IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


9th August, 2023 Polity

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Context: The Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment highlighted the implementation status of the National Overseas Scholarship (NOS) schemes in the Lok Sabha.


  • Two schemes under the National Overseas Scholarship (NOS) are implemented by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment.
    • The first scheme is for students who belong to Scheduled Castes, Denotified Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes, Landless Agricultural Labourers and Traditional Artisans.
    • The second scheme is for students who have disabilities.
  • These schemes aim to provide financial assistance to meritorious students who wish to pursue higher education abroad in specified fields of study.
  • The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) is responsible for paying the scholarship amount and the miscellaneous expenses (on a reimbursement basis) of the candidates who are selected under both schemes. The Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment (MSJE) sanctions the funds to MEA through a Letter of Authorization (LoA) and releases them as per the demand of the Indian embassy concerned for any NOS student.
  • Both the schemes are central sector schemes and do not have any State-wise or district-wise allocation.

Eligibility criteria

NOS for SC etc:

  • The candidates must have secured admission to one of the top 500 QS-ranked foreign Institutes/Universities without any conditions. They must have obtained at least 60% marks or equivalent grades in the qualifying examination. The total family income of the candidate, including all sources, should not exceed Rs. 8.00 lakh per annum in the previous financial year. T
  • The candidate should not be older than 35 years as of the first day of April of the election year.

NOS for students with Disabilities:

  • The candidates must have a minimum of 55% marks or equivalent grades in the relevant Master’s Degree for the PhD level and the relevant Bachelor’s Degree for the Master’s level.
  • The candidate should be below 35 (Thirty -Five) years of age as of 1st January of the year of application.
  • The income of the Parents/Guardians of the candidate should not exceed Rs.8.00 lakh per annum.

Process of Selection

NOS for SC etc.:

  • The candidates who want to apply for the scholarship under this scheme have to fill out an online application form on the NOS portal. The portal is open for the first round of applications from mid-February to the end of March every year. Only the applications that are complete and valid are considered for the scholarship.
  • The applications are then scrutinized and the eligible candidates are shortlisted by the Selection-cum-Screening Committee. The committee also ranks the candidates based on the QS ranking of the Institute/University they have applied to.
  • The top 125 candidates are selected for the scholarship and they receive provisional Award letters.

NOS for students with Disabilities:

  • The candidates who want to apply for the scholarship under this scheme have to submit their applications offline throughout the year. The applications are then examined by the Screening Committee, which selects the candidates who meet the eligibility criteria. The selected candidates are then recommended by the Selection Committee, which issues them Award letters.


Q. How does the scholarship scheme for marginalized students hold significance in bridging educational disparities and fostering social empowerment? Outline some of the primary challenges that arise during the implementation of such schemes. Provide insights into potential strategies or innovations that could be pursued to overcome these challenges and ensure the scholarship scheme's continued positive impact on marginalized students' educational aspirations and opportunities.