The Ministry of Education, previously known as the Ministry of Human Resource Development, manages the education sector of the nation. It was established in 1985 and since then, has been a policymaker for different levels of education in India. One of the notable initiatives of the Education Ministry is the scholarships that they provide to students for various courses.
Central Sector Scheme of Scholarship for College and University students – The scholarship is applicable for Class 12 meritorious students coming from economically weaker sections of the society. The students scoring above 80 percentile score in class 12 or equivalent examination and their annual family income does not exceed 8 Lakh are eligible for this scholarship. A total of 82,000 scholarships of 10,000-12,000 are awarded every year to meritorious students. Students can apply for the scholarship on the National Scholarship Portal (NSP) between August and October.
National Means cum Merit Scholarship – This initiative is for meritorious students who belong to economically weaker sections and are unable to fund their education after class 8. To encourage them to pursue their secondary stage education, government provides a total of 1 Lakh scholarships, each of Rs. 12,000, every year. Students of class 9 who have secured at least 55% marks or their equivalent in class 8 are eligible to apply for this scheme. They must also have secured at least 55% marks in class 7. Moreover, the annual income of their family must not exceed Rs. 1.50 Lakh. Students can apply for the same on NSP between August and October.
AICTE Pragati Scholarship for Girls – This scholarship was introduced to encourage and empower young girls who are pursuing first or second year of technical degree/diploma course through lateral entry. A total of 5,000 scholarships, each up to Rs. 50,000 per annum (along with other benefits) are awarded every year. Girls whose annual family income does not exceed Rs. 8 Lakh can apply for this scheme on the basis of their 10+2 or its equivalent marks. This initiative can be accessed between September and October through NSP.
AICTE – Saksham Scholarship Scheme – Differently-abled students who are pursuing technical degree / diploma course from a government-listed institute can avail the benefits of the scheme. The primary aim of this scheme is to encourage disabled students pursue technical education without any financial issues. All eligible students shall receive a scholarship of up to Rs. 50,000 per annum along with additional benefits. However, to be eligible, students must be more than 40% disabled and must be studying in first year or second year technical / diploma course (lateral entry). The course must be pursued in any of the AICTE-approved institutes. Furthermore, their annual income must not exceed Rs. 8 Lakh. Students can apply for the same between September and October on NSP.
Prime Minister’s Research Fellowship (PMRF) – The scheme was introduced to encourage technical research studies and doctoral programmes among meritorious students in prestigious institutions like IISc, IISERs, IITs, NITs, etc. Students who are applying for PhD programmes (direct or lateral) at one of the PMRF-recognised institutions can apply for this scholarship on NSP. Minimum educational qualifications must also be fulfilled to apply for this scheme. Stipend going up to Rs.80,000 per month and other benefits are provided under this scheme.