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Scholarships to Study Abroad by the Indian Government

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Nov 08, 2022Date Published
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India is a land of diversity, plurality and tolerance. It is home to people from all walks of life, including various religions, castes, cultures and languages. The Indian Government recognizes the importance of promoting this diversity by encouraging its citizens to study abroad. The plan is to help students pay for their tuition and living expenses while studying abroad. This creates access to myriad opportunities for students who contribute to and represent their country positively. For those willing to take on the challenges, here is a chance for you to make it happen! Learn about the scholarships to study abroad by the Indian government.


Best Scholarships to Study Abroad by the Indian Government

Since 1978, the Indian government has provided scholarships through several initiatives. It began providing financial aid for advanced education in science and technology. The Indian government presently provides a wide range of scholarships for Indian students to pursue their studies abroad. These scholarships vary from INR 500/- per month to INR 250,000/- per year, based on your qualifying requirements and the type of institution. To make things easier for you, we will go over the top scholarships available from the Indian government and how they might help you pursue your studies abroad.


Types of Scholarships for Study Abroad

Several scholarships are available for students of all levels. The proper study and planning might assist you in obtaining the best of them. Scholarships for studying abroad generally fall under the following categories:


Merit-Based Scholarships

A student's academic record or extracurricular achievements, such as athletics or community service, determine eligibility and award. The applicant with the highest academic accomplishment receives the honour.


Student-Centric Scholarships

The Indian government provides this form of scholarship to assist disadvantaged communities. The gender, caste, and religion of the petitioner are important considerations in this situation.


Need-Specific Scholarships

Less financially fortunate students are eligible for this type of scholarship. You might need to provide supporting evidence such as ITRs, employment certificates, income proofs, and other papers to apply for these types of scholarships.


Destination-Based Scholarship

In this situation, the Indian government will offer scholarships to Indian students who desire to study in a certain country, such as China, the United States, or the Netherlands. Most of these scholarships are research-based programmes.


PhD Scholarships

These schemes provide financial assistance for pursuing PhD degrees at reputed universities around the world like the USA, UK and Australia.


Top Scholarships by the Indian Government

The Government of India provides various scholarships for students who desire to pursue their studies overseas. Some of these scholarships are specific to certain regions and countries, but most are open to all Indian students. Here's a list of some of the best scholarship opportunities available:

Name of the Scholarship
Type of Scholarship
Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship
Merit-based
The JN Tata Endowment – Higher Education of Indians
PhD Scholarship
National Overseas Scholarship for SC Students
Student-centric
Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarship
Merit-based
Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship Programme
Merit-based
Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship
PhD Scholarship
The Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Trust
Student-centric
GyanDhan Scholarship
Merit-based


1. Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship

The United States-India Educational Foundation offers merit- and need-based scholarship programs. Talented and ambitious Indian students with relevant job experience can apply for Fulbright-Nehru Master's Fellowships. Besides job experience and academic credentials, these students must exhibit leadership abilities.

The scholarship covers tuition, airfare, stipend and health insurance. You will receive INR 159,000/ USD 2,000 per month while studying in the USA. Please keep in mind that the amount is changeable.

Eligibility Requirements:

You must:

  • Be a resident of India at the time of application
  • Receive at least 55% from a recognised Indian university
  • Have a four-year bachelor's degree or a completed master's degree if the bachelor's degree is shorter than four years
  • Have demonstrable proficiency in the English language to carry out the intended program
  • Show leadership and social service experience
  • Not have another degree from a US university
  • Have at least three years of full-time professional work experience in your preferred field of study at the time of application
  • Be present in person at the USIEF headquarters in New Delhi if called for an interview


2. The JN Tata Endowment – Higher Education of Indians

The JN Tata Endowment – Higher Education of Indians is a scholarship program that aims to help Indian students study abroad. Tata Group created this program in 1992. This is one country's largest scholarship programs for Indian students abroad.

Your qualification will determine whether you get a scholarship worth INR 1,000,000. You can also receive a gift scholarship worth INR 75,000 based on your excellent academic performance.

However, this is a repayable scholarship - you must repay the scholarship in 20% equal payments. Repayment can start between the third and seventh years of residency if you are a resident.


3. National Overseas Scholarship Scheme

The mission of this program is to help low-income students from:

  • Scheduled Castes
  • Denotified Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes
  • Landless Agricultural Labourers
  • Traditional Artisans

obtain higher education. The opportunity exists to aid these groups in improving their economic and social status. The scholarship covers the cost of tuition fees, housing and miscellaneous fees.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • You should not be older than 35 years
  • Total household income should not exceed INR 800,000
  • You must have received at least 55% of your bachelor's degree
  • The scholarship is open to two children from the same household
  • You must get legitimate results in examinations such as IELTS, PTE, GMAT, GRE, and others
  • If you are currently living abroad then you cannot apply for this scholarship


4. Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarship

The Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarship is a scholarship program that offers full tuition fees to Indian students who want to study in the USA, the UK, or other European countries. If selected, the foundation will cover your living, travel, and tuition costs. ISFS (Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarship) does not allocate more than USD 100,000/ INR 7,968,255 for each awardee.

Eligibility Requirements:

You must

  • Be an Indian citizen and be residing in India for at least six months at the time of application
  • Not be more than 30 years old
  • Hold a first-class undergraduate degree from a reputed Indian university
  • Have met the prerequisites for admission to the program of study
  • Not hold a master’s degree from an international university


5. Aga Khan Foundation International Scholarship

This scholarship program provides financial support to talented students from developing countries. You can apply for this scholarship if you are keen on undergraduate study in architecture, urban planning, engineering, or design. Due to its limited availability, applicants' merit, financial need, and academic distinction will get the preference.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Consistently excellent academic records
  • Genuine financial need
  • Admission to a highly reputable university or program


6. Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship

The Fulbright-Kalam Climate Fellowship is an annual award that provides funding for scholars to study at US institutions, including those of Indian origin. Since its inception in 2009, the US-India Education Foundation (UIEF) funds up to USD 10,000 / INR 795,175 per year for three years of study abroad. This fellowship program is a way to strengthen the relationship between the United States and India. The common objective is to tackle the issue of climate change.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • For Indian scholars who possess a PhD qualification from a recognized Indian institution
  • This government scholarship supports Indian researchers who are beginning their careers and require financial resources to sustain their work
  • Your work needs to specifically focus on climate studies and related teaching and research activities


7. The Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Trust

Indian women who aspire to attend an international university to further their education are eligible for this scholarship. The scholarship program is available to students enrolled in master's degree programs in US, UK, and European universities.

All Lady Meherbai D Tata Education Trust Scholarship candidates must present proof of available funds, demonstrating that they can meet their program's tuition and extra living expenses. Please note that the trust will not help you complete your visa applications.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • An outstanding and reliable academic record
  • Must have applied to a reputable university in the United States, United Kingdom, or Europe
  • At least two years or more of practical experience


8. GyanDhan Scholarship

In the past few years, the Indian government has introduced several scholarships for undergraduate and postgraduate studies in various countries. The GyanDhan Scholarship is one such scholarship that offers financial assistance to Indian students who want to study abroad.

You can use this scholarship to study at any university or college in the USA and Canada. It also covers tuition fees and living expenses while you are there. Only the top-performing student will get the scholarship funds. A selection committee will review the applications received and recommend the deserving students. Your qualifications will determine if you are eligible for this award.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be an Indian resident
  • Excellent academic performance
  • High test scores in GRE/GMAT/TOEFL
  • Strong and relevant statement of purpose and letter of recommendation


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to apply for scholarships?

A scholarship is a financial award provided by a government or an institution. It can be in the form of cash, educational certificates and vouchers. You must apply for these scholarships on the official website of your chosen university/institute and fill out their application form before submitting it. The Indian government provides scholarships to selected students only after they complete their graduation degree or post-graduate diploma course with minimum required grades (at least 50% or above).

What is the difference between scholarships and student loans?

Scholarships are generally - but not always - non-repayable gifts to contribute toward a student's education. Universities, governments, private organisations, and other bodies can offer a variety of scholarships. In the case of government scholarships, state or federal governments often award eligible students, who are citizens of the country, to study abroad. These scholarships tend to be merit-based, qualifying you on the basis of your academic performance, leadership ability, etc. They can also be need-based, creating opportunities for those with financial difficulties to access study abroad opportunities. Depending on the scholarship, you may be able to secure partial to full scholarships to study in specific universities and/or countries. Some scholarship schemes cover not only your tuition, but also living expenses, travel costs, research funding, etc.

On the other hand, student loans are completely separate from these funds. They are available only through banks or financial institutions that offer them as part of their services. A loan is repayable, and you will have to honour the repayment agreement made with the loaning authority.


Our Concluding Thoughts

There are several options for scholarships to study abroad by the Indian government. Generally, the application process is very straightforward - the government of India aims to ensure that many more students from all over India get an opportunity to pursue their dreams by studying abroad. So don't hesitate anymore - start researching today to find the ideal funding opportunity to make those dreams a reality.