The scholarship is a term that is ladened with several myths and misconceptions especially in countries like India. The most common one is – that scholarships are only given to the post-secondary school students and are offered only to students with financial constraints. On the contrary, scholarships can be applied and won even by school students of class 1 and above.

There are different scholarships in India that are available for students of all classes 1 to 12 and similarly for college students. Moreover, the statement about the financial background of students also stands misinterpreted. There are many offline scholarships and in the internet age, we also have online scholarships for students.


These scholarships are divided under different categories like – merit-based scholarship, talent-based scholarship, means based scholarships and more. From monthly scholarships, incentive-based to government-based scholarships, all scholarships are valuable and have significantly helped the students in their studies or areas of interest.

Scholarships in India – A look at the best ones

The top scholarships in India for Indian students are offered by the central government, state government and private institutions that emphasize the importance of education and how it is imperative for students to complete their schooling. In sync with the digitization spurt, most of the scholarships are now available on the internet being referred to as – online scholarships. Let us have a glance at the top 7 scholarships in India by the government (central or state) departments/ ministries for secondary and senior secondary school students.

  1. National Talent Search Examination – It is one of the most popular scholarship programs run by the country’s reputed education institutions National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT). This online scholarship is awarded to recognize, encourage and nurture the supremely talented students. Run by NCERT, the National Talent Search Examination test is conducted at the national level and also at state levels by different state governments. Only class 10 Indian students can apply and appear for NTSE scholarships.
  2. National Means Cum Merit Scholarship – It is important to understand that all the scholarships are not always for the economically disadvantaged students but several scholarships are offered based on the merit, talent and sports criteria too. National means cum merit scholarship keeps in consideration the merit of the student as well as the financial condition of her/ his family. Offered by the Department of School Education and Literacy of Government of India, it is given to the selected Indian students of class 9th with at least 55% marks in class 8 and with the family income less than 1.50 lakh per annum. The selected students are given a scholarship of Rs 12, 000 per annum.
  3. CBSE Merit Scholarship for Single Girl Child – With the focus on encouraging girl education, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) runs a merit-based scholarship scheme that allows class 10th passed female students with at least 60% marks to apply for this scholarship. This scheme is applicable only for single girl child of a family. Another eligibility criteria is that the student must be studying at a CBSE affiliated school that has a tuition fee of maximum Rs. 1500/ month.
  4. Pre-Matric Scholarships Scheme for Minorities – India being a secular state, there is a major focus on uplifting the downtrodden and for ensuring equal growth opportunities for minority communities. For the students of minority communities like Christian, Sikh, Muslim, Jain, etc., the Ministry of Minority Affairs awards scholarships to selected students with minimum 50% marks and family income of Rs. 1, 00, 000/ annum.
  5. ISRO Young Scientist Program 2020 – Indian students who have a special inclination towards space science hold an opportunity to excel in their area of interest through this scholarship program. Indian Space Research Organization allows class 9 students to apply, compete and win scholarships that allow a total of 113 students from across the country to participate in a two-week-long training program about Space Science and more.
  6. Pre-Matric Scholarship for Students with Disabilities – Education is for all and therefore the Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities gives scholarships to physically challenged students. This student-specific scholarship is eligible for only Class 9 or 10 students with more than 40% disability and whose family income is Rs. 2,50, 000 lakhs per annum.
  7. Umbrella Scheme for Education of ST Children – Pre Matric Scholarship – Class 9th or class 10th Indian students belonging to Scheduled Tribe (ST) can apply for this scholarship online. Sponsored by the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, this program is a step towards helping the needy Indian students to pursue their education.

Besides the above-mentioned scholarships that can be applied online, there are other scholarships also available that cater to pre & post-matric students of India. There are several Monthly Scholarships Programs also available that function as financial aid for meritorious, deserving and needy students.

Online Scholarships

The invention and evolution of the internet have benefited even the educational sector and as a result, now students or their parents do not need to run from pillar to post to apply for scholarships. The availability of scholarships online assures detailed knowledge about the scholarship program or the organizations offering the scholarships without much hassle. It also minimizes the wastage of time, money and efforts put in physically visiting a school or institution for applying for scholarships by Indian students.

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