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British Council Division

To strengthen the English standard of international education and build strong relationships across cultural agendas, the British Council Division was brought into highlight by the United Kingdom. It is a chance for the Britishers to build relationships and collaborations with the people outside UK and enhance the trust between them.

British Council is an organisation based in Britain, but specialises in international education and cultural promotions. This particular council is registered in Wales and England and also in Scotland. Inspired by Sir Reginald Leeper’s idea to promote cultural propaganda across the world, a British Committee for Relations with Other Countries was established in 1934. From this name, the British Committee was dropped and replaced by British Council. In order to extend the cultural heritage and knowhow across the world, the initiatives of British councils were first taken up by within the British Government, the sponsoring authority of this particular council being the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. British Council of England is aimed at providing mutually strengthened relationships between UK and other countries. The network of British Council spreads over 233 locations across 100 countries and territories. British Council is headquartered at spring gardens, Whitehall in Central London.

British Council is also having one of its network branches in India, with many offices in India. The branch headquarter is the British High Commission, which represents the head of state of United Kingdom. This main office is located in New Delhi. The commission also has certain regional offices in other cities. Included under the activities of British High commission are a number of departments, which help in carrying out the functions of the British High Commission. One of the important office divisions in the British High Commission is the British Council Division, which has an important role to play in achieving the objectives of the commission. Primary functions of the British Council Division include various activities such as educational activities, activities related to English language, arts and culture and governance activities. British Council in India was first established in 1948 and since then, this particular department has given variety of educational opportunities to many Indians to learn British English and improvise on their proficiency. In Delhi, the first office of the British Council was opened in 1948 and then many other regional officers were established, to work on its objectives throughout the year.

In 1993, the new building for the British Council Division in New Delhi was designed and constructed under the lookout of the well known architect, Charles Correa, which also had large murals by Howard Hodgkin and large sculpture by Stephen Cox.

Presence in India

British Council Division in India is part of the British High Commission in New Delhi. It is the department that is responsible for providing English language training and learning for teachers and students, so that there can be an overall improvement in the language. To promote such activities in India, the British Council Division conducts various exams, extends scholarships and training awards. Every year, it enrols students for undertaking these courses and these students are taught different kinds of languages with proficiency.

Branches in India

In India, the British Council Division operates from New Delhi office of the British High Commission. Besides, it has branch offices in Kolkata, Chennai and Mumbai. Also, under the British Council Division are libraries and cultural centres in 5 cities, namely Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Pune. These are functional in collaboration with the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.

Cultural Centres and Libraries

The cultural centres and libraries are centres of activities in the cities in which these are present. Various English languages related workshops are conducted in these centres, while cultural events are organised, especially the ones pertaining to the Indo-British relationships. In libraries present under the British Council Division, thousands of books are available in English language, related to arts, fiction, language, professional books and even children books. Apart from these, the collections of DVDs, periodicals, magazines and few UK newspapers are also provided. Catalogue of the books available in these libraries is uploaded in the official sites of the British Council. English language courses are imparted by the British Council Division, through the different offices and exams are conducted. These are programmed for different adults, young learners, teachers and other people. Information on different types of courses can be known from the digital resources to learn English language. A wide range of exams like IELTS, Cambridge and Aptis are held for candidates, so that they can get certified for their learning of British English language. From the official portals of the British Council Division, people can also know about prospective centres and all possible ways of studying in the UK, get information on top UK universities and also get information on career opportunities.

Activities Strengthened by British Council Division

The work in India by the British Council Division has been laudable, especially towards improving the status of skills in young people in the country, make them qualified in different spheres of English language, introduce multinational skills in their professional life and understanding of various cultural set ups in UK, among the Indian students.

Art and culture go hand in hand and these two can be very well combined to bring about drastic changes in the perception of the common man, towards the arts of Britain. It helps in engaging and entertaining people with the beauty of arts and customs of the British society.

One of the important goals of British Council Division is to engage young people in India to develop a global perspective and leadership qualities, while mastering the language of English.

Continuous efforts are being made towards improvement of the school going children through projects, events, workshops, executing these programs through digital platforms and resources. Similarly, in the field of higher education, policy dialogues, alumni engagement, student mobility and partnership programs are being conducted between India and UK, further strengthened by research support. Among the different features for strengthening the language of English in the students of India, the British Council Division takes a lot of steps.

Community works are being done in large scale, so that there is an overall improvement in the living conditions, livelihood, employability and quality of life. Various other initiatives are being taken care of by the British Council Division, so that there is strengthening of the English language in the country and various adjunctive benefits. There is encouragement of social entrepreneurship and research and provision of scholarships, so that people in India get maximum benefits out of the interactions on a global platform.


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