26 Sep :A record number of over 400 applications have been received from Overseas Indian students this year for availing Government’s Scholarships for pursuing under graduate courses in India. The Majority of these applications are from the Gulf region as during the previous years.
There are 87 applicants from Oman, 76 from Kuwait and 60 from Saudi Arabia. 31 applications have come from UAE and 27 from Bahrain. For the first time, as many as 78 applications have been received from Sri Lanka. The last date for receipt of applications was 9th of September.
The applicants will have to take a common entrance test on 26th of October. The test will be held in 40 selected countries where there is a large concentration of persons of Indian origin and NRIs. This is a major change from the schedule followed in previous years when the entrance test used to be held in April-May. The Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs has brought in such change to make it possible for the selected students to join their educational institutions from the academic year beginning July/August, 2009. The Ministry has decided to complete the whole selection process for the scholarship by November 2008. The move is expected to help the applicants to take a timely decision regarding their educational career.
100 scholarships are being offered for undergraduate courses in several disciplines including Engineering/Architecture/Technology, Humanities/Liberal Arts, Commerce, Management – BBA/BBM, Journalism, Hotel Management, Agriculture/Animal Husbandry, Sciences, Law etc. The amount of scholarship admissible would be 75% of the Institutional Economic Cost (IEC) or US $ 3,600 (US dollars three thousand six hundred), whichever is less. IEC includes Tuition fee, Hostel fee & other institutional charges.
50% of the scholarship would be reserved for PIOs. However, in the event of non-availability of suitable PIO candidates, the unfilled slots could be assigned to NRI candidates. NRI candidates would be eligible for the grant of scholarship only if their total family income per month does not exceed an amount equivalent to US $ 2,250. Children of NRIs should have pursued at least three years of education inclusive of 11th & 12th or equivalent (not beyond), in a foreign country during the last six years, and should have passed the qualifying examination abroad. PIO/NRI Students already studying in India on a self-financing basis or under any other arrangement will not be eligible under this scheme, which is open only for fresh admissions in the first semester/year of undergraduate courses.
Candidates would be selected on the basis of a common entrance test to be conducted by Ed.CIL. on 26th October 2008. Exact timings would be intimated by Ed.CIL. The candidates would also have to fulfil all the criteria prescribed for the purpose. The scholarship is open only to PIOs/NRIs from the specified 40 countries as given in the enclosed list.
The scheme seeks to make higher education in India accessible to the children of overseas Indians and promote India as an education hub. Children from developing countries with inadequate educational facilities, lesser opportunities for higher studies and countries where there is a significant concentration of the diaspora population have been targeted. The programme was introduced in 2006 and has already benefited 220 NRI/PIO children.