Whenever we use the term Scholarships, there is a sense of prestige attached to it, which is proof enough for the fact that it is an achievement to secure a scholarship. In a country like India where the brainpower is acclaimed all across the world and which is the home ground of millions of aspiring entrepreneurs, architects, lawyers, doctors, artists, mathematicians, it is of paramount importance that none of these budding prodigies lag in chasing their dream. Unfortunately, one of the most common reasons which hinder students in pursuing what they want is their parent’s constraint of not being able to pay the hefty school or university fees. There may also be a lack of motivation for those who can afford it but do not pursue higher studies. A merit-based scholarship addresses that gap and also provides the much-needed boost for the candidate and tells them not to hold back.
List of merit-based scholarships for students in India–
- INSPIRE- INSPIRE stands for ‘Innovation in Science Pursuit for Inspired Research.’ The Scholarship is administered by the Department of Science & Technology (DST). It is aimed at acknowledging young talent in the field of science. The foundation behind the Scholarship is to ensure that the bright minds of our country have access to the creative applications of science while encouraging scientific talent among these young minds. DST, with the help of such initiatives, plans to expand the human resource pool to sustain R&D departments of various scientific fields. A unique feature of INSPIRE is that, unlike other merit-based scholarships, it does not conduct a separate test for selection and entirely relies upon current academic performances. The Scholarship has three components:
- Scheme for Early Attraction of Talent (SEATS)
- Scholarship for Higher Education (SHE)
- Assured Opportunities for Research Careers (AORC)
2. KVPY– Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana is a Pre-PhD merit-based scholarship program under the Department of Science & Technology (DST). It is aimed at encouraging young minds to take up research careers in various fields of basic sciences. IISc Bangalore administers the annual conduct and selection procedures of KVPY. Qualified students are eligible for multiple fellowship programs as well as admission in prestigious institutes like IISc and IISER based on additional criteria. The Scholarship has three streams:
- SA (Class XI)
- SX (Class XII)
- SB (First year BSc)
– Selection procedures for fellowship consider both aptitude test (75%) and personal interview performance (25%).
3. NTSE – The National Talent Search Examination is a national level scholarship program, organized by NCERT, aimed at acknowledging and developing young talent. It provides financial assistance to qualified students in the form of a monthly scholarship for their educational expenses. Students studying in X grade are eligible to appear for the qualifying test. The Scholarship follows a two-stage selection procedure. For stage-I, the selection of talented candidates is made by States/UTs in the form of written examination. The examination consists of two sections: 1. Mental Ability Test (MAT) and 2. Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)(with questions based on History, Civics, Geography, Economics, Maths, Physics, Chemistry, Biology). Each state recommends a specific number of candidates (depending on individual quota) for stage-II examination. The format of stage-II is the same as stage-I. Candidates that clear both stages successfully, receive a scholarship amount of ₹500 every month for their academic expenditure.
4. Aditya Birla World Academy Scholarship – This Scholarship aims at providing scholarships to meritorious, exceptional students. They are about to get promoted to 11th grade. Its duration is two years, and there is a meticulous criterion to ensure that it reaches the right audience. It covers a part or the whole of the tuition fees. The screening procedure is divided into three stages-
- Stage1 – Candidates are required to submit their class 8-10th mark sheets. They would then be shortlisted based on their academic consistency and record.
- Stage2 – group discussion and written tests are a part of the second round. Students are evaluated based on their combined performance.
- Stage3- The final shortlisted students will be invited to have a meeting with the Chairperson and Trustees.
The final decision is announced after the 3 stage process.
5. Dhirubhai Ambani Scholarship – It is an initiative of the Reliance Foundation that offers financial assistance to meritorious and specially-abled students. Since 1996, Dhirubhai Ambani Scholarship has successfully backed over 12,000 students, out of which 50% are girls, and 20% are specially-abled students. The Scholarship is up to INR41,000 per annum. The eligibility criteria for the same is as follows:
- The student must have secured a rank in the CBSE/State board examination of class 12.
- They must be enrolled in a degree/diploma course at a premier University/College.
- The annual income of the family should be less than 4.5L per annum.
- The Scholarship does not have any income criteria for the specially-abled candidates.
Candidates receive a Letter of Eligibility and are then required to submit an online application within 60 days hence the acknowledgment.
6. Swami Vivekananda Scholarship– The Scholarship is formally known as the ‘Swami Vivekananda Merit-Cum-Means Scholarship.’ It is conducted by the Government of West Bengal to provide acknowledgment and financial assistance to poor but meritorious students of the state. Students pursuing Under-Graduate, Post-Graduate, M.Phil, and Doctoral level are eligible for the scheme. Moreover, the primary eligibility criteria are based on the academic merit of the students. To be eligible to apply, the candidates must have their annual family income less than or equal to ₹2,50,000. There is also a provision for Gender-specific Scholarship, i.e., ‘Swami Vivekananda Scholarship for Single Girl Child.’ Under the general scheme, recipients of the Kanyashree scheme currently pursuing courses in Science or Commerce stream under the University of West Bengal are also eligible (provided they have an aggregate of 45% or more). The rewards under the scholarship range between ₹1000-8000.
7. Atul Maheshwari Scholarship– The Scholarship is a brain-child of the Amar Ujala Foundation to encourage underprivileged students pursuing their pre-graduation education in government institutions. Following is the eligibility criteria to apply for the Scholarship:The candidates must be studying in class 9-12.They must have secured 60% or more in their most recent annual examination.The yearly income of the candidates’ family must not exceed ₹1,50,000
– Candidates fulfilling the eligibility criteria are shortlisted based on an academic merit list. The foundation shortlists 36 students every year from classes 9-12, i.e., 18 students from grade 9-10 & 18 students from class 11-12. Moreover, two blind students, i.e., one from level 10 and 12 each, are also provided financial support for further studies under this initiative. The individual scholarship rewards for different categories are as under:18 students from class 9-10: ₹30,00018 students from class 11-12: ₹50,000one blind student from grade 10: ₹30,0001 blind student from grade 12: ₹50,000
-In addition to these rewards, the awardees are invited to Delhi along with their guardians for a 2-day visit for an introduction to the functioning of the Amar Ujala Foundation.
8. Abhilasha Scholarship– Abhilasha is a CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) initiative by the EROS group to promote girl child education in our country. A total of 100 scholarships are disbursed every year under this scheme. To be eligible for the awards, female students need to secure at least 75% in their most recent annual examination. Moreover, these students must be studying in class 9-12. The family income criteria are less than or equal to ₹3,00,000. Candidates shortlisted will be awarded financial assistance worth ₹5000.
9. L&T Build India Scholarship– The Scholarship is aimed at encouraging meritorious final year students from the Civil/Electrical engineering stream. Shortlisted candidates will be eligible to pursue two years full-time M.Tech course in Construction Technology & Management. Apart from the sponsored course fee, candidates get advantages like internship opportunities at live sites of L&T with attractive stipends. Moreover, candidates also get exciting placement opportunities to post the completion, of course. To be eligible to apply for the Scholarship, the candidate must possess 65% or more aggregate up to 6 semesters of their graduation.
10. JSON Scholarship– Jaya Satya Promodha Nidhi is an initiative to financially support the poor but talented individuals of the Madhwa community to ensure they complete their education without monetary troubles. To be eligible to apply for this Scholarship, an individual must belong to the Madhwa community and have a decent academic background. Moreover, candidates studying 11th grade, 12th grade, BE, BAMS, Other Medicine courses are eligible to apply for the Scholarship. Other categories are PUC and below & B.Com, BCA, B.Sc, and other classes.