Tuesday, 13 August 2013 turned out to be a day of wonderful memories for the eight winners of the 2013 British Council IELTS Award. In the fourth annual awarding ceremony held in Mumbai, each winner was presented with the award of INR 300,000 towards the cost of their tuition fees.

There was an overwhelming response to the call for entries to the awards this year and the winning entries were selected from hundreds of applications, following a rigorous screening process which included the writing of a task, a verbal presentation on a topic and interviews. These award winners will begin a full time postgraduate programme in the coming academic year at an overseas university which uses IELTS as a reliable measure of English language proficiency.

The winners attended the ceremony with their family and friends. Sam Harvey, Director West India for British Council, accorded a warm welcome to the gathering and in her address, focused on the international dimension of education and the work done by the British Council in delivering examinations across the country. Sarah Deverall, Director – Exams for British Council India addressed the media on the IELTS Awards, the role of British Council in India and how such awards build confidence in the students and allow them to explore different culture, education, lifestyle in a new country. She further explained the process of selection for IELTS awards and how they encourage the students to think out of the box and provide responses that they most identify with. This process helps assess and understand the level of maturity in students opting for higher studies.

The event proceeded with Ms. Sam Harvey and Ms. Sarah Deverall felicitating each of the winners on the stage where they were presented with the winner’s cheque and a glittering trophy. The winners were made to feel truly special and were given the opportunity to enjoy their moment of glory and spotlight as they addressed the media and audiences present giving a glimpse of their life, their ambition and their future plans.

Marking a significant achievement, a key highlight of the event was roping in one of the winners from Australia to tune into the proceedings through Skype. Gurjot Singh Garcha, from Ludhiana, was as much a part of the event as the other winners and all this was done seamlessly through Skype!

Earlier in the event, Ms. Apeksha, one of the winners of the 2011 IELTS Award, shared her experience of winning the and pursuing her Masters in Writing at the University of Warwick, UK. She inspired and amused the audience with her entertaining stories and confident delivery style.

The event concluded with the excited students, posing for the media and smiling away in celebration and excitement with each click. Post the event, some of the media personnel also interacted with the award winners. Though nervous, the winners showed great poise and calmness in addressing each of the questions posed by the journalists.

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