Scholarships for Minorities in India were started to be provided in India from the year 2006. This was the time when the new 15-point programme of the Prime Minister of the Country for the Welfare of Minorities was announced by the then government of the country.
Purpose of the Scheme:
- The main purpose of minority scholarship in India is to encourage the parents from the minority community to send their children to schools and colleges. This is why scholarships are offered right from pre-matric to doctoral level education.
- Another purpose is to reduce the financial burden of parents and also the institutions providing education to children from the minority community and to sustain the efforts to provide education to children up to the level they wish to study.
- In the competitive employment arena, the scholarships these students receive will provide an excellent foundation for their educational attainment
Who comes under Minority Community?
In India, scholarships for minorities will be provided to a student, only when he/she actually belongs to such a community. As far as India is concerned, the communities that come under minority group are Muslims, Parsis, Jains, Buddhists, Christians, and Sikhs. As per the National Commission for Minorities Act 1992, these communities are classified as minority communities in India. According to the central government scheme, the distribution of scholarships among the different states in the country will be made on the basis of the minority population in the state or Union Territory.
List of Minority Scholarships:
When it comes to scholarships for minority students, the Ministry of Minority Affairs of Government of India offers scholarships under the following categories:
- Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme
- Post-matric Scholarship Scheme
- Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme
Let us gather some details about these schemes available for students from minority community:
Pre-matric Scholarship Scheme:
This scholarship as the name implies is offered for pre-matric students among the many scholarships for minorities. It is for minority children studying in government and private schools from Class I to X.
Students, who have secured not less than 50% of marks in the previous final examination, are alone eligible for this scholarship. Also, it is important that the annual income of the parents of these children from minority community from different sources should not be more than Rs.1 lakh.
How to apply?
The concerned Union Territory/State administration will supply the application form for students until the computerized system is made operational. Parents applying should submit the application along with appropriate certifications within the stipulated period.
Post-matric Scholarship Scheme:
This is a scholarship for minority students belonging to Classes XI and XII. It will also cover students taking up technical and vocational courses in Industrial Training Centres and institutions that are affiliated with the National Council for Vocational Training.
For this scheme, students must have secured not less than 50% of marks or equivalent grade in the previous final examination, and the annual income of their parent/guardian should not exceed Rs. 2 Lakhs. This income should be inclusive of income from all sources.
Procedure to apply:
This scheme is executed by the Ministry of Minority Affairs through National Scholarship Portal, which is shortly called as NSP. So, it is compulsory for the students to apply online on the website of scholarships with appropriate minority scholarship form. They are recommended to submit the appropriate requested document along with their application for this scholarship.
Merit-cum-Means Scholarship Scheme:
This is one among the many scholarships for minority students available in India. Under this scheme, scholarships are available only for studies within the country and the same will be awarded to the administration of the appropriate state government/union territory. Even, it can be awarded through the designated agency by the state/union territory government.
Under this scheme, students will get financial assistance to continue their graduation/post-graduation in technical and professional courses through a recognised institution. Those, who get admission to professional courses through competitive examination, will be given preference. But, those who have not taken up any competitive examination can also apply if they have secured not less than 50% of marks at higher secondary or graduation level. The annual income from all source of the applicant, his/her parent/guardian should not exceed Rs.2.5 lakh. Applicants should have a valid Aadhaar number to get the scholarship.
How to apply?
The application process is similar to that of Post-matric Scholarship Scheme through NSP with appropriate document proofs.
Maulana Azad Scholarship For Girls:
This is yet another scholarship for minorities for girls. This is for those girls, who have completed their secondary education and has applied for Class XI. Selected students under this scheme will get Rs.6000 each for Class XI and Class XII. Every year, this scholarship is given to 35000 girls. This is a merit-based single-time scholarship as girls once selected for this scholarship, cannot get it again. Girls must have completed their class X with at least 55% of marks to become eligible to apply for this scholarship. Family income should also be less than Rs. 1 lakh per annum. Interested students will have to apply through the website of Maulana Azad Foundation, who provides this scholarship for meritorious minority girls.