Scholarships in India: Merit-based, Means-based, and talent-based A to Z

Did you know that India offers merit-based and financial-poverty-based student scholarships totaling thousands of crores? Most likely not. There are many bright youngsters who would like to pursue higher education but are unable to do so because of the continuously rising expense of tuition. In reality, a study by the Institute for Policy Research Studies (PRS), New Delhi, found that 77 percent of pupils are enrolled in class 10, but only 52 percent are enrolled in class 11. This shows how frequently kids drop out of classes in grades 10 and 11, making the demand for scholarships in India urgent and persuasive for them.


Did you know that India awards millions of crores in scholarships to deserving and financially disadvantaged students? Probably not. Numerous intelligent young people who wish to pursue higher education but are unable to do so due to the steadily growing cost of tuition. 77 percent of students are really registered in class 10, according to a survey by the Institute for Policy Research Studies (PRS), New Delhi, whereas just 52 percent are enrolled in class 11. This demonstrates how frequently students fail to complete their coursework in grades 10 and 11, which makes the necessity for scholarships in India urgent and compelling for students.

Myths about scholarships in India

Scholarship-related misperceptions abound. The most widespread misconceptions in India about scholarships include:

  • Only students from economically disadvantaged groups or underserved areas of society are eligible for scholarships.
  • Scholarships are only available to deserving students.
  • Your efforts are not worth the amount of scholarship money a kid receives.
  • Applying for a scholarship is a time-consuming process that requires you to adhere to a lot of rules.
  • You may only submit one scholarship application.

However, when it comes to reality about scholarships in India, the following facts count –

  • In India, there is a wide range of scholarships available to students of every class, caste, religion, category, and gender.
  • Scholarships are generally intended to aid in schooling. Thus, a range of scholarships, including those based on merit, means, talent, merit combined with means, sports, etc., are available to accommodate the individual requirements of students.
  • Every effort you make to gain simple access to education, no matter how big or tiny, is important.
  • Technology has advanced, making the application procedure more convenient and straightforward.
  • You can submit as many scholarship applications as you like, but you can only accept one. This requirement for receiving a scholarship may change from one supplier to another.

Merit-based scholarships

What do you mean when you refer to merit-based awards? Merit-based scholarships are a broad category for scholarships that are awarded to students based on their academic achievement. The dilemma that now emerges is how you will choose out these scholarships from among the hundreds of possibilities. Here is a list of a few well-known merit-based scholarships that are offered each year to help you out.

Therefore, if you are a top student in your class and are seeking for a scholarship to support your future studies, this list of merit-based scholarships accessible in India would undoubtedly be of assistance to you.

List of merit-based scholarships in India

S.No.Scholarship NameApplicable ForApplication Period*
1.Swami Dayanand College Scholarship for Delhi/NCRClass 12th passed students with minimum 85% marksNovember to December
2.Prime Minister’s Scholarship Scheme for Central Armed Police Forces and Assam RiflesStudents willing to pursue a professional program in graduation or postgraduationAugust to December
3.SOF Scholarship of Excellence in English (S.E.E)Students of class 1 to 10July to December
4.L&T Build India ScholarshipStudents for final year BE/BTech degree in Civil/Electrical EngineeringNovember to December
5.INSPIRE Scholarship For Higher Education (SHE)Class 12 passed students pursuing BSc/BS/MS/Int. MSc courseNovember to December
6.Siemens Scholarship Program1st year govt. college B. Tech studentsJune to August
7.Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY)Class 11, 12 (PCM/B), BSc 1st year, Int. MSc 1st year studentsJune to August
8.11th All India Maths Science (AIMS) Talent ExaminationStudents of class 1 to 10thJuly to August
9.Dhirubhai Ambani Scholarship ProgrammeClass 12th passed studentsJune to August
10.National Scholarship ExamSchool students of class 5 to 12 and diploma/degree studentsApril to September
11.BTSE Bihar Talent Search ExaminationStudents of class 7th to 10thJune to August
12.National Science Concours (NSC)Students of class 6th to 12thJuly to November
13.J C Bose National Fellowship (Science & Engineering Research Board)Citizens up to 68 years of ageAlways Open
14.Nagaland State Merit ScholarshipClass 11th to Post GraduateMay to July
15.JM Sethia Merit Scholarship SchemeStudents enrolled in class 9 to 12, Graduation, PostgraduationMay to July
16.JSPN ScholarshipClass 11th to graduationMay to July
17.SIA Youth Scholarship in SingaporeClass 10th passed studentsJune to July
18.A-STAR India Youth ScholarshipClass 8th passed studentsJune to July
19.NBHM Scholarship for Post Graduate Studies in MathematicsGraduates in Mathematics or students enrolled/pursuing PG in MathematicsJune to July
20.J N Tata Endowment Loan ScholarshipGraduates/final year undergraduatesDecember to March
21.G.P. Birla Education Foundation ScholarshipClass 12th pass students from West BengalMay to July
22.Bighelp National Merit ScholarshipClass 10th passed studentsApril to June
23.RGIPT M. Tech FellowshipB. Tech/BEMarch to June
24.KSCSTE Prathibha Scholarship ProgrammeClass 12th passed students (Science)December to January
25.Abdul Kalam Technology Innovation National FellowshipProfessionals working in the Engineering profession in public-funded institutionsApril to August

Means-based scholarships

Means-based scholarships are another big category of scholarships that are awarded to students after taking their financial need into account. Yes, there are scholarships in India designed exclusively for students from lower socioeconomic strata. The yearly family income of the family is the main criteria that decides whether a student is qualified for such scholarships.

Check out the list of the most well-known means-based scholarships below. You can learn about the scholarships on our list that will meet your financial needs while pursuing your education.

List of means-based scholarships in India

S.No.Scholarship NameApplicable ForApplication Period*
1.        Pre-Matric Scholarships Scheme for MinoritiesStudents of class 1st to 10thAugust to September
2.        Post Matric Scholarships Scheme for MinoritiesStudents of Class 11th to PhDAugust to September
3.HDFC Educational Crisis ScholarshipStudents of class 6 to 12 / undergraduates/ postgraduatesJune to August
4.Financial Assistance for Education of the Wards of Beedi/Cine/IOMC/LSDM Workers – Pre-MatricStudents of class 1st to 10thAugust to October
5.Financial Assistance for Education of the Wards of Beedi/Cine/IOMC/LSDM Workers – Post-MatricClass 11th to post-graduation including diplomaAugust to October
6.Dr. Ambedkar Post Matric Scholarship for Economically Backward Classes (EBC), TripuraClass 11th to post-graduationNovember to January
7.National Overseas Scholarship for SC StudentsSC, Denotified Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Landless Agricultural Labourers and Traditional ArtisansApril to May
8.AMP Higher Education Scholarship FundMuslim students pursuing graduationMay to July
9.SHDF ScholarshipsStudents pursuing diploma, degree or postgraduate degreeJune to August
10.INSEAD Deepak & Sunita Gupta Endowed ScholarshipsMBA applicantsJune to August
11.IDFC First MBA Scholarship1st year MBA Students (India)July
12.The G.S.B ScholarshipStudents from class 5 to graduate levelJuly to October
13.Azim Premji University Undergraduate ScholarshipBachelor’s degree applicantsMarch to April
14.Nurturing Talent ProgrammeClass 5th passed studentsFebruary to April
15.Joining Hands Higher Education Scholarship ProgramUndergraduate and postgraduate applicantsMarch to April
16.Padala Charitable Trust ScholarshipClass 11th, 12th, diploma and graduate studentsMarch to May
17.Kind Circle Meritorious ScholarshipStudents studying in Class 9 to 12, Graduation or Vocational programs (all years)January to March
18.Jauhar National FellowshipMuslim minority students (UG and PG)September to November
19.Harvard Need Blind ScholarshipUndergraduates of Harvard UniversityDecember to February
20.AICTE-Saksham Scholarship SchemeDifferently-abled studentsOctober to December
21.Loan for Professional/Educational/Training Courses to Disabled PersonsCandidates with 40% or more disabilityRuns all through the year
22.Dr. Radha Krishnan Scholarship, HP Board of School EducationClass 10th/12th passed studentsDecember to January
23.Medley Pharma ScholarshipClass 10th passed onwardsOctober to December
24.Sindhutai Sapakal Scheme for Educating Orphans and Children with Special NeedsClass 1st to post-graduationOctober to December
25.Sitaram Jindal Foundation ScholarshipClass 11th to post-graduationRuns all through the year

Merit-cum-means based scholarships

A scholarship that considers the student’s financial need in addition to their academic ability is referred to as a merit-cum-means scholarship. When do these scholarships go into effect each year? To whom are these scholarships open? What courses are covered by these scholarships? Find the answers to all of these questions in the list of the most well-known merit-based scholarships offered in India that is provided below.

List of merit-cum-means based scholarships in India

S.No.Scholarship NameApplicable ForApplication Period*
1.LIC HFL Vidhyadhan ScholarshipStudents of Class 8 to postgraduationNovember to December
2.Merit Cum Means Scholarship for Professional and Technical Courses CS (Minorities)Students pursuing Professional and technical courseAugust to September
3.Keep India Smiling Foundational Scholarship ProgrammeMeritorious and deserving studentsJuly to January
4.North South Foundation (NSF) ScholarshipClass 12th passed studentsJuly to September
5.Nirankari Rajmata Scholarship SchemeClass 12th passed and graduate studentsJuly to September
6.IndusInd Foundation Merit-cum-Means ScholarshipClass 12th passed studentsJuly to September
7.Baba Gurbachan Singh Scholarship Scheme1st year degree/diploma studentsJuly to September
8.Central Sector Scheme of Scholarship for College and University StudentsClass 12th passed studentsAugust to October
9.Nurture Merit cum Means ScholarshipStudents pursuing graduationJune to December
10.Vidyadhan Scholarship ProgramClass 10th passed studentsMay to July
11.Shubh Aarambh ScholarshipClass 12th passed studentsMay to August
12.LIC Golden Jubilee ScholarshipClass 12th passed students pursuing UG/Vocational coursesNovember to December
13.Nirmaan Scholarship and Mentorship Program (NSMP)Students who’ve passed class 12thMay to July
14.Early Success Merit cum Means ScholarshipStudents studying in class 6 to class 12May to July
15.DAIICT Admission Cum ScholarshipClass 12th passed or appearing studentsApril to July
16.Ryan Merit cum Means ScholarshipStudents studying in Class 8 to 12April to June
17.SRM University Socio-Economic ScholarshipsStudents applying for an undergraduate course in SRM UniversityMarch to June
18.Inspire Merit cum Means ScholarshipStudents pursuing graduationMarch to June
19.National Means Cum Merit ScholarshipClass 9th studentsAugust to October
20.Swami Vivekananda Merit Cum Means Scholarship for Minorities (West Bengal)Class 11 onwards studentsDecember to January
21.KEI High school Scholarship ProgramStudents studying in class 9January to March
22.Schindler Igniting Minds Scholarship ProgramClass 10th/12th passed students pursuing diploma coursesJanuary to March
23.Foundation for Excellence ScholarshipStudents enrolling in BE/B.Tech and MBBS degree programOctober to December
24.Federal Bank Hormis Memorial Foundation ScholarshipsMBBS, B.E/B.Tech, B.Sc(Agri/Nursing) MBA StudentsSeptember to December
25.South Indian Bank (SIB) Scholarship SchemeUndergraduates belonging to economically backward families of KeralaSeptember to October

Talent-based scholarships

Are you a fan of dancing, art, or music? Are you trying to find specialised scholarships to pay for your studies in a talent-based field? If so, there are a number of talent-based scholarships available in India that will likely offer you the boost you need to realise your professional goals. You can choose talent-based scholarships if you wish to pursue a career as an artist, musician, or dancer.

Find out which of the scholarships in India based on talent you may apply for from the list below. It lists the names of several well-known scholarships awarded on the basis of talent.

List of talent-based scholarships in India

S.No.Scholarship NameApplicable ForApplication Period*
1.GEMS Genius Scholarship School studentsJuly to August
2.Cultural Talent Search Scholarship SchemeStudents in the age group of 10-14 yearsNovember to January
3.Toto Music AwardYoung and talented applicants under 30 years of ageJune to August
4.National Child Award for Exceptional AchievementStudents between 5 to 18 years of ageJune to August
5.Kalakriti FellowshipYoung artists of age 25 to 40 yearsRuns all through the year
6.Madhobi Chatterji Memorial FellowshipYoung artists from any genre of Indian Classical Music or DanceRuns all through the year
7.Mani Mann FellowshipYoung musicians of 25 to 40 yearsRuns all through the year
8.Young Artistes ScholarshipYoung artists between 18 and 25 years of ageSeptember to November
9.Inlaks Fellowships for Indian Classical MusicYoung vocal musiciansSeptember to October
10.Lalit Kala Akademi Scholarship21 years to 35 years artists.February to March
11.Sahitya Akademi Yuva PuraskarYoung Indian authors of age 35 years or belowJune to August
12.FICA Emerging Artist AwardYoung artists (age 18 to 35 years)July to August
13.New India Foundation Fellowships 2018Scholars and writersApril to June
14.Comix competition (International)Comic creatorsDecember to January
15.The Hindu Playwright AwardPlaywrights above the age of 18 yearsMarch to May

Sports-based scholarships

Which sport is your favourite? Cricket? Football? Basketball? maybe chess? No matter the sport you select, have you ever considered being awarded a scholarship for your contributions to these sports? Maybe not. However, there are many scholarship options in India given by prominent sports institutes and other private companies if you want to make your contributions to sport stand out.

Find out from the list below which prestigious sports-based scholarships are available in India and succeed in your chosen career.

List of sports-based scholarships in India

S.No.Scholarship NameApplicable ForApplication Period*
1. AAI Sports Scholarship Scheme in IndiaPlayers above 14 years who represent India in Sub-Junior / Junior / Senior National Championships, All India Inter University Tournaments, National School GamesDecember to February
2.GEMS Genius ScholarshipSchool studentsJuly to August
3.        MKG Chess ScholarshipGirl chess player below the age of 18 yearsJune to July
4.        University of Sussex Sports Scholarships Scheme (UK)Master’s degree applicants (performing athletes)August to October
5.        ASA International Scholarship (Australia)Students willing to study in AustraliaNovember to December
6.        Symbiosis Society Foundation Sports ScholarshipsSportsperson enrolling/studying at Symbiosis International UniversityJune to July

Scholarships in India – for women

Numerous scholarships for women are also being granted in India by the government and private organisations to support and empower girls and women in the field of education and to guarantee that no girl drops out of formal education. These awards are given to the girls based on their academic ability or/and financial necessity.

Here is a carefully compiled list of scholarships just for you females to further your studies. I really hope that these scholarships will serve as a bridge for you to pursue your goals.

List of scholarships in India for women

 S.No.  Scholarship Name Applicable For Application Period*
1.Dr. Reddy’s Foundation Sashakt Scholarship Class 12th passed girlsJuly to August 
2.Santoor Women’s ScholarshipClass 12th passed girlsJuly to August
3.Begum Hazrat Mahal National Scholarship Scheme for Minorities GirlsMinorities’ girl students studying in Class 9th to 12thJuly to September
4.Post-Graduate Indira Gandhi Scholarship for Single Girl ChildSingle girl child of the family up to 30 years of ageFebruary to March
5.Women Scientists Scheme-C (WOS-C)Women scientists above 27 years of ageNovember to January
6.SOF Girl Child Scholarship Scheme (G.C.S.S)Girls of class 1 to 10June to October
7.L’Oréal India For Young Women in Science ScholarshipClass 12th passed girls (Science)June to July
8.UGAM – Legrand Scholarship ProgramClass 12th passed girlsJune to July
9.AICTE-Scholarship Scheme to Girl Child (SSGC) under PragatiGirl students entering into the first year of technical coursesOctober to December
10.Marubeni India Meritorious ScholarshipClass 12 pass-outs pursuing the 1st year of graduationNovember to January
11.Smt. Geeta Lochan Girl Child Scholarship ProgrammeGirl candidate of Arunachal University of StudiesMay to June
12.Sasakawa India Leprosy Foundation Nursing Scholarship ProgrammeGirls who want to pursue B.Sc. (Basic Nursing)March to May
13.Prabha Dutt FellowshipWomen journalists of the age group 25 to 40 yearsRuns all through the year
14.Kalpana Chawla Memorial AwardGirl students appearing in class 12thMarch to May
15.Lady Meherbai D Tata Education ScholarshipWomen graduatesFebruary to April
16.Tata Housing Scholarships for Meritorious Girl StudentsGirl students in the 2nd year of BE/B.Tech/B.ArchJanuary to March
17.Muslim Nadar Girls Scholarship, Kerala1st year girl students of HSC/ VHSC/ undergraduate courseJuly to August
18.Bigyani Kanya Medha Britti Scholarship (JBNSTS), West BengalClass 12th passed girlsMay to July
19.Merit Scholarship for Undergraduate Girl StudentsUndergraduate girl studentsJanuary to February
20.Women as Cyber Leaders Scholarship (UK)MSc degree applicants (Female)May to June
21.Facebook Grace Hopper ScholarshipWomen pursuing a CS degree programMay to June
22.Said Business School Scholarships for Women (UK)Women pursuing M.Sc. in Major Programme ManagementApril to June
23.International Women Forum Fellows ProgramEmerging women leaders having at least 10 years of experienceApril to June
24.Scholarship for Women: Professional MBA Facility ManagementFemale candidatesDecember to January
25.Women’s Cybersecurity ScholarshipsClass 12 (studying or passed), graduate and postgraduate female applicantsJanuary to March
26.MKG Chess ScholarshipGirl chess player below the age of 18 yearsJune to July

Scholarships in India – for overseas studies

Consider going to the US or the UK to study abroad. How will you handle the money for international education? Most of you may search for scholarships in India to study abroad, while others of you may rely on the availability of educational loans. Yes, in order to promote cross-cultural learning throughout the world, some foreign colleges provide scholarship options for Indian students.

In addition, you are available for any scholarship possibilities offered by the governments of India and other nations. The scholarships listed below can help you pursue your ideal academic career abroad without facing any financial limitations.

List of scholarships in India for overseas studies

S.No.Scholarship NameApplicable ForApplication Period*
1.Alliance MBS Masters Scholarship (UK)Postgraduate applicantsJune to August
2.Bath Spa University Meritorious Scholarship (UK)Undergraduate and Postgraduate applicantsJune to August
3.Amity Global Institute Merit Scholarship, SingaporeClass 12 passed, graduatesJune to August
4.Newcastle University Business School ScholarshipsStudents entering Masters coursesfrom June to August
5.University of Strathclyde-Faculty of Science Research Elite Scholarships (Scotland)PostgraduatesJuly to September
6.University of Strathclyde-Faculty of Science Postgraduate Elite Scholarships (Scotland)GraduatesJuly to September
7.University of Strathclyde-Faculty of Science Undergraduate Elite Scholarships (Scotland)Class 12th passed studentsJuly to September
8.University of Dundee Global Excellence ScholarshipUndergraduateJuly to October
9.Mexican Government Scholarships for International Students (Mexico)Graduates, Post Graduates, PhDJuly to September
10.Academic Excellence International Masters Scholarship (UK)Master’s degree applicantsJuly to September
11.Scholarships to study online at University of South WalesClass 12th passed and graduatesJune to January
12.Deakin India Merit ScholarshipUndergraduate & postgraduate program applicantsJune to December
13.Nanyang Technological University NIE PhD Scholarship (Singapore)PhD applicantsApril to July
14.The Rhodes Scholarships, University of Oxford (UK)Graduates or final year studentsApril to July
15.Academia Higher Education College Meritorious Scholarship (Slovenia, EU)Students applying for courses in Business, Engineering and Media ProductionJune to August
16.University of Strathclyde-Scotland Welcomes India Big Data Scholarship (Scotland)GraduatesMay to July
17.University of Bristol Think Big Undergraduate Scholarships (UK)Bachelor’s degree applicantsApril to June
18.Regent’s University India Postgraduate Taught Masters Scholarship (UK)Master’s degree applicantsMarch to June
19.The University of Lincoln India Scholarship (UK)Postgraduate applicantsMarch to June
20.Carnegie Mellon University Academic Merit Scholarships, AustraliaGraduatesMarch to June
21.UCC Ireland Meritorious Scholarship for Indian StudentsStudents passed class 12 or graduation/graduatesMarch to June
22.Manju Mehrotra Scholarship (UK)Master’s degree applicantsMarch to June
23.Stanford Reliance Dhirubhai Fellowship (US)MBA applicantsApril to June
24.ITC Foundation Scholarship Programme (Netherlands)Master’s degree applicantsFebruary to April
25.IHS Holland Scholarship (Netherlands)Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree applicantsMarch to May

*The application period is provisional and subject to change at the sole discretion of the organisation responsible for awarding the scholarships.