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One of the major objectives of the Government is to ensure that no student is denied the opportunity to pursue higher education because she or he is poor. To achieve this objective, Department of Higher Education (DHE) launched schemes to provide financial assistance to students who are economically weak to pursue their higher education, in the form of scholarships, interest subsidy on education loan and credit guarantees for education loan. All categories of students in the country (i.e., General, SC, ST, OBC and PwD) are eligible to get financial assistance as per the schematic norms. The National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 also envisages improvement of Gross Enrolment Ratio in higher education from about 27% in 2019-20 to 50% by the year 2035. Therefore, encouraging the students to continue education, particularly the students from Economically Weaker Sections of the Society need sustained policy initiative.
The financial assistance schemes of the DHE are run under the umbrella scheme “Pradhan Mantri Uchchatar Shiksha Protsahan (PM-USP) Yojana”. For Scholarships and fellowships offered by the UGC and AICTE, one can visit their respective websites.
The PM-USP Yojana has 3 component schemes, namely, (i) Central Sector Scheme of Scholarship (CSSS) for College and University Students; (ii) Special Scholarship Scheme for Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh; and (iii) Central Sector Interest Subsidy Scheme (CSIS) and Credit Guarantee Fund Scheme for Education Loan (CGFSEL). In addition, the DHE also facilitates nomination process of meritorious and eligible students for External Scholarships offered by friendly foreign countries.
The National Scholarships are :
- Central Sector Scheme of Scholarship for College and University Students
- Special Scholarship Scheme for Jammu & Kashmir & Ladakh
The External Scholarships are :
- Commonwealth Masters’ Scholarships for United Kingdom
- Scholarships offered by South Korea, Israel, Japan, etc.
The Ministry issues No Objection Certificate (NOC) necessary for No Obligation to Return to India (NORI) Certificate issued by the Ministry of External Affairs required by students who went to the USA with J1 Visa.