The prestigious Mahatma Gandhi Scholarships for 2017-18 were awarded to 150 Advanced Level school students from all 25 districts across Sri Lanka by Viraj Kariyawasam, Minister of Education of Sri Lanka, Vijayakala Maheshwaran, State Minister of Education of Sri Lanka, and Taranjit Singh Sandhu, High Commissioner of India, at a special ceremony held at the Ministry of Education Auditorium, Battaramulla today.This is the twelfth year in continuum that India has provided Mahatma Gandhi scholarships to bright students across Sri Lanka. Akila Viraj Kariyawasam appreciated the assistance provided by India including for the new trilingual school in Polonnaruwa and Saraswathy College Kandy. India offers around 750 scholarships annually to the Sri Lankan students. For more details on the scholarship programmes and other educational assistance, please visit the High Commission of India’s website www.hcicolombo.gov.in (Colombo Gazette) He underlined the aspect of island-wide coverage of India’s development projects in Sri Lanka.India is constructing new classrooms in 27 schools in the North, out of which are 10 are already handed over. Last year, India handed over the largest University Auditorium in Sri Lanka in University of Ruhuna, in the South, all under pure grant. He also thanked India for providing training to teachers in Sri Lanka. High Commissioner of India said that it was special occasion where 150 Sri Lankan students were awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Scholarships while the world is celebrating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. He also spoke about how young India uses technology in their everyday lives to create transformative stories, and cited the recent launch of world’s lightest satellite, Kalamsat made by Indian students.High Commissioner urged the students in Sri Lanka to connect with the youth of India and told them to take advantage of scientific and educational developments in India.He said that Indian Institutes of Technology, and Indian Institutes of Management, have become a global brand name and the IIT Joint Entrance Examination and the Graduate Aptitude Test for Engineering (GATE) are now being held in Colombo for benefit of Sri Lankan students. Sri Lankan students have also now been allowed to take National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to Medical and Dental streams in Indian medical colleges. The High Commissioner noted that India has recently launched a new Portal titled “Study in India”. More than 25000 seats are earmarked in Indian Institutions for foreign students. He expressed hope that Sri Lankan youth would make full use of the opportunities in India.