Top 5 Government Scholarships for Studying Abroad

Top 5 Government Scholarships for Studying Abroad

Everyone has the right to get a higher education. However, if you do exceptionally well in your studies, you can have a golden opportunity to pursue further studies at a prestigious university abroad. The Indian Government has launched various scholarships for deserving students who wish to study overseas for a better learning experience and higher prospects.

The government provides such scholarships to Indian students based on various aspects, including merit.

This article will discuss the five flagship Indian government scholarships for studying abroad. 

Before that, you must learn the fundamental aspects of getting eligible for a scholarship.

Who Regulates Government Scholarships for Undergraduate Students in India?

The Department of Higher Education, under the Ministry of Education, regulates the entire process of granting scholarships/fellowships provided by foreign countries. 

Who Conducts Scholarships For Indian Students to Study Abroad?

The countries' foreign ministries that offer scholarships for foreign studies conduct such scholarships as part of their cultural/educational exchange programmes. Such programmes are primarily launched for Research, Post-graduation, and Doctoral studies.  

Types of Scholarships for studying abroad by Indian Government

Based on the nature of the scholarship programmes, foreign countries award scholarships in various methods.

Accordingly, the Indian government provides different types of scholarships to study abroad for Indian students, as explained below:

Based on Merit

The government grants scholarships to deserving students based on their academic record and/or extracurricular achievements, such as sports or social services. Preference is given to students with higher academic excellence. 


Global universities grant scholarships based on the student’s gender, skin tone, religion, family background, etc. Some institutions also consider the student's family medical history.


Some students who score exceptionally in a particular subject and wish to pursue a discipline course are eligible for this scholarship from a prominent university. For example, if a student has scored distinction in Business economics and wants to pursue an MBA, he can get a scholarship under this category from an institution like the London School of Business.


Sometimes, the Union/State government, through the universities, awards scholarships to deserving students from a particular nation as part of bilateral ties. For example, the Fulbright-Nehru scholarship is for students who wish to study in the USA. This can be explained in detail further. 

Humanitarian Programmes

These scholarships are given to deserving students who are exceptionally well in their studies but are financially weak. They require the family income details and submission of documents like ITRs, employment certificates, etc.

Sports Quota

Some scholarships are awarded based on sports quota. Such scholarships are available only to athletic achievers. Those representing their university or institution at national or international sports events or tournaments while managing their studies are eligible for these programs.

Top 5 Scholarships for studying abroad by the Indian Government

Here are the top 5 scholarship programs for Indian students to study abroad: 

Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Fellowship

This scholarship program is part of the US-India bilateral Fulbright-Nehru Binational Program. Under this program, the Indian government grants fellowships to US and Indian scholars, professionals, and students. India launched the Global Initiative of Academic Networks (GIAN) in 2015, facilitating 1,000 U.S. teachers' annual teaching in Indian institutions. Now, GIAN also includes educational programs for other countries. 

Agatha Harrison Memorial Fellowship

This is another country-specific scholarship program fully funded by the Government of India. It is provided for a single student. Under this scholarship, one candidate can study annually at St. Antony College of Oxford University, London. 

Dr Ambedkar Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loans for Overseas Studies

This is a humanitarian scholarship program wherein interest subsidies are given to meritorious students from the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Economically Weaker Classes (EWCs) to study abroad.

National Overseas Scholarship for SC Students

This is another humanitarian scholarship program for students of Scheduled Castes. The Government grants 100 scholarships to SC students every year under this scheme. A similar scholarship is for the ST students, which has 20 annual seats.

Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Scholarship

This is a Discipline/Course-based fellowship for students who wish to pursue an MPhil, Master's, or a PhD in the Liberal Arts and humanities.

How to get a scholarship to study abroad?

If you wish to apply for a government scholarship for undergraduate students in India, you must first apply at the Sakshat Scholarship Application Portal and complete the application along with the required documents.

What are the documents required to apply for a scholarship to study abroad?

Here are the documents required to apply for the scholarship program abroad.

  • Class-X Certificate
  • Address proof (current & permanent)
  • Mark sheet of qualifying examination
  • Valid Document regarding admission to a Foreign University
  • Qualifying Degree/Provisional Certificate
  • Passport Photograph
  • Scanned Signature
  • Caste/Community Certificate
  • Income Certificate
  • ITR acceptance document
  • NOC Certificate if the applicant is employed. 
  • Gap certificate stating legitimate reasons for taking study break if any.

With that, it’s time for you to open your wings to live your dreams! 

Secure Your Study Trip with a Smart Travel Insurance

While the Indian government will bear the expenses of studying abroad, including tuition and examination fees, you need only plan your living expenses, which include accommodation and food.

There is one more crucial aspect you must not overlook, i.e., covering medical emergencies' expenses if they arise. The only way to do so is to get an appropriate travel insurance policy, such as the Care Student Explore plan by Care Health Insurance. Such an insurance policy can cover all your medical emergencies or any other financial burden, such as loss of baggage and travel documents. You must also know that certain international universities have a mandatory requirement for student travel insurance, given the medical and non-medical risks a student may face during his/her stay in a foreign country. 

Hence, if you plan to pursue higher education at a prominent university abroad, you must carefully select student travel insurance, among other mandatory documents.

Disclaimer: All plan features, benefits, coverage, and claims underwriting are subject to policy terms and conditions. Kindly refer to the brochure, sales prospectus, and policy documents carefully.

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