British students learn about emerging economies in India


New Delhi : Enterprising British youngsters are utilising their school holidays to gain first-hand knowledge of the impact of globalisation. At least 30 are learning Indian business processes at leading multinational companies, acquiring basic knowledge of Indian culture as lodgers with Indian families and familiarising themselves with the education environment at schools in India.

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They are part of 100 British high school students, new college graduates and youth representatives who are using a six-week break to study the process and understand the scale and speed of transformation of emerging economies in India, China and Brazil under the (British) Prime Minister’s Global Fellowship programme.

The 30 students who are located at facilities in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore arrived in the country July 17.

The Indian unit of British publishing giant Pearson India has been hosting two British students at Dorling Kindersley (DK) India, a part of Penguin Books division, since Aug 16. The students are learning the rudiments of Indian publishing trade like researching stories, gathering facts, photographs and publishing management, according to Aparna Sharma, managing director of Dorling Kindersley and the programme mentor.

The fellowship programme, an annual exchange, aims to create a better understanding of what it takes to sustain economic growth and competitiveness, as well as skills needed to compete for jobs in a global labour market, Pearson India president Khozem Merchant said.

“The students try to appreciate the global environment we live in and the inter-connectiveness of the economy. It teaches pre-university students what a global society is in countries like India and China and explore the dynamics of the economies. Pearson has a global operation and the fellows can learn what it is to actually work in a globalised organisation in an economy like India,” Merchant told IANS from Mumbai.

“The fellows who are in their late teens will find their work places more profoundly globalised than they are now after completing their education,” Merchant said.

The six-week programme includes two weeks of language and cultural immersion course, two weeks in an education environment learning about the local education system, aspirations of Indian peers and Indian family life in general and two weeks as guests of a global company to gain an understanding of the impact of globalisation and the increasing role of the emerging economies, he said.

A spokesperson for Pearson India said the global fellows act as reporters on what they have witnessed and raise awareness of the need to innovate and compete in order to ensure that Britain has a leading role in the rapidly changing global knowledge and skills economy.

“They become engaged and articulate members in a network of young people with a personal understanding of global citizenship,” the spokesperson said.

The trainees are learning how books are being produced in a globalised world, Sharma said.

“Books are being produced – (assembled and conceived) – in India, printed in China and marketed in the US under the new globalised environment. It is a vital lesson for them,” she said.