is not something that comes easily. To fine-tune those leadership skills, the Chevening Gurukul fellowship is the ideal place to be.

Continuing the tradition of over two decades, the Chevening Gurukul Fellowship for Leadership and Excellence continues to invite select candidates, who undergo an intensive, 11-week residential course at the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Oxford. This year too, 12 selected candidates will be attending the Chevening India's flagship programme run by UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Chevening Gurukul Fellowship

India is home to the largest Chevening programme in the world, supporting up to 110 fully funded scholarships and fellowships worth a total of £1.9 million. Alumni of the programme include Piyush Goyal and Gajendra Singh Shekhawat (cabinet ministers), L.K. Atheeq (IAS, Karnataka cadre), Samir Saran (Observer Research Foundation), and Harish Bhat (Tata Sons) and many more.

Chevening Gurukul Fellows of 2020 cohort

Six of the total 12 candidates from India selected for the prestigious Chevening Gurukul Fellowship for Leadership and Excellence in 2020 are from Karnataka and Kerala. Naturally, they are all excited to be a part of this prestigious programme. They are:

  1. Deepthi Bopaiah, Executive Director, GoSports Foundation
  2. Nivedith Alva, Founder & Executive Producer, Skydive Media
  3. Dr Sanjay Gubbi, Senior Scientist, Nature Conservation Foundation
  4. Uma Mahadevan, Principal Secretary (Panchayati Raj), Department of Rural Development and Panchayat Raj, Government of Karnataka
  5. Neelam Maheshwari, Founder & CEO, Navodyami Services Private Limited
  6. Veena N Madhavan, Additional Secretary, Higher Education Department and CEO, Additional Skill Acquisition Programme, Government of Kerala

Speaking about the chosen candidates for the Chevening Gurukul fellowship, British Deputy High Commissioner to Karnataka and Kerala, Jeremy Pilmore-Bedford, said: "Chevening offers a unique and exciting opportunity for the best minds in India to study in the UK under this prestigious British Government scholarship. This programme is designed both to develop future leaders and to strengthen the UK-India Living Bridge, helping us to share the best of what our two countries have to offer. Six of the 12 Gurukul Fellows selected in 2020 are from Karnataka and Kerala. This is testimony to the strong talent pool of leadership across different professions in these states."

What is the fellowship about?

University of Oxford
Representational imageUniversity of Oxford official website

The fellowship addresses issues faced by leaders in all fields on "how to lead more effectively." It aims to provoke critical thinking and provides unique opportunities for fellows to test their own hypotheses with policy-makers and practitioners as well as with academics and opinion leaders. The bespoke programme familiarises India's future leaders with best practice case-studies of leadership in the fields of government, innovation, climate-change, health, industry etc. in the UK through a variety of teaching methods ranging from classroom sessions, seminars, mentoring, projects, extensive networking and site visits.

Mid-career and senior professionals interested in the fellowship can apply for the next cohort. The application window for the UK Government's Chevening Gurukul Fellowship programme for 2021-22 is now open until 22 March.