How to submit applications for scholarships through NCERT National Talent Search Exam

Are you searching for the notification of the National Talent Search Exam schedule for applications and exam dates? This article provides complete information on the 2020 National Talent Search Exam (NTSE) to be conducted by NCERT to enable students to avail of scholarships for UG, PG and Ph.D. programs in India. Details of the two stages of the exam, the exam format, eligibility criteria and the application process have been provided.

The National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) has announced applications open for students who wish to apply for the National Talent Search Exam (NTSE) through which they can receive scholarships for higher studies up to the Doctoral level. There are totally about 2000 scholarships. However, the scholarships are only for pursuing studies in India and scholarships will not be awarded for pursuing studies abroad for any course. The State/UT will have an application fee and Stage-I exam fee, but there will be no fees at all for Stage-II of the exam.

Scholarship amounts

Junior college level: A student pursuing studies for Class XI and XII will receive a scholarship of Rs.1250/- per month.

Senior college and higher level: A student pursuing an undergraduate or postgraduate course will receive a scholarship of Rs.2000/- per month.

Doctoral level: The scholarship amount for a student pursuing Ph.D. will be on the basis of UGC norms.

The list of quota for States and Union Territories can be seen in the table below -
[Table source:]

The above list is revised every three years.

Category wise reservations

Following is the reservation for the Stage-II level of NTSE:
  1. SC students: 15%.
  2. ST students: 7.5%.
  3. OBC (non-creamy layer): 27%.
  4. EWS (Economically Weaker Section): 10% (this is for students not covered under the previous three categories).
  5. Children with benchmark disabilities: 4%. Out of this, 1% is for those with blindness and low vision (BLV), deaf and hard of hearing (DH), and locomotor disabilities; and 1% for those with autism, intellectual disability, specific learning disability and mental illness (AID) and those with multiple disabilities from amongst those under the above four categories, including deaf-blindness in the posts identified for each disability (MD).

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must be Indian nationals who are studying in India at the Class X level in a recognized school or are studying abroad at the Class X level in a recognized school. There is no domicile restriction at all. In the case of a student who is registered under an Open Distance Learning (ODL) program, he/she is also eligible for a scholarship but should be below the age of 18 years as on 1st July of the particular year. Further, such a student should be appearing for the Class X exam for the first time and should not be employed.

Students of Kendriya Vidyalayas, Navodaya Vidyalayas, and Sainik Schools are also eligible to apply. Want to get admission for your ward in a Sainik school? Know about the entrance exam and eligibility criteria for admission to Sainik schools.

How the selection is done

The initial stage of selection, which is Stage-I, is done at the State level/Union Territory level. Those selected through this stage, on the preparation of a merit list drawn up by the State/UT based on the qualifying marks, then appear for the national level exam conducted by NCERT, which is Stage-II. Selection of the awardees is then done on the basis of total marks scored in MAT & SAT based on merit. Note that the marks which you obtain at Stage-I of the State level exam will not be added to the National Level exam for the award of the scholarship.

Exam format

At both stages, namely Stage-I and Stage-II as stated above, there will be two papers for the written exam which is based on the syllabus of Classes IX and X. The first is a Mental Ability Test (MAT) and the second is a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), both with multiple-choice questions. For the SAT paper, there are 40 questions for Science, 40 questions for Social Science, and 20 questions for Math.

Students have to appear for both the tests on the same day. Each of these papers is of 120minutes' duration, with 100 questions for a total of 100 marks. Students can take the exam in any of these languages - Asamiya, Bangla, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Marathi, Malayalam, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu. At the time of application, the student must mention the language option and the exam booklet at the center will be given to him/her in that language only. Once the option is selected, students cannot change the option later.

Students of General categories and OBC and EWS categories need to score a minimum of 40% in each paper, while those from the SC, ST and PH categories have to score at least 32% in each paper. In Stage-II, there will be no negative marking for incorrect answers.

Students who are studying abroad can appear directly for the Stage-II of the exam at an NTS center in India (the cost to be borne by the student). However, they should have a minimum of 60% (in aggregate) at the previous annual exam. These students can submit a request for appearing for the NTS exam through the Head of the institution where they are studying. This request should be accompanied with an attested copy (by the Head of the institution) of the mark sheet of Class IX. The request should be sent to The Head, Department of Educational Survey Division, NCERT, New Delhi-110016. The last date of receipt of applications for these students is 31st December 2019. The application form for students studying abroad will be available at the NCERT website in October 2019.

To know the type of questions asked in the MAT and SAT tests, students can go through the 'Learn about the Test' booklet which is available in print as well as on the NCERT website.

Application process

The application form has to be obtained from the State/Union Territory Liaison Officer. You then need to get the signature of the school Principal on the form. This should be done well in advance so as not to be late for submission of the application. The completed and signed application has then to be submitted to the State Liaison Officer before the due date as notified by each concerned State/UT. The complete list of the address and contact number of the Liasion Officers is available at the NCERT website.

Important note: Students should not send any application forms to NCERT.

E-Admit cards for Stage-II will be available for students to download from the NCERT official website 21 days prior to the exam date. The admission letter will have details of the date and time of the test, as well as the venue and the student's roll number. A passport size photo will be required to be pasted on the Admit Card at the given place and this card has to be submitted to the exam Superintendent on the day of the exam.

Important dates

Stage-I (State/Union Territory level) exam
  1. Application form deadline: The last date of the submission of the application form will be notified by the respective State/UT and this will vary from State to State.
  2. Exam date :
    • 2nd November 2019 (Saturday) in the case of the States of Mizoram, Nagaland, Meghalaya and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
    • 17th November 2019 (Sunday) in the case of Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, NCT of Delhi, and Jammu and Kashmir.
    • 3rd November 2019 (Sunday) in the case of all other States and UTs other than those mentioned above.

Stage-II (National level) exam: In all States and Union Territories it is 10th May 2020 (Sunday).

Contact information

For all queries related to the application form and for the Stage-I State Level NTS examination, students should contact the Liaison Officer of their State and not NCERT.

For inquiries regarding the Stage-II National level, students can call 011-26560464 (between 2.30 p.m. 4.30 p.m.) or email

For inquiries related to the disbursement of the NTS scholarship, call 011-26562704, 011-26567401, 011-26567402 (between 2.30 p.m. 4.30 p.m.) or email

For nurturance programs for scholarship awardees, the contact email is


Article by Vandana
Vandana is based in India with over 15 years experience as a freelance writer. Writing, no doubt, is her primary passion! Having learned the art of blogging from ISC, Vandana is enjoying the thrills of blogging, taking pleasure in sharing information & getting good pageviews at her various blogs.

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