India Govt Scholarships for NRI Students

There are many schemes and programmes for NRIs initiated by the Central Government and various State Governments. Lack of public awareness and ignorance by media result in these being not available to the majority of NRIs. This article explains about the Scholarships for NRI Students provided by the Indian Government.

Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children

Scholarship Programme for Diaspora Children (SPDC) was introduced in 2006-07 to make higher education, in Indian Universities/Institutes in different fields (except medical and related courses) in India, accessible to the children of Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) & Non-resident Indians (NRIs) and promote India as a centre for higher studies.

The third category of children of Indian workers in ECR countries was included under the Scheme in 2015-16. Ministry offered 150 scholarship every year under the Scheme, out of which, 50 are reserved for PIOs, 50 for NRIs and 50 are reserved for Children of Indian Workers in ECR countries.

ECR countries include Afghanistan, Bahrain, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Further, out of the 50 slots which are reserved for Children of Indian Workers in ECR countries, 1/3 (17) slots are reserved for children of Indian workers in ECR countries who are studying in India. The SPDC Scheme is applicable in selected 69 countries.

Scholarships for NRI Students

Under the Scheme, students are awarded a scholarship up to US$ 4000 per annum towards payment of tuition fee, hostel fee, admission fee and other fees except for food charges for under-graduate courses in Engineering, Technology, Humanities, Liberal, Arts, Commerce, Management, Journalism, Hotel Management, Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and some other courses.

These applications are evaluated and shortlisted by a selection committee consisting of officers from the Ministry of HRD, Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs and Ed.CIL (India) an autonomous body under Ministry of HRD.

The applications for scholarship are usually invited around April-May and the last date would be around June.

Procedure for applying for SPDC

a) Students who have already secured admission in Indian Institutions are eligible to apply
b) Admission in Under Graduate Course is permitted only in Central Universities, NAAC “A” Grade Institutions, Central Universities, National Institutes of Technology (NITs), School of Planning & Architecture (SPAs), International Institute of Information Technology (IIITs) as covered under DASA Scheme.
c) Online application system only
d) All requisite certificates towards Income Criteria, Date of Birth, Marks List, Undertaking by the Institution etc. to be uploaded at the time of application.


1 – Who can apply for SPDC?

Ans. SPDC Scholarship is applicable to Children of NRIs & PIOs who want to study Under-Graduate Courses in following Indian Institutions & Universities.
i. Central Universities of India offering Under Graduate Courses;
ii. ‘A’ Grade Institutions accredited by National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC) and recognized by UGC
iii. National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Schools of Planning and Architecture and Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) through DASA Scheme

2 – Is a candidate born outside India, whose parents are neither Person of Indian Origin (PIO) nor a Non-Resident Indian (NRI), eligible for a scholarship under SPDC?

Ans. No. The SPDC Scheme is for the children of PIOs or NRIs for pursuing higher studies in select institutions in India. In cases where the candidate is born outside India and his/her parents are neither a PIO nor an NRI, are not eligible for any benefit under the scheme.

3 – Which countries are covered under SPDC?
Ans. SPDC is applicable to NRIs and PIOs residing in 69 countries, List of Countries is available on and children of Indian Workers in ECR countries studying in India.

4 – What is the minimum marks that an applicant must obtain to apply for SPDC?
Ans. The candidate must have secured at least 60% aggregate (equivalent CGPA 6.4) marks in the qualifying examination, i.e. Grade 12 or equivalent Grade.

CGPA can be converted to Percentage as follows:
Overall CGPA x 9.5 = Percentage

You can find more details about the scholarship on SPDC Portal.

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