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Top 5 Scholarships in India for Students

ScholarshipsScholarships are offered as an encouragement to poor students to study further as well as incentives for talented students for their exceptional performance. Scholarships can be of many types:

  • Need-based scholarships for bright students from poor families (or women candidates or physically disabled candidates) who otherwise wouldn’t have the means to hone their skill sets,

  • Merit-based scholarships for students who show exceptional talent in their fields of knowledge and are meant to nurture their talent,

  • Career-specific or College-specific scholarships, and

  • Scholarships for Study Abroad students.

Some of the scholarships accessible to all eligible Indian students are:

Central Scheme of Scholarship for College and University Students

Ministry of Human Resource DevelopmentMinistry of Human Resource Development (Department of Higher Education) offers scholarships to meritorious college or university students from low income families. Fresh scholarships are awarded to 82,000 students every year (41,000 girls and 41,000 boys) on the basis of their Class 12 board results. These scholarships are awarded for graduate or postgraduate studies in colleges and universities as well as for professional courses like medical and engineering.

The total number of scholarships is divided among the state boards, CBSE and ICSE, depending on their student population between the age of 18 to 28 years. For a State Board, scholarships are then allotted among the three major streams - Science, Commerce and Humanities - in the ratio of 3:2:1.

Scholarship Amount

Awardees receive a scholarship of Rs 1,000 per month for first three years of college and university courses, and Rs 2,000 per month in 4th and 5th year - for 10 months in an academic year. The scheme is renewable for up to 5 years – up to Post Graduate level in the same stream (or upto Graduate level in the case of professional courses).

Eligibility for Fresh Scholarships

Students from non-creamy layer (with family income not more than Rs 6 lakh per annum) who are above 80th percentile in their stream in Class XII board examination are eligible for these scholarships, if they are pursuing regular full-time courses and are not availing any other scholarship scheme.

How are Scholarships awarded?

State Boards, CBSE and ICSE contact the eligible students from top of the merit list (up to twice the number of scholarships available). Candidates have to confirm within 15 days whether they want to receive these scholarships or not.

Eligibility to Renew Scholarships

Students have to maintain an attendance of at least 75% and secure 60% marks (or an equivalent Grade Point Average) in an academic year (or for two preceding semesters) to be eligible to renew the scholarship for next year.

Udaan Scholarships

Udaan ScholarshipsThe Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has introduced Udaan Scholarships for girl students from all the Boards of India who want to compete for admission to premier engineering colleges of India. The scholarships have been introduced to build the gender gap in the campuses of engineering colleges.

1,000 girl students in Class 11 and 12 from across the country are awarded scholarships. 50% scholarships or 500 scholarships are awarded to General Category students while rest of the scholarships are awarded to SC, ST and Backward Class category students.

Scholarship Benefits

Scholarship awardees will receive free of cost engineering entrance exam coaching, which will include virtual contact classes, tutorials, videos and study material, tablets with pre-loaded content, assessments to provide feedback to students, remedial steps wherever needed, peer learning and mentoring for meritorious students, motivation sessions for students and parents, student helpline and assistance in applying to colleges. Students can accrue reward points through various activities which can be converted to money to pay fees (only if they get selected to IITs or NITs).

Eligibility for Fresh Scholarships

Girl students in Class 11 and 12 (from any recognised Board of India) can apply for these scholarships if they have secured at least 80% marks (CGPA of 8 and GPA of 9) in Science and Maths and 70% marks overall in Class 10 examination. Class 12 students also have to secure at least 75% marks in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics in Class 11 to be considered for the scholarships.

How are Scholarships Awarded?

Students have to apply online at or submit a copy of the application form to the CBSE office by the specified deadline. This year, the application submission deadline was November 4, 2014. Parent’s consent along with the registration form is compulsory for admission to this program.

Eligibility to Continue Receiving Scholarship Benefits

Parents will have to give an undertaking to take the responsibility of the tablets given to students. Students also have to maintain 80% attendance in contact classes at all times. If their attendance drops below 80%, they will lose 50% of the reward points they have accrued. If it drops below 70%, they will be chucked out of from the program. Students dropped from the scholarship program will have to submit study material and tablet they have received to the city coordinator. Students who are not present for 80% of compulsory assessments will not be eligible to accrue points.

CBSE Merit Scholarship Scheme for Single Girl Child (SGC Scholarships)

CBSE Merit Scholarship SchemeCBSE also offers scholarships to meritorious girl students who are only child of their parents. If children are born together, then also the girl can be considered as ‘Single Girl Child’ of their parents. These scholarships are meant to encourage parents and girls to continue education. The number of scholarships awarded each year varies from year-to-year and is available to all eligible students.

Scholarship Amount

Scholarship awardees receive Rs 500 per month (through Demand Draft or ECS) up to a maximum of two years. Scholars can enjoy other concessions offered by school too.

Eligibility for Fresh Scholarships

To avail the scholarships, girls students should be the only child of their parents, have secured at least 60% marks in CBSE Class X board examination and need to be continuing their school education as a student of Class XI and XII in a CBSE school with tuition fee not more than Rs 1,500 per month. During the next two years, school tuition fee should not see a hike of more than 10%. Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) can be awarded scholarships if their tuition fee is up to Rs 6,000 per month (only if they are Indian nationals).

How are Scholarships Awarded

Eligible students need to submit the scholarship application form attested by the School Principal where the student is pursuing Class XI, along with an attested copy of Class X mark sheet issued by the CBSE in 2014 to the CBSE office. They also need to submit the original copy of the Affidavit (in the prescribed format as available on the Board’s website) on a non-judicial stamp paper of Rs 10/- which needs to be attested by the First Class Judicial Magistrate, SDM, or Executive Magistrate; a cancelled cheque of the bank account in which amount is to be credited; and a photocopy of the bank pass book duly attested.

Eligibility to Renew Scholarships

After a period of one year, scholarship has to be renewed. To be eligible for its renewal, scholarship awardees must have secured at least 50% marks or more in aggregate in Class XI school examination. Students are also expected to attend classes regularly and display good conduct. In case, they want to change their school or course of study, they will need prior approval of the Board. Once the scholarship is cancelled, it cannot be renewed.

NTPC Scholarships for Engineering Students of SC, ST and PH Categories

NTPC ScholarshipsNational Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), a Government of India enterprise, offers 35 scholarships to engineering students of Scheduled Caste (20), Scheduled Tribe (10) or Physically Challenged (5) categories.

Scholarship Amount

Scholarships worth Rs 1,500 per month will be paid from the second year of study to the final year of the course.

Eligibility for Fresh Scholarships

3rd year SC, ST or Physically Challenged (Visually handicapped, Hearing impaired or Orthopaedically handicapped) students pursuing 4-year full-time Engineering Course in the following disciplines from a recognised institute, university or college are eligible for these scholarships:

  • Electrical Engineering,

  • Instrumentation Engineering,

  • Mechanical Engineering,

  • Electronics,

  • Telecommunication,

  • Computer Science Engineering.

Students should have cleared 1st and 2nd year of the degree course in first attempt and must not be receiving financial assistance or aid from any other source.

How are Scholarships Awarded

Eligible students need to send the filled-in application form and supporting documents through the Head of the Institution in which they are enrolled. The institute shall certify that all the information provided by the candidate is correct and that it is recognised by the Government of India. Usually the application deadline is around July 31 of the academic year.

Eligibility to Renew Scholarships

Students have to secure at least minimum specified marks in each academic year to be eligible to renew scholarships.

NEST Scholarships for Science, Medical and Engineering Students

NEST ScholarshipsNationwide Education and Scholarship Test (NEST) scholarships are offered by SEMCI (Shrimanji's Events Management Centre - International) India, Mumbai - flag-bearer of the S U Foundation of India. These scholarships are offered to students who are preparing for CAT, GATE, GRE, TOEFL and other competitive entrance tests for admission to higher studies in good institutes and for jobs in reputed companies. NEST scholarships are offered only bonafide students of various colleges. They are offered in 2 categories:

  • NEST I, and

  • NEST II.

Scholarship Amount

In NEST I, 10 or more scholarships worth Rs 25,000 are offered while scholarship worth Rs 75,000 is offered to candidate with Rank #1 in this category. In NEST II, 10 or more scholarships worth Rs 35,000 are offered while scholarship worth Rs 1,00,000 is offered to candidate with Rank #1 in this category. Apart from instant cash prizes, scholarship awardees also receive Certificates of Appreciation as incentives for their outstanding performance in the test.

Eligibility for Scholarships

For NEST I scholarships, 1st and 2nd year students of following degree of courses are eligible:

  • Engineering


  • 12th (Science), BCA or BSc students (from all the streams)

Final-year students of Diploma in Engineering can also apply for NEST I scholarships.

For NEST II scholarships, 3rd and 4th year students of following degree courses can apply:

  • Engineering


  • BCA or BSc (only in Computer & IT stream)

How are Scholarships Awarded?

SEMCI India conducts a NEST scholarship test on the last Sunday of January every year. NEST 2015 will be conducted on January 25, 2015. Eligible students can apply for NEST scholarships online till September 30. The application fee was Rs 600 in 2014 (with additional fee of Rs 300 for previous 5-years' question papers). Those who apply in July and August receive unsolved question papers for free.

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