A POLICE superintendent who doubles as a television quiz master and an advertising manager who is also a leading classical dancer are among the first Chevening Gurukul scholars who arrived in the United Kingdom this week.
The timing of their arrival - as ministers gathered in Edinburgh for the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting and the Queen returned from her visit to India - could not have been more appropriate.
The scheme was set up by the British Council and the London School of Economics to mark the 50th anniversary of Indian independence.
Funded by the Foreign Commonwealth Office, Chevening scholarships bring to the UK present and future leaders, decision-makers and opinion-formers, including particularly able students from countries with whom the UK's economic relations are expected to develop.
The aim of the 12 week-programme at the LSE is to encourage exceptionally talented people to study and train in Britain at a crucial stage in their careers, and to help some of India's future leaders to operate effectively in a globally competitive environment.
All 12 scholars are under 40, and hold senior jobs in business, the media and management. Their studies will cover global governance, management, public administration, macro-economics, international relations, politics, operational research, international finance and information systems.
Prateep Philip, the police superintendent and quiz master, was instrumental in devising a blueprint for community policing; Malavika Harita, vice president of Sista Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising in Bangalore, has won several awards as a classical Indian dancer. Others include the deputy editor of the Economic Times, India's largest English-language financial daily, and industrialists.
Leader, page 19