A researcher at the Besancon UFR Sciences et Techniques University holds a snail during an experiment on October 24, 2018, in Besancon, eastern France. - Raised behind the imposing yellow doors of the CNRS Chrono-Environnement laboratory at the University of Besançon, the gastropods will, once deployed in the field, feed on the soil and plants, breathe the air and allow researchers to analyze the contamination of sites by various pollutants. (Photo by Sebastien Bozon / AFP) (Photo credit should read SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP/Getty Images)

British Council, the UK’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities, has announced the second edition of its 70th Anniversary Scholarship programme for Indian Women pursuing a master’s in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) in the UK.

In the second year, the British Council and some of the universities located in the UK will fund full-tuition scholarships worth £1 million, for 70 Indian women to study a master’s programme in STEM in the UK for the academic year 2019-20.

The announcement was made last week at a felicitation ceremony with UK prime minister Theresa May for the 104 Indian women STEM scholars.

The scholars are currently completing their master’s in STEM education in 43 British Universities across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

May, met with the British Council’s 70th-anniversary women STEM scholars, demonstrating UK’s commitment to attracting the brightest Indian students to UK top universities.

The awardees also met UK parliamentarians and connected with key businesses and universities to explore potential work placements and internships.

The announcement of a second edition of the scholarship scheme edition follows a hugely successful first round, which celebrated the British Council’s 70th anniversary in India.

More than 50 per cent of the 104 scholars is from tier two and tier three Indian cities. In the year ending June 2018, there was a notable increase of 32 per cent in the number of tier four visas granted to Indian nationals.

Alan Gemmell, OBE, Director of India, British Council said, “ …The 104 women who comprise the 2018 batch of our 70th-anniversary scholars are ambassadors for the future relationship between the UK and India – focused on talent, creativity and innovation. I’m delighted that today we are announcing a future investment of £1m to award 70 more women 70th-anniversary scholarships in 2019.”