Govt. of India National Overseas Scholarships to study abroad for reserved categories

Are you searching for government scholarships for SC, ST, artisans or landless agricultural labourers to study in a foreign university? This article provides complete information on the annual National Overseas Scholarships (NOS) offered by the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment Scheme (MSJE), Govt. of India for SC and other reserved category students to study a PG or PhD program abroad. Details of the scholarship amount and online application procedure have been provided.

Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment Scheme (MSJE), Govt. of India each year offers up to a total of 100 National Overseas Scholarships (NOS) to students who have acquired admission to a Masters level course or a Ph.D. course abroad in Government-recognized universities and institutions or those accredited by the competent authority of that country. Note that if you are already studying abroad or even staying abroad, then you cannot apply for the scholarship under this scheme. Also, this scheme does not offer scholarships for Bachelor level programs.

General information of MSJE NOS (SC)

You must avail of the award of the National Overseas Scholarship Central Sector Scheme within one year of receiving the intimation from the Ministry about your selection, otherwise, you will forfeit the scholarship and the award is automatically cancelled.

The Govt. will not be arranging for acquiring admission to the foreign university or institution where you are keen to pursue your Masters/Ph.D. course. That process has to be done entirely by you, as also obtaining the appropriate Visa. The Govt. will not be offering any assistance to obtain the required Visa. The Visa will be only to complete the course and thereafter you will return to India. Keep in mind that you need to obtain the J-1 Visa if you are applying for admission to a course in the USA. Once you return to India after completing the course, you are required to immediately give a written intimation to MSJE about having returned to India.

Learn how to apply for a Student Visa for USA and get informative tips for applying for a US student visa

The Indian Mission in the country where you are pursuing the Master's/PhD course will be taking up the responsibility of the required payments of tuition fees and other allowances that are permitted under the Scholarship scheme. The Indian Mission will also be monitoring your academic progress in the course through the reports submitted to it twice a year by the university/institution where you are studying, and the maintenance allowance may be affected after the first semester in case of an adverse report.
Ensure that you fulfil all the formalities as required by the Ministry before you board your flight to study abroad under the National Overseas Scholarship Central Sector Scheme, including the submission of required legal documents/agreements, etc. As soon as you reach your destination, you are also required to check in with the Indian Mission in that country and execute the required legal/other documents as mandated by the Mission.

Taking up employment opportunities

You are permitted to take up Research and work as a Teaching Assistant if you so wish, to support additional expenses. You can also stay abroad in that country once you complete the course for two years in case you are successful in getting a job and also obtain the appropriate Visa for your stay. However, for this extended stay for work, you will not be getting any financial support from the Govt. of India. Also, in such a scenario, you must inform MSJE, Govt. of India, and the Indian Mission abroad about the employment details.

Who is eligible to apply for MSJE NOS (SC)

You can apply for the scholarship if you are in any of the following groups-
  1. Scheduled Castes, for which 90 scholarships are available.
  2. De-notified, Nomadic, and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, for which six scholarships are available.
  3. Landless agricultural labourers and traditional artisans, for which four scholarships are available.

In case a slot is vacant for the scholarship in any of these categories, then it may be allotted to applicants of the other two categories as well.

Scholarship amount of MSJE NOS (SC)

The scholarship award is up to the completion of the course/research or the following period, whichever is earlier, as follows-
For Master's Degree program: maximum of three years.
For Ph.D. program: maximum of four years.

The table below shows the breakup of the financial assistance under the National Overseas Scholarship Central Sector Scheme-
MSJE Govt. National Overseas Scholarship for Reserved Categories

Refer to the official Guidelines' brochure to know what all is covered by the contingency allowance, expenses towards local travel, etc.

MSJE NOS (SC) Eligibility requirements

Admission offer letter: First and foremost, you should already have secured an offer of admission to study abroad in any of the top-ranked foreign universities or institutions that feature in the first 1000 of the latest QS ranking.

Academic Qualification: The educational qualification criteria is a recognized Bachelor's Degree with a minimum of 60% marks for a Masters's level course and a recognized Master's Degree with a minimum of 60% marks for a Ph.D. program.

Age criteria: You should not be over 35 years of age as of 1st April.

Income criteria: The total income of the family members should not exceed Rs. 8 lakh per annum in the preceding year (refer to the official brochure to understand who all are considered as family members in terms of age and marital status).

Siblings' eligibility: In case of more than one child fulfilling all the eligibility requirements, more than two children of the same parents/guardians cannot apply for the scholarship under this scheme and a self-certification will be required to be submitted by the applicant.

How to apply for MSJE NOS (SC)

Before applying, it is advisable to read the mandatory conditions that are mentioned in the official guidelines' brochure, instructions about the surety bond to be executed, and other essential requirements and ensure that you fulfil all eligibility requirements.

Applications should be submitted only in online mode up to 31st March at the MSJE National Overseas Scholarship portal after registration with a valid email ID and contact mobile number. You will be required to provide prospects in India after completion of the proposed study abroad.

The following documents should be scanned and kept ready for uploading during the online application procedure -
  1. Date of Birth Certificate. Misplaced the birth certificate? Learn how to apply for a duplicate birth certificate
  2. The relevant Caste Certificate
  3. A recent Photo
  4. Scanned Signature
  5. Proof of current address
  6. Proof of permanent address if it is different from the current address
  7. Qualifying Degree/Provisional Certificate
  8. All mark sheets (Class 10 onward)
  9. Certificate/Affidavit in respect of GAP details after completion of Bachelor / Master Degree (if any) if the period is more than six months.
  10. Valid Document regarding admission in Foreign University (application, registration or admission-related document). Note that it is mandatory to upload the unconditional offer letter. In case you have received an offer letter from more than one University/Institute, you must select only one and provide the details of only that foreign University/Institute.
  11. The Income Certificate of all family members contributing to the household should be issued by the Revenue Authority of the State Government.
  12. Income Tax Return in case of person filing ITR.
  13. Employer's No Objection Certificate (NOC) if you are employed.

Important official resources-
Main Guidelines:

How to fill up the online application:

Format for Income Certificate:

Format for Certificate of being Landless Agricultural Labourer: .

Format for Certificate of being Traditional Artisans:

Contact information

Under Secretary,(NOS)
Shastri Bhawan
Dr Rajendra Prasad Road, New Delhi-110001
[refer to the official website for the phone number and email ID if required.]

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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