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Scholarships for NRI Students in India

India is a land of opportunity for Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) looking to gain an education. With the help of scholarships, NRIs have the chance to study in India with the least financial burden. However, there are many obstacles for NRIs when applying for scholarships in India—from the eligibility criteria to the application process. Read on to learn more about what you need to know before applying for scholarships as an NRI student in India.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance Schemes for NRI Students in India

Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC) is a scheme launched by the Government of India in 2006-07 to make higher education accessible to the children of NRIs and PIOs. Below is the list of popular scholarships and financial assistance schemes for students in India. 

  • Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme– The most popular ones include the Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme and the Central Sector Scheme of Scholarships for College and University Students. This institution is open to all Indian nationals who have secured admission to professional or technical courses in recognized institutions within India. The scholarship amount is based on the family income and the number of dependents.
  • Central Sector Scheme of Scholarships for College- The Central Sector Scheme of Scholarships for College and University Students provides scholarships to meritorious students from families with annual incomes below Rs 4.5 lakh. The scholarship covers tuition fees, maintenance allowance, and other academic expenses.
  • Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme for Central Armed Police Forces and Assam Rifles- The Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme for Central Armed Police Forces and Assam Rifles provides financial assistance to the wards of serving or retired personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) and Assam Rifles. The scholarship covers tuition fees, maintenance allowance, books, stationery allowance, and other academic expenses.
  • Scholarship for Person of Indian Origin (SPIO)- Countries where SPDC applies to the Scholarship for Person of Indian Origin (SPIO), is a need-based scholarship provided by the Government of India to encourage and support academically deserving students of Indian origin who are pursuing full-time regular courses at various levels, including undergraduate, postgraduate, and doctoral programs, in Indian institutions. SPIO is open to all bonafide students of Indian origin irrespective of their country of residence. The scholarship is awarded based on merit, with preference given to those from economically weaker sections.

Annual scholarships worth Rs 1.6 lakhs are provided for undergraduate studies, Rs 2.2 lakhs for postgraduate studies, and Rs 3 lakhs for doctoral studies. The scholarship covers tuition fees, hostel charges, library & laboratory expenses, and other course-related costs. Scholarships are also available for short-term/ summer courses lasting not more than six months. The amount awarded depends on the duration and type of course undertaken.

The following Categories of Students are Eligible for SPDC

NRI students who are enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a recognized university in India are eligible for the SPDC scholarship.

  • Scholarships will be awarded based on academic merit and financial need.
  • To be considered for a scholarship, students must submit an application form along with their transcripts and other supporting documents. 
  • Applications will be reviewed by a committee of scholars and selection will be made on a rolling basis.

 NRI students who wish to study in India can apply for scholarships through the Indian government’s e-portal, Education Portal India. The portal provides a list of all the available scholarships for NRI students, as well as information on how to apply for each scholarship. NRI students can also get in touch with the Indian Embassy or Consulate in their home country for more information on scholarships and other educational opportunities in India.

Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC): What is the Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC)?

The SPDC is a scholarship program that provides financial assistance to non-resident Indian (NRI) students who wish to study in India.

Who is Eligible for the SPDC?

To be eligible for the SPDC, students must be:

  • Between the ages of 18 and 30
  • NRIs with a valid passport
  • Enrolled in an undergraduate or postgraduate course at an Indian institution
  • Have a family income of less than Rs 4 lakh per annum.

How much Financial Assistance is provided under the SPDC?

The SPDC provides financial assistance of up to Rs 1 lakh per annum to each eligible student. This amount is used to cover tuition fees, living expenses, and other costs associated with studying in India.

How can I Apply for the SPDC?

Applications for the SPDC can be made online through the website of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA). The MEA will then forward your application to the institution where you wish to study, which will provide you with further instructions on how to complete your application

How much financial assistance is provided by SPDC?

The amount of financial assistance provided by SPDC varies from student to student. However, all students who are eligible for SPDC funding will receive some form of financial support. The type and amount of funding will be based on the student’s individual needs and circumstances.

  • SPDC provides Need-Based and Merit-Based Scholarships- Need-based scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate financial need, as determined by their family’s income and assets. Merit-based scholarships are awarded to students who have achieved academic excellence or have demonstrated outstanding leadership potential.
  • SPDC Loans- SPDC offers loans to help cover the cost of attendance for students who do not qualify for scholarships or grants. Loans must be repaid with interest, but they offer a way to finance your education if you do not have the resources to pay for it upfront.

How many Scholarships are Offered Annually?

The number of scholarships offered annually to NRI students in India varies depending on the source of funding. However, the Indian government offers a limited number of scholarships through its various educational institutions. For example, Jawaharlal Nehru University offers two full scholarships each year for non-resident Indian students pursuing doctoral studies in any discipline. Similarly, the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research offers a small number of fellowships to NRI students wishing to pursue research in basic sciences at their institute.

Why is NAAC “A” Grade important?

The National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) is an autonomous body that evaluates and accredits higher education institutions in India. Institutions that are accredited by NAAC are considered to be of high quality and offer students a good educational experience.

  • NAAC “A” Grade is the highest possible rating that an institution can receive from NAAC. This rating is reserved for institutions that have met the highest standards of quality in teaching, research, and infrastructure. Institutions with a NAAC “A” Grade are highly sought-after by students, as they offer a guarantee of a good education. Students who attend these institutions can be sure that they will receive a quality education that will prepare them for success in their chosen field.
  • Many scholarships and financial aid programs consider an applicant’s institutional affiliation when awarding money. As a result, students who attend an institution with a NAAC “A” Grade are more likely to receive scholarships and other forms of financial aid than those who do not.

The importance of a NAAC “A” Grade lies in the fact that it is a guarantee of high-quality education. Students who attend these institutions can be sure that they will receive a quality education that will prepare them for success in their chosen field.

What is the procedure to apply for SPDC?

The process of applying for the SPDC Scholarship is as follows:

  • Eligible students must first fill out an online application form available on the website.
  • To complete the application form, students will need to provide personal information, educational background details, and contact information.
  • Once the form is completed, students will need to submit it along with supporting documents to the SPDC office.
  • The required documents include a copy of the student’s passport, birth certificate, and transcripts from their previous education.
  • After review, eligible students will be contacted by the SPDC and asked to provide additional information or documents if needed.
  • Once all materials are received and reviewed, scholarship recipients will be notified of their award amount and how to receive the funds.

What Institutes are included in SPDC?

Several institutes are included in the SPDC, such as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the National Institutes of Technology (NITs), and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). These institutes are some of the most prestigious in India and offer many scholarships to NRI students. 

What is Direct Admission to Students Abroad (DASA)?

The Direct Admission of Students Abroad (DASA) scheme offers an opportunity for students from abroad to pursue engineering and other technical programs at National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), Centrally Funded Technical Institutes (CFTIs) and other participating institutes. Admission to undergraduate programs through DASA is based on the SAT score. The DASA scheme is administered by NIT-Kurukshetra on behalf of MHRD.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible for admission under DASA, a student must:

  • Be a citizen of India or a person of Indian Origin (PIO) / Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) card holder.
  • Have completed Class 12 or equivalent qualifications from a foreign education system with Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry as subjects.
  • Have secured a minimum aggregate score of 80% in Class 12 or equivalent examinations.
  • Meet the minimum SAT score requirements as prescribed by the respective institute.0