Kalki Kochelin's Laila is an autistic girl who gets admission in a university in the US in the movie Margarita With A Straw. She ends up living alone in Manhattan while pursuing her studies. This is not unusual, especially in a Bollywood flick. And yet, in real life, many such people are unable to pursue a higher education abroad. Differently abled people have had a tough time in the Indian education system. As of 2015, only about 0.56% seats in higher education went to disabled candidates despite there being a reservation to the extent of 3% in public institutions.
Similarly, minorities are also underrepresented in higher education. But this is changing slowly, as various ministries and even the Central Government are encouraging skill development. We found a few scholarships that encourage pursuing higher education in foreign countries among diverse minorities. They are listed below.
National Overseas Scholarship For Students With Disability
Till recently, there were no scholarships to study abroad specifically meant for students with disabilities. This scholarship introduced by the HRD Ministry is a unique effort. In 2014, the government via the Central Sector has introduced the National Overseas Scholarships to study abroad (master's and Ph.D) for students with disabilities. There are20 scholarships available per year (6 scholarships reserved for women) meant for students wanting to pursue Masters and Ph.D abroad.
Financial assistance will be provided till the course is completed or till the following period (whichever is earlier):
Ph.D.- 4 years
Masters Degree - 3 years
Students with disabilities below 35 years of age and securing 55% marks and above in bachelor's degree/ master's degree within parental annual income of Rs.6,00,000/-per annum are eligible to apply.
The scholarship is effective from 1st April, 2017. Also, only two children from the same family will be eligible for the scholarship.
Candidates may apply for two types of grants a) scholarships and b) passage grants. They will need to download the form from www.socialjustice.nic.in & submit it to the Under Secretary, DD-IV-B Section, Department of Disability Affairs, M/o SJ&E, Govt. of India, PDUIPH, 4, Vishnu Digambar Marg, New Delhi -110 002 within 1 month of the publication of the advertisement for the scholarship. Students will also need to submit a number of additional documents to validate their application form particulars the details of which can be found in the application form itself.
The annual maintenance and contingency allowance for candidates going to the US and other countries is 15,400 USD and 1,500 USD respectively.
The annual maintenance and contingency allowance for candidates going to the UK is GBP 9,900 and GBP 1,100 respectively.
The last date for application for 2018 intake is 30 September 2017.
Find out more here.
Dr. Ambedkar Loan Scheme For OBC/ EBC Students
The Dr. Ambedkar Scheme of Interest Subsidy on Educational Loans for Overseas Studies for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and Economically Backward Classes (EBCs)is a scheme that is dedicated for the promotion education overseas among students belonging to OBCs and EBCs. This education loan scheme is a Central Sector Scheme which is designed to provide educational loans to students belonging to OBC and EBC category to study abroad for Masters, M.Phil. and PhD level studies.
- Students should secure admission in any of the approved courses under this scheme for Masters, M.Phil. or PhD.
- The student should avail a loan from a scheduled bank of the Indian Banks Association (IBA) under the Education Loan Scheme.
- An OBC caste certificate is necessary to be produced by the student to give it to the bank they are availing the loan from.
- For OBC candidates, the income ceiling is Rs. 3 lakh per annum.
- For EBC candidates, the income ceiling is Rs. 1 lakh per annum.
- Income certificate needs to be produced by the student while availing an educational loan which can be viz. ITR, Form 16, Audited Accounts, Income certificate (State Govt authorized), UT administration.
Find out more here.