Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowships
Jawaharlal Nehru was one of those rare men in human history who can be said to have advanced the cause of civilization through the medium of their own lives. Any scheme to honour his memory must take into account his multi-faceted personality and his many splendoured achievements. His eternal passion for the enlargement of the frontiers of knowledge and enrichment of the human mind are well known.
To commemorate his name, the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund has instituted Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowships dedicated to the encouragement, support and patronage of higher learning and of free intellectual inquiry. These seek to provide an opportunity to exceptionally talented persons to devote themselves with freedom to their creative work for a period of two years.
The Fellowships are open to scholars in every discipline – the sciences as well as the humanities who frequently need periods which they can devote entirely to the enrichment of their intellectual capital, particularly in view of the speed with which every discipline is developing in this nuclear age. While it has not been considered desirable to lay down any age restrictions, efforts are made to ensure that an adequate number of Fellows are in their forties/fifties, so that the Fellowships will be followed by a long period of creativity which would be of benefit to the country. The Fellowships are open to Indian citizens and they have complete freedom to work at places of their choice within India.
The Fellowship is tenable for two years and presently carries a monthly stipend of Rs 1,00,000. In addition, actual expenses on secretarial assistance, traveling and other contingencies are met subject to a ceiling of Rs 75,000 per annum.
The first Fellowship was awarded in 1968, and a total of 155 Fellowships have been awarded so far.
Jawaharlal Nehru Scholarships
A scheme called ‘Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowships for Post-graduate Studies in India and abroad’ was initiated by the Ministry of Human Resource Development in 1987. It took time to complete the formalities and the Fund was asked to launch the scheme in March 1993. The Fund set up an Expert Committee and the scheme, later called “Jawaharlal Nehru Scholarships for Doctoral Studies” took off in 1994 with a corpus of Rs 7,00,00,000 (Rs seven crores) received from the Ministry. The scheme is managed out of the interest earned on this amount.
Till 2017 a total of 688 scholarships have been awarded.
Annual Memorial Lecture
The Fund organizes an Annual Memorial Lecture on the eve of Jawaharlal Nehru’s birthday. Outstanding scholars of international fame have, since 1967, been invited to speak on a topic of their own choosing.
Jawaharlal Nehru’s birth anniversary (14 November) is observed every year with cultural functions being organized at Teen Murti House, where he lived as Prime Minister. On his death anniversary on 27 May a memorial function is organized each year at Teen Murti House. In the early morning, an interfaith prayer meeting is organized at his Samadhi, Shantivana, Priests of all major religions of India recite from their relevant scriptures.
Distribution of books to meritorious students
As one of the measures to make Jawaharlal Nehru’s personality and his thoughts and ideas better known to the younger generation, the Fund presents each year a set of books of JN to outstanding students at graduate and post-graduate levels in our universities in recognition of their excellence.