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Every year, thousands of students prepare to enrol into graduate-level programs as soon as they complete their high school. What may seem like a mundane affair for many students in India is a dream come true for those who come from the financially weaker sections of the society. This is one of the primary reasons why there are numerous India government scholarships which enable students coming from different strata of society to pursue their education at the graduate, as well as a postgraduate level within India, as well as abroad. This article aims to list some of the prominent India government scholarships which are designed keeping in mind the financial requirements of such students.

India Government Scholarships to Study in India

The government of India has divided the scholarships into two different categories. One group of India government scholarships caters for higher education within India and the other caters for higher education outside the country. The second group of scholarships is a mixed bag of foreign government scholarship schemes, as well as those granted by the Indian government for higher education abroad. So, without further ado, let us take a look at some of the most prestigious India government scholarships.

The Central Sector Scheme of Scholarship for College & University Students

The aim of the Central Sector Scheme of Scholarships for College and University Students is to facilitate graduate-level education to students belonging to low-income families. This is one of those Government of India scholarships which helps students meet their day-to-day expenses in the duration of their course within the country.

Eligibility Criteria For Central Sector Scheme of Scholarship For College & University Students

Students who are above 80th percentile of successful candidates in the relevant stream from the respective Board of Examination in Class XII of 10+2 pattern or equivalent and pursuing regular courses (not correspondence or distance mode) in Colleges/Institutions recognized by All India Council of Technical Education, UGC Act, 1956, Medical Council of India, Dental Council of India and respective regulatory authorities and not availing the benefit of any other scholarship scheme including State-run scholarship schemes/Fee waiver and Reimbursement scheme are eligible to apply for scholarships under the scheme. Students pursuing Diploma courses are not eligible to apply for scholarships under the scheme.

The parental income ceiling is less than Rs. 8 lakh per annum for all categories under the scheme. Income certificate would be required for the fresh applicants only.

Read about Abroad Education: Scholarship Vs. Self-funding Vs. Education loans

Duration of The Central Sector Scheme Of Scholarship For College And University Students India Government Scholarships 

A student will be eligible to enjoy the benefits of this India government scholarships scheme for five consecutive years and not more than that. A scholarship under this scheme is renewable on a year to year basis for upto five years.

Rate of Scholarships Under the Central Sector Scheme of Scholarship For College and University Students

The rate of these India government scholarships is Rs.10000/- per annum at Graduation level for the first three years of College and University courses and Rs.20000/- per annum at Postgraduate level. Students pursuing professional courses, in case, where the duration, of course, is five (5) years/Integrated course would get Rs.20000/- per annum in the 4th and 5th year. However, students pursuing technical courses such as B.Tech., B.Engg would get this India government scholarship up to graduation level. 

Let us move on to understand one of the very important schemes that provide the government of India scholarships - Special Scholarship Scheme For Jammu and Kashmir. 

India Government Scholarships For Domestic Studies - Special Scholarship Scheme for Jammu & Kashmir

This Government of India scholarship scheme aims to encourage youth from Jammu and Kashmir to take advantage of the presence of educational institutions outside the state. This will enable such students to interact with students outside of the state and open up several new job opportunities to higher education aspirants who wish to study within India. The scope of the India government scholarships that come under this scheme will be explained in the following paragraph.

Scope of the Scholarship

It is envisaged to provide 5000 fresh scholarships per annum. Out of these, 2070 scholarships are for General Degree Courses, 2830 for Professional/Technical courses and 100 for Medical Courses. There is a provision of interchangeability of slots among General, Medical and Professional/Technical streams, subject to the savings accruing from any shortfall in the number of students opting for General Degree Courses.

Rate Of Scholarship

The components of scholarship under this scheme are as under:

Academic Fees:

Up to Rs. 30000 per annum for General Degree courses.


Up to Rs. 1.25 Lakhs per annum for


Professional/Technical courses.

Up to Rs. 3.00 Lakhs per annum for Medical courses, including Bachelor of Dental

Surgery (B.D.S).

Scholarship towards Academic Fees is disbursed as per actuals or as per the fee fixed by the State Fee Regulatory Authority, whichever is lesser and within the overall ceiling. In addition to this, fixed Maintenance Allowance of Rs. 1.0 Lakh is provided to all the selected students irrespective of the course. The Maintenance Allowance is disbursed in two instalments. Release of the second instalment is subject to his/her submission of continuation certificate, duly certified by the Institution.

Government of India Scholarship Eligibility Rules

The students of Jammu & Kashmir having family income of less than Rs.8.0 lakh per annum [issued by DoPT O.M. No. 3603311/2013-Estt. (Res.), dated 13.09.2017) and have passed class XII from the State are eligible to apply under the scheme. Polytechnic Diploma holders from the recognized Polytechnic Institutes of the State are also eligible to apply under the scheme. The students are compulsorily required to apply online on the AICTE web portal and attend the Centralized Counseling.

Duration Of Scholarships 

The scholarships granted under the government of India scholarships scheme are renewed in subsequent classes subject to good conduct and maintenance of attendance as prescribed by the respective institution. Students who fail to get promoted to the next class/level for any reason, including illness, get the scholarship amount of that academic year in the following academic year, subject to the condition that he/she will get the scholarship for only the regular duration of the course (i.e. three years for General Degree Courses, four years for Professional/Technical Courses and five years for Medical Courses). The scholarship will not be paid twice for the same year of study.

Indian government scholarships for studying abroad

Although the government of India rarely provides full scholarships to study abroad, the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resources Department) facilitates the application procedure for scholarships sponsored by the governments of certain friendly countries under cultural/educational exchange programs. Here is a list of some of the most prominent Indian government scholarships for studying abroad, offered by the governments of certain foreign countries.

United Kingdom Commonwealth Scholarships

Level/course of Study: Masters (one year course)/PhD

Subjects/Fields eligible for a full scholarship to study abroad: 

  • Engineering & Technology: Electrical/Electronics, Environmental Studies, Remote Sensing Technology, Communication Engineering, Biotechnology or Biochemical Engineering, Robotics, Computer Applications/Computer Science, Aerospace Engineering./Aeronautics, Civil Engineering/Architecture, Material Science, Mining Engineering and Marine Engineering.
  • Science (Pure & Applied): Mathematics, Molecular Biology, Physics and Chemistry (including Pharmaceutical/Medicinal Chemistry). Agriculture & Allied Field: Agronomy and Forestry.
  • Humanities & Social Science: History, Sociology, Management Studies, Economics, Philosophy, Psychology, Law, English (Literature/Linguistics) and Political Science with International Relations.

The UK Commonwealth Scholarships are full scholarships granted to students whose academic records reflect exemplary performance throughout their academic career. Some of the basic provisions of this UK government scholarships for college students include the following:

Each scholarship provides: -

  1. Approved airfare to the United Kingdom and return at the end of the award (the CSC will neither reimburse the cost of fares for dependents, nor usually the cost of journeys made before the award is finally confirmed).  
  2. Approved tuition and examination fees. 
  3. Stipend (living allowance) at the rate of £ 1,043 per month, or £ 1,279 per month for those at universities in the London metropolitan area (rates quoted at 2016-2017 levels)  
    Thesis grant towards the cost of preparing a thesis or dissertation, wherever applicable.  
    Warm clothing allowance, wherever applicable.  Study travel grant towards the cost of study-related travel within the United Kingdom or overseas. 

The tentative dates to apply for scholarships and grants for this particular scheme will be provided on the Ministry’s website. 

Also read about Best Study Abroad Scholarships For Indian Students

Commonwealth Scholarships to Study in New Zealand

This particular commonwealth scholarship to study in New Zealand covers the complete expenses of students who have been enrolled in Master’s or Post Doctoral level courses in the field of Agriculture Development or Renewable energy in institutions across New Zealand.

Only two slots are available for students to enrol for this scholarship every year. Some of the major benefits of this scholarship facilitated by the Indian government is as listed below:

  1. The full cost of tuition  
  2. A fortnightly living allowance  
  3. an establishment allowance  medical and travel insurance  travel to and from candidates’ home country at the start and end of the scholarship  
  4. home leave or reunion travel for some scholars assistance with research and thesis costs for many postgraduate research students.

Similar to the above scholarships for college students, the department of India government scholarships to study abroad also facilitates the full scholarships to study abroad in countries like Sri Lanka, Japan, South Korea, Israel and China. These schemes grant similar scholarships and grants to students enrolled in a variety of courses abroad.

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